"Fear is No Longer My Reality" is a first-hand account of a journey to overcome panic disorder and social anxiety disorder, told by former sufferer Jamie Blyth. Jamie is best-known for appearing on the reality television series "The Bachelorette".
This book is more or less the tale of Jamie's life, interspersed with commentary from friends and experts in the field of anxiety disorders. Jamie describes growing up as a rambunctious child and class clown, how he had difficulty talking with girls, and his eventual first panic attack at the age of 19.
In later chapters he talks about his "Panic Plan", including the steps that he took to build his confidence and overcome his anxiety. Jamie discusses his experiences as a top salesperson for a telecommunications company, how he went overseas on a whim and a prayer to play professional basketball, and how he eventually landed a spot on the reality television show "The Bachelorette".
What I Like
- I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not another cookbook about how to overcome anxiety. It is a true story designed more to inspire than to instruct. Although there is expert commentary, it is relevant to Jamie's discussions of what was going on in his life at the time.
- Jamie's story gives hope to those who may not have access to traditional treatment methods. Jamie shows that with hard work, perserverence and determination anything is possible.
- Jamie's writing style is interesting and thoughtful and keeps you engaged throughout. He is a natural storyteller.
- Jamie's situation is unique in that he was diagnosed with both panic disorder and social anxiety disorder. In addition his first panic attack came out of the blue at the age of 19. Those with severe and life-long social anxiety disorder may not be able to relate to his story.
The Bottom Line
Jamie's story is worth a read. I found that I came away inspired to overcome obstacles by giving it all that I have. If there is one message that comes through in this book, it is that preparation and determination are key.