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I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder : A Memoir

I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder: A Memoir

Sarah Kurchak
$24.95

 


Sarah Kurchak is autistic. She hasn’t let that get in the way of pursuing her dream to become a writer, or to find love, but she has let it get in the way of being in the same room with someone chewing food loudly, and of cleaning her bathroom sink. In I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder, Kurchak examines the Byzantine steps she took to become “an autistic success story,” how the process almost ruined her life and how she is now trying to recover.

Growing up undiagnosed in small-town Ontario in the eighties and nineties, Kurchak realized early that she was somehow different from her peers. She discovered an effective strategy to fend off bullying: she consciously altered nearly everything about herself—from her personality to her body language. She forced herself to wear the denim jeans that felt like being enclosed in a sandpaper iron maiden. Every day, she dragged herself through the door with an elevated pulse and a churning stomach, nearly crumbling under the effort of the performance. By the time she was finally diagnosed with autism at twenty-seven, she struggled with depression and anxiety largely caused by the same strategy she had mastered precisely. She came to wonder, were all those years of intensely pretending to be someone else really worth it?

Tackling everything from autism parenting culture to love, sex, alcohol, obsessions and professional pillow fighting, Kurchak’s enlightening memoir challenges stereotypes and preconceptions about autism and considers what might really make the lives of autistic people healthier, happier and more fulfilling.


Prize(s): Nominated Ontario Library Association’s (OLA) Forest of Reading Evergreen Award (2021) 

“Sarah Kurchak is one my favourite autistic writers, but this highly engaging and thought-provoking book is much more than the typical memoir of growing up as an outcast in a world built for neurotypicals. With humour, compassion, and scintillating wit, Kurchak probes to the very heart of what it means to be a writer, while illuminating the struggle to define oneself in the face of people determined to enforce their own inadequate definitions. Her victory in growing up to become her own badass self is both an autistic victory and a universal human one, and everyone should read this book.”

–Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes

“Sarah Kurchak speaks up eloquently for herself and for others who share her neurodivergent situation...Kurchak is profane, smart, irreverent, honest and brave as she teaches us important lessons, and all these qualities make for an enjoyable, albeit often challenging read. Her comments on vaccination debates and autism alone are worth the price of admission. Highly recommended.”

–Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun

“There are a few reasons why I'm completely in love with his book...1. Sarah communicates as much as possible with a view on intersectionality. She lets the reader know all along the way, how her privilege and personal experiences impact her view, and reminds us not to see her as anything more than one of many autistic voices that NEED to be heard…. 5. This isn't a textbook about autism. It's a memoir about a person who has autism. It opens up vital conversations, but it's also just a genuinely good read.”

–Sarah Cotnam, GoodReads.com

“An inherently fascinating, engaging, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking personal account of a life lived with the condition of autism,...especially intimate, detailed, and informative—making it unreservedly recommended for both community and college/university library…”

–Margaret Lane, Midwest Book Review

“...a superb ‘autobiography’...equally poignant and entertaining...it weaves together humorous anecdotes, jagged honesty and occasionally painful amounts of self-awareness. For me, as an autistic woman, it provided a rare chance to feel seen and understood.”

–Sara Luterman, SpectrumNews.org

“...piercing, intriguing and witty...Bitingly humorous, insightful and candid. The book acts as a channel for the reader to learn about autism as an identity and a neurology. Kurchak offers a balanced view on autism research and the need to expand it. I am optimistic about the level of interest in Kurchak’s book, now and in the longer-term, and genuinely encouraged by her arrival on the landscape as an openly autistic writer, skilled at and determined to be a perceptive trailblazer with a razor-sharp sense of humour.”

–Wanda Deschamps, CharityReport.com

 


Douglas & McIntyre
ISBN: 9781771622462
Paperback / softback
5.5 in x 8.5 in - 240 pp
Publication Date: 02/04/2020
BISAC Subject(s): BIO026000-BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs,PSY022020-PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Autism Spectrum Disorders,BIO022000-BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women 

Description


Sarah Kurchak is autistic. She hasn’t let that get in the way of pursuing her dream to become a writer, or to find love, but she has let it get in the way of being in the same room with someone chewing food loudly, and of cleaning her bathroom sink. In I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder, Kurchak examines the Byzantine steps she took to become “an autistic success story,” how the process almost ruined her life and how she is now trying to recover.

Growing up undiagnosed in small-town Ontario in the eighties and nineties, Kurchak realized early that she was somehow different from her peers. She discovered an effective strategy to fend off bullying: she consciously altered nearly everything about herself—from her personality to her body language. She forced herself to wear the denim jeans that felt like being enclosed in a sandpaper iron maiden. Every day, she dragged herself through the door with an elevated pulse and a churning stomach, nearly crumbling under the effort of the performance. By the time she was finally diagnosed with autism at twenty-seven, she struggled with depression and anxiety largely caused by the same strategy she had mastered precisely. She came to wonder, were all those years of intensely pretending to be someone else really worth it?

Tackling everything from autism parenting culture to love, sex, alcohol, obsessions and professional pillow fighting, Kurchak’s enlightening memoir challenges stereotypes and preconceptions about autism and considers what might really make the lives of autistic people healthier, happier and more fulfilling.


Prize(s): Nominated Ontario Library Association’s (OLA) Forest of Reading Evergreen Award (2021) 

“Sarah Kurchak is one my favourite autistic writers, but this highly engaging and thought-provoking book is much more than the typical memoir of growing up as an outcast in a world built for neurotypicals. With humour, compassion, and scintillating wit, Kurchak probes to the very heart of what it means to be a writer, while illuminating the struggle to define oneself in the face of people determined to enforce their own inadequate definitions. Her victory in growing up to become her own badass self is both an autistic victory and a universal human one, and everyone should read this book.”

–Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes

“Sarah Kurchak speaks up eloquently for herself and for others who share her neurodivergent situation...Kurchak is profane, smart, irreverent, honest and brave as she teaches us important lessons, and all these qualities make for an enjoyable, albeit often challenging read. Her comments on vaccination debates and autism alone are worth the price of admission. Highly recommended.”

–Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun

“There are a few reasons why I'm completely in love with his book...1. Sarah communicates as much as possible with a view on intersectionality. She lets the reader know all along the way, how her privilege and personal experiences impact her view, and reminds us not to see her as anything more than one of many autistic voices that NEED to be heard…. 5. This isn't a textbook about autism. It's a memoir about a person who has autism. It opens up vital conversations, but it's also just a genuinely good read.”

–Sarah Cotnam, GoodReads.com

“An inherently fascinating, engaging, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking personal account of a life lived with the condition of autism,...especially intimate, detailed, and informative—making it unreservedly recommended for both community and college/university library…”

–Margaret Lane, Midwest Book Review

“...a superb ‘autobiography’...equally poignant and entertaining...it weaves together humorous anecdotes, jagged honesty and occasionally painful