Give Me Space but Don't Go Far: My Unlikely Friendship with Anxiety (Paperback)

Give Me Space but Don't Go Far: My Unlikely Friendship with Anxiety By Haley Weaver Cover Image
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A tender, funny, illustrated memoir about anxiety and self-acceptance from the artist behind @haleydrewthis

Anxiety has been glued to Haley Weaver’s side since she was a child. Like most people, Weaver saw the constant what-ifs and worst-case scenarios that Anxiety whispered in her ear as an obstacle to her happiness. Maybe she could dump her anxiety at her therapist’s office, or send it on a trip far, far away—anything to get rid of it for good. But over time she realized anxiety’s true intention: to keep her safe. Could she learn to let it do its job but also figure out how to live without constant worry and fear?

This full-color, illustrated memoir stars Haley and Anxiety (as themselves) and showcases their complicated but ultimately uplifting relationship. It also introduces readers to the helpful (and not-so-helpful) coping mechanisms Haley relies on to soften the edges of her mental health issues. There’s the Distractor, who wears a bright red boa and encourages Haley to avoid uncomfortable feelings by scrolling the Internet, the Liar, who teaches Haley the pillars of a good fib in order to survive at the middle school lunch table, and even the Partier, who gives Haley a social life in college but also lands her in the ER. From detailing her first unsupervised birthday party as a preteen to exploring the overwhelming life transitions as an adult, Give Me Space but Don’t Go Far brings to life the pivotal moments of Haley’s life and illuminates the lesson she’s learned: With care, practice, and sound strategies, we can learn to coexist with our anxiety—and maybe even love it.

About the Author

Haley Weaver (@haleydrewthis) is an illustrator and writer whose work focuses on mental health, relationships, and selfhood. Her illustrations have been featured on notable accounts and websites including Bustle, Betches, New York Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Bored Panda. She lives in Seattle with her partner and, of course, her anxiety.

Praise For…

“Every illustration from the brilliant, soulful Haley Weaver is like a big scoop of peanut butter ice cream: the kind of satisfaction you never knew you needed. She speaks directly to your inner child, but with a perspective that’s necessary for adulting. This book is a must-read for anyone who struggles with their internal voice versus their outside persona, which is a struggle we probably all thought was 'just us' until Haley normalized it! Thank you, Haley, for your compassion, and for seeing us as beautiful just as your drawings are. What a perfect gift for anyone who’s embarking on a new adventure, whether tiny or enormous.”—Mari Andrew, New York Times bestselling author of Am I There Yet? and My Inner Sky
“Haley Weaver deftly uses the comics format to present a range of characters as simple shapes – herself, other people, and a chatty range of coping mechanisms—allowing her to present heavy material with sweetness and humor. The Anxiety character, an insightful, nervous little black cloud, fights to be heard, and ultimately, the author learns how to live with – and even appreciate - his persistence.”—Ellen Forney, New York Times bestselling author of Marbles
“Give Me Space but Don’t Go Far is as vulnerable as it is adorable, and deceptively cute for all its poeticism and profundity. Perfect for any recent graduate or young person struggling with anxiety, this book will teach you how to shine a warm light on the parts of yourself you most want to obscure in darkness."—Erin Williams, author of Commute and coauthor of The Big Activity Book for Anxious People
“This book gives me all the feels! Like all of them: Give Me Space but Don’t Go Far is hilarious, tender, smart, honest, painful, poignant, illuminating, and totally made me cry at the end. Haley Weaver has done what I thought was impossible: tell a deeply personal story of her relationship with anxiety through a fully realized and delightfully illustrated cast of coping-mechanism characters, each of whom personifies the sneaky ways our brains work for and against us. In doing so, Weaver educates and empowers readers to see their own anxiety as a relationship to be tended and managed with support, not feared. The clean and dynamic drawing style—with bodies shaped as hearts, scribble-blobs, and sun-glass-wearing rectangles—and hilarious speech bubbles and asides are a huge part of this wonderful book’s disarming charm.”—Kelcey Ervick, author of The Keeper
“What a relatable, honest, and engaging body of work. This book is a cozy and colorful reminder to be patient with ourselves and redefine anxiety's role in our own stories.”—Danielle Coke Balfour, creator of Oh Happy Dani and author of A Heart on Fire

"A heartwarming and empowering reminder of the wisdom and care that’s nested within our (sometimes scary and overwhelming) scribbly anxieties.”—Ariella Elovic, author of Cheeky
“Sweet, profound, funny, and unwaveringly honest, this debut by Haley Weaver made me gasp with recognition, laugh with delight, and rethink how I relate to my own emotions. Haley has a knack for capturing the nuances and personality of her anxiety. And while no two peoples' experiences are alike, I found myself relating to this book at every turn. A must-read for anyone navigating their mental health, and hoping to understand themselves better.”—Olivia de Recat, author of Drawn Together
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593539330
ISBN-10: 0593539338
Publisher: Avery
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English