Separation Anxiety: A Coming of Middle Age Story
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The woman in this book is not famous. The events of her life are not tragic. The setting is not exotic. This is an ordinary story. Which makes it an extraordinary memoir. Miji Campbell grew up in a close-knit family in the 1960s and ’70s. The youngest of three girls, she was raised under her parents’ watchful eye, in a middle-class Calgary suburb called Kingsland. Her life proceeds in an orderly fashion: coming-of-age, university, first job, first apartment – and then suddenly, inexplicably, it begins to unravel. Night after night, Miji wrestles with insomnia and increasing anxiousness. Despite her independent spirit, she yearns for her mother’s presence and feels overcome by homesickness. These anxious feelings will haunt her through career, marriage, and the birth of her children. It’s not until middle age that Miji learns she has an anxiety disorder and finds ways to quiet her mind and body. Through acts of courage and grace, she learns to stand – tentatively, hopefully – on her own. Beautifully written, insightful and funny, Separation Anxiety chronicles the pivotal moments in a woman’s life where she lets go of her childhood beliefs about happily ever after, and discovers her true self.
This is a brave book written by a woman who has the ability to share her struggles with insight and honesty while displaying a wry style that led me to write my first fan letter to an author.
Miji Campbell's memoir stirred my own memories and I resonated with her story in ways I would not have anticipated. I cannot say enough to capture the essence of this book. It should be read and shared.