May 7, 2015

Life Unaware Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway
Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Life Unaware blog tour! Today I have a great guest post by the author to share with you - and don't forget to enter the giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.

Life Unaware
Author: Cole Gibsen
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: April 28, 2015 
Publisher: Entangled Teen


Regan Flay has been talking about you.

Regan Flay is on the cusp of achieving her control-freak mother's "plan" for high school success―cheerleading, student council, the Honor Society—until her life gets turned horribly, horribly upside down. Every bitchy text. Every bitchy email. Every lie, manipulation, and insult she's ever said have been printed out and taped to all the lockers in school.

Now Regan has gone from popular princess to total pariah.

The only person who even speaks to her is her former best friend's hot but socially miscreant brother, Nolan Letner. Nolan thinks he knows what Regan's going through, but what nobody knows is that Regan isn't really Little Miss Perfect. In fact, she's barely holding it together under her mom's pressure. But the consequences of Regan's fall from grace are only just beginning. Once the chain reaction starts, no one will remain untouched...

Especially Regan Flay.
My Struggle With Anxiety

I knew writing a book about bullying would have its challenges. What I didn’t expect was the effect writing a character with an anxiety disorder would have on me.

Detailing Regan’s—the main character’s—panic attacks in the book forced me to relive my own. Like Regan, I suffer from anxiety. Last year, when I was at my worst, I would have up to four crippling panic attacks a day. Many times throughout the day I found myself unable to breathe, convinced I was suffering from a heart attack. I was in hell.

At first I tried to convince myself I could handle it—that they would go away on their own. But when my anxiety became too great, and I was afraid to leave the house, I knew I needed to get help.

Making that first phone call to the therapist was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I felt weak for not being able to handle my issues on my own. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. It takes strength to admit you need help, even more so to take that first step to get it.

When it comes to anxiety, I know I’m not alone. With help from my therapist I’ve made massive strides. My panic attacks have decreased from several a day to maybe one a month. If you suffer from panic attacks, you should definitely make that phone call to get the help you deserve. I am in no way a therapist or qualified to give any advice on mental illness.

With that said, here are some things I’ve discovered that work well for me when it comes to reducing my anxiety when I feel a panic attack coming on:

1. Coloring. It sounds silly, and I felt ridiculous at first. But there’s something so soothing about opening a box of crayons, sitting down at a table, and losing myself in a coloring

2. Reciting the alphabet backwards. Doing this forces me to stop thinking about my breathing and heartbeat. It distracts me from the swelling fear by having me concentrate
on something else. Usually by the time I get to “A” I feel a ton better.

3. Calling a friend. I’m so blessed to have so many good friends in my life who understand me and my anxiety. When I’m at my worst, I know I can call any one of them and they’ll
talk me off the ledge.

4. Threes. It’s this wonderful little addition game app I have installed on my phone and iPad. Whenever I start to feel on edge, I’ll open the app and play several games. When I’m finished I usually feel tons better.

These are just a few of things I’ve discovered to help me cope with my anxiety. But everyone is different. If you suffer from anxiety, what tips and tricks to you have for getting through a panic attack? 
Cole Gibsen first realized she different when, in high school, she was still reading comic books while the other girls were reading fashion magazines.

It was her love of superheroes that first inspired her to pick up a pen. Her favorite things to write about are ordinary girls who find themselves in extraordinary situations. 


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