You’re Not Alone

I might not be able to change what might happen, but I could change how I dealt with the things that went wrong.

under rose-tainted skiesUNDER ROSE TAINTED SKIES by Louise Gornall is the story of Norah, a girl struggling with OCD and Agoraphobia, who has been mostly confined to her home. Throughout the course of the novel, she confronts the realities of her situation, the underlying fear and trauma as to why she has these conditions—and when she least expects it, finds love right next door. It is a sweet and funny debut that packs a real emotional punch.

We’re so excited and so very grateful With Malice author Eileen Cook is supporting this 2017 debut by sharing her own  ah-ha moment and struggles with anxiety.


So… what’s the worst thing that could happen? 

Never ask me that question. I am brilliant at imagining worst case scenarios. Seriously, it’s like my super power. I can picture mayhem, chaos, and emotional devastation without even breaking a sweat.

What will happen if I try out for the play? I’ll freeze in front of the audience forgetting every line humiliating myself as well as the entire cast.  I will then have to leave the school and live on an isolated island as a total and complete social reject.

Is that person staring at me? Of course they are- they are making fun of me right NOW to the people around them because I’ve done something stupid that I don’t even know I’ve done yet. Most likely my skirt is tucked into my pantyhose and I’ve exposed myself to the entire world.

What if I went on that trip? I’d likely get lost, wander into an alley and then get mugged and possibly kidnapped. At minimum, they will take all my money and passport leaving me stranded, more likely, they’ll kill me. Slowly.

This ability to imagine horrible outcomes is great for being a writer where it’s my job to imagine worst case scenarios for characters. It’s not so great for real life where anxiety kept me on the sidelines for years. I worried about everything. What I was doing, what might happen, what could go wrong, and what was everyone thinking.

What I wanted the most was to be a writer. But at the same time, I was terrified to face the almost certain rejection. I confessed to a fellow writer that I was scared to send my writing out. She said to me: “I hate to tell you this, but you already aren’t published. The worst thing that will happen is that you still won’t be published.”

That was a light bulb moment for me. That often the worst thing that I imagined was rejection, but that it was still my choice how I coped with that rejection. That as scary as it was to try new things, the potential payoff was amazing. I might not be able to change what might happen, but I could change how I dealt with the things that went wrong.

I still have anxiety, but I fake having it together pretty well and I find it gets easier to calm myself down. I do my best to pass on the advice I was given- what might you accomplish if you tried? Yes, you might fail, but maybe that isn’t nearly as awful as you imagine. Maybe the worst thing is to not try at all.

Book Recommendations:

  1. Sad Perfect: by Stephanie Eliott
  2. OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
  3. Highly Illogical Behavoir by John Corey Whaley
  4. Furiously Happy- a Funny Book About Horrible Things  Jenny Lawson (one of my favorites)

Music Recommendations:

  1. Don’t Know Why- Norah Jones
  2. Fire and Rain  -James Taylor
  3. When We Were Young -Adele
  4. Lough Erin Shore- The Corrs
  5. Both Sides Now Joni Mitchell
  6. Gente- Laura Pausini  (bonus it’s all in Italian)
  7. Simple- KD Lang
  8. Hallelujah- KD Lang (Basically the entire Hymns of the 49th Parallel CD should be on there)