Monday, November 27, 2017

BOOK NOOK: BETWEEN BREATHS BY ELIZABETH VARGAS

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Although I don't watch 20/20, the show that Elizabeth Vargas currently co-hosts, I've seen her on TV many times over her long career and have always admired her for her intelligence and poise.

I had no idea that she has suffered from severe anxiety for as long as she could remember and that she had turned to alcohol to self-medicate until I read Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction.

If you've ever said, I don't understand these people who claim they have panic attacks, then this is the book for you. Vargas writes this description of the anxiety she experienced during her childhood:

When you are anxious in the way that I was, fears begin to feed on themselves. The feeling is so unpleasant that you start to notice everything, wondering if it is going to make you want to jump, wondering if you should run. I was poised at all times, it seems, to flee the bugs, the snakes, or a patch of marshy soil that looked like it might melt into quicksand. Even little things that normally don't bother people can send an anxious person up a wall My brother was exposed to the same terrors as I was, but to me at least, he seemed to glide through, unperturbed.

As a young adult, Vargas turned to alcohol to alleviate her anxiety. In this book she describes her eventual treatment in rehab, relapses, divorce, and continued efforts to change her life.

Even if you already have empathy for people who have panic attacks, I think you'll find Vargas's memoir of interest and enjoy her success that hasn't come to her without very hard work.

Between Breaths earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Appreciative Approval.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Note: This review is a fair and impartial one, not affected by my receipt of the book from a Goodreads giveaway.

27 comments:

  1. Wow! She hid it well on TV that's for sure. I have seen her, too, but not a lot. Enough to remember her. Sounds like an honest book Id' like to read one day. :)

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    1. When she decided to be open about her problems, she really went with it.

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  2. She's a really good writer. That's a powerful segment. I commend her for telling her truth.

    Love you.

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  3. In my voluntary work I often talk with people beseiged by anxiety. Terrifying, and not something to dismiss lightly. I am so glad that she came through it. And thank you for the recommendation.

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  4. I spent most of my life living with a sister who suffers anxiety and panic. It's hard on everyone.

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    1. I've had some panic attacks. They are terrible.

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  5. Sometimes people who appear beyond perfect (like Ms. Vargas) pay inwardly for this. I was not surprised at her revelation, but surprised how well she had coped with the demands of her job.

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    1. She has soldiered on through many difficulties.

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  6. Never heard of the book or the person, just saying

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    1. She co-hosts a news show in the U.S. I don't know of any reason that you'd hear of her in Australia.

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  7. I'm glad to get this recommendation, Janie. I try to read as much as I can on this as our daughter suffers from it. Thank you.

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    1. Then you will probably find this book helpful.

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  8. Sounds like a worthwhile read. I think most of us suffer from anxiety, that it's just a matter of degrees.

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    1. I think very few people don't experience some form of anxiety, but many can hide it.

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  9. Our son had panic attacks after his brain surgery and it was terrible. Thankfully, they seem to have passed.

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  10. Sounds like a great read. Many people suffer from anxiety and we need to learn more about it.

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    1. Elizabeth Vargas believes she was born with anxiety.

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  11. Panic attacks were my worst part of menopause. 1-2 years ago, when I was developing UC and didn't realize, anxiety returned, and a mere 10 days of not even daily use, at the lowest dose, and I got addicted to benzo's, then spent over 6 months going thru the hell of withdrawal. Not fun times. I commend her bringing this to light.

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  12. I've only ever had one actual panic attack in my life but I would not want to have another one. I feel for all who suffer that kind of chronic anxiety in their life.

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    1. Panic attacks are horrible. I have them occasionally. My heart pounds so hard it feels as if it will come out of my chest.

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  13. People in my family suffer from panic attacks. I can see how debilitating it is. Too bad this person turned to alcohol to find relief.

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    1. I think the likelihood of self-medicating increases with the severity of the problem, whether it's anxiety, depression, or something else.

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  14. I've had to deal with depression and panic attacks all my life. It's only been the last 5 or 6 years, to where I am feeling great EXCEPT I am still on 2 anti-depressants. I want to start tapering off in the Spring. I'd love to be medication FREE one day.

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