About the Memoir

Nothing exists in the whole world but me, the me who is an obstacle to the normality and order that otherwise prevails. My breath deserts me like the false friend it is. My spiteful heart begins its emergency knock-knock-knocking on the inner wall of my chest. My hand shakes like an angry spider as my fingers flip through the forms. I can’t just stop and ask for a break: this would confirm how weird I really am, and suggest that what appears to be happening actually is.

This moving, often confronting memoir reveals how a devastating and complex anxiety disorder exploded into the life of an intelligent, creative young girl struggling to reach maturity in the 1970s and 80s.

Adrienne McGill’s anxiety disorder was no textbook case. She grew up with undiagnosed social phobia and OCD, and developed panic disorder at the age of twenty. The toll her untreated illness took on her career, relationships and emotional development is related here in sardonic, sometimes relentless prose that packs a punch.

This is no self-help tale of triumph over impossible odds, or a guide to managing or overcoming social phobia. It’s a poignant story of the will to survive – of a young woman struggling to find a viable way to live her life, and hanging on by the skin of her teeth. It’s also a cautionary tale for the importance of early diagnosis and intervention in mental illness. Buy Now.