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Chelsea Rae Swiggett on Coping with Fear, Anxiety, and Social Phobia
February 27th, 2011 by Liza Wiemer

 

Chelsea Rae Swiggett

CHELSEA RAE SWIGGETT

 

AN INTERVIEW ABOUT HER NON-FICTION YA BOOK

RAE MY TRUE STORY of Fear, Anxiety, and Social Phobia

Win a copy of her book:

To win a copy of her book leave a comment!If you follow this blog you get an extra entry. Entries accepted until 8:00PM CST March 16. Open to US and Canada residents.  Winner announced: Marynellie 

Rae MY TRUE STORY of Fear, Anxiety, and Social Phobia

 

Brave, strong, gutsy –– I repeated these words over and over again as I read Chelsea Rae Swiggett’s non-fiction work for young adults (every parent and teacher should read it too), Rae MY TRUE STORY of Fear, Anxiety, and Social Phobia. This candid, beautifully written personal history takes a hard look at the impact on how paralyzed a person can be when consumed by fears and absorbed into the hell created by the social interactions in middle school and high school.

Brave, strong, gutsy were words Chelsea would never have used to describe herself in high school. I definitely didn’t see them in her book. But the steps she took to CHANGE are no less than extraordinary. She continues to conquer her fears, live in the moment, and challenge herself to experience life to its fullest.

In the past, speaking in class could bring on an anxiety attack.

Now, Chelsea approaches strangers, even welcomes new interactions.

In the past, traveling anywhere brought horrific fears of death.

Now, she gets on airplanes and relishes in seeing new things.

In the past, going to school was a living hell. She eventually chose to be home-schooled to survive.

Now, she mixes it up with online classes and on campus classes at college.

In the past, Chelsea escaped real life by delving into books, writing reviews for her website – http://www.coffeeandcliffhangers.com/

Now, she still loves to read and review books, but she utilizes this passion to meet others with the same interests. She has a social life, too.

In the past, Chelsea was obsessed with her weight – depriving herself of food. Her self-image was dismal. She was consumed by how she thought others people perceived her.

Now, food is no longer her enemy. More often than not her self-esteem comes from within and not based on how others perceive her.

So how did Chelsea do it? Without a doubt it has been a process, most importantly CHELSEA WANTED TO CHANGE! She faces her fears one at a time. She lives in the moment.

I had the privilege of speaking with Chelsea about her transformation. Here’s what she had to say:

I have had to remind myself to breathe, not to be overwhelmed. The world is not ending right now. I tell myself I can deal with a situation I’m in and can get past it.

I no longer obsess over different things. For example, if I coughed I would worry. Did I cough too loud? Or if fell down and others saw me, I worried about it for weeks. Do they think I’m a klutz? This constant worry was killing me. Finally, I realized no one else was worrying about these things. I saw that everyone messes up and it’s useless to obsess over what other people may or may not be thinking of me.

I realized I needed to just live. I realized there are only so many years to fully understand myself, so I decided to take the opportunity and do it now. What I learned was it’s important to do what you’re passionate about and don’t allow fear to stop you. If you want to travel, you need to travel. If you want to go to concerts, do it. It is important to find a way to live comfortably and follow your dreams. Don’t stop yourself from accomplishing something you want to do. Spend your time with your passion.

One needs to find balance. A person can hide behind their passion and use it as an excuse not to live. For example, I love to read so I used reading to stay away from others, hide from the world. I was comfortable, but wasn’t putting myself out there. I wasn’t living. But I turned my love for reading into a positive. Instead of letting my passion cripple me, I now use it to connect with people. Working on Coffee and Cliffhangers I‘ve been able to connect with the literary community. I’ve met so many amazing people including other passionate readers, book reviewers, and authors. At first the connections were through social networking, and then in person at different book events.

