My Mess is a Bit of Life: Adventures in Anxiety by Georgia Pritchett
|My Mess is a Bit of Life: Adventures in Anxiety by Georgia Pritchett
|Reviewer: Sue Magee
|Summary: The story of a successful career as a comedy writer built despite her sometimes overwhelming feelings of anxiety. It's sometimes hilariously funny - and then you feel guilty for laughing. Recommended.
|Date: July 2021
|Publisher: Faber and Faber
|External links: Author's website
Georgia Pritchett has always been anxious, even as a child. She would worry about whether the monsters under the bed were comfortable: it was the sort of life where if she had nothing to worry about she would become anxious but such occasions were few and far between. On a visit to a therapist, as an adult, when she was completely unable to speak about what was wrong with her it was suggested that she should write it down and My Mess is a Bit of a Life: Adventures in Anxiety is the result - or so we are given to believe.
I'm no stranger to anxiety and Pritchett delivers the sense of the paralysing feelings and panic perfectly. What she also captures is the carapace which she exhibits to the outside world. Even on the worst days, she will appear to be calm and in command despite the fact that her inside is a tornado thrashing the surfaces of her brain and the panic overwhelming. What will surprise many people is the use of humour: when life gets really bad, introduce the funny side, make people laugh and perhaps you'll get by. People won't notice how you're really feeling. Some parts of the book are hilarious - I laughed out loud on several occasions and then felt guilty when I realised what I was laughing at. Even the darkest moments are lightened by humour.
If you suffer from anxiety, will the book help you? It probably won't do so directly but Pritchett is a multi-award-winning drama and comedy writer with a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a Producer's Guild award. Despite having a debilitating problem - a problem which must, on occasions, seem overwhelming - she's successful and professionally funny. She copes with a family which has its own problems.
It's a quick read - I read it in one sitting - mainly because it's written in a series of comic vignettes which almost force you to read just one more before you put the book down. You can't help but warm to the wit and be impressed by the honesty that's displayed. Did it help me? I feel less alone - and that has to be a good thing.
I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag.
If you suffer from anxiety, you might appreciate My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel.
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