Through authors’ books, I gain insight into their perceptions. Authors put themselves in their work. It’s personal. I appreciate their vulnerability. I love getting into their heads and seeing what makes them click, how they view things. Books have helped me see that I am not the only one who has issues and problems and goals in this world. There have been so many times I’ve got caught up in my own problems. Reading has helped me see I’m not alone.

One of my goals? I would love to be a successful author, to be able to help and connect with authors and readers. It is the most amazing feeling in the world.

I first connected with Chelsea through Twitter where I learned about her website http://www.coffeeandcliffhangers.com/ and about Rae MY TRUE STORY of Fear, Anxiety, and Social Phobia. It’s been a privilege to get to know her better through this interview. She’s an extraordinary young woman, someone I look forward to meeting in person, hang out with at a book event, or talk with over coffee. She is brave, strong, gutsy – amazing. There will still be challenges – we all have them. But I have no doubt she will face them and turn any fear or weakness or anxiety into a strength. It takes work. It takes courage. It takes action. Chelsea epitomizes these qualities and so much more. She is a role model!

To learn more about Chelsea go to her website:http://www.coffeeandcliffhangers.com/

For more information about or to purchase Rae MY TRUE STORY of Fear, Anxiety, and Social Phobia go to: Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/4f4prgd


12 Responses  
Dani Fina writes:
March 1st, 2011 at 10:36 am

Wow! Great article. Chelsea has some great advise; I going to check out her website now…
I hope I win her book!

Sandra Margulius writes:
March 4th, 2011 at 10:19 am

By just reading what this young lady had to say, I can totally relate, even, and maybe especially today. I have suffered with panic disorder and anxiety since I was 10, so I experienced and still experience much of what she has gone through.
I think I could still benefit to read how this girl conquered her fears. Maybe it would help me in my struggles today.

Lynn Wiese Sneyd writes:
March 4th, 2011 at 11:14 am

Getting over our fears and anxieties is tough stuff that takes courage and determination. I give Chelsea tons of credit for working through hers. I’ll definitely think of her the next time I face an obstacle that feels too high, too wide, or too deep to cross. We can all use a dose of her inspiration!

Christi Aldellizzi writes:
March 4th, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Great post, thank you! I’m a natural-born worrier and have only recently started letting go of the little things. Now, if only I could stop worying so much about some of the bigger things…

Megan writes:
March 4th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Wow what a great interview! I’d love to be entered into the contest 🙂

Lauren writes:
March 4th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I met Chelsea at a book event. She introduced herself and told me about her blog, which launched my interest in the book blogging community. She’s a role model <3

Jessica Secret writes:
March 5th, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I love Chelsea’s blog and would love to win her book! Thanks for the chance.

lindsaywrites writes:
March 6th, 2011 at 11:07 pm

would love to win! thanks for this!!

Joli @ Actin' Up with books writes:
March 7th, 2011 at 11:03 pm

This book sounds amazing and I’ve read many about it on other blogs. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy. Please enter me. I am a follower.

Thank you Chelsea for allowing us to see/read into a private part of your life. I really appreciated it when you said “Books have helped me see that I am not the only one who has issues and problems and goals in this world. There have been so many times I’ve got caught up in my own problems. Reading has helped me see I’m not alone.” – I think that many readers can relate to this. As a teen I too would lose myself in books as a way to keep myself separate but as a form of protection from judgment of my peers. Now as an adult I love to read YA, and I wish a lot of the books that I read now were written back then. I think it would have helped bring some perspective that I needed.

Kelly Whitley writes:
March 9th, 2011 at 11:31 am

I’ve been suffering for anxiety and depression since a very young age. I’d love to read what Chelsea has been through.

Sadie Ogan writes:
March 9th, 2011 at 11:59 am

The advice is great. It is so important to live and experience! What a great book for teens out there.

Marynellie writes:
March 12th, 2011 at 11:11 pm

I need this book. If I don’t win it, I think I’m going to buy it. Anxiety takes over my life. What she said, this little quote is amazing: “I realized I needed to just live.” Just…yeah.

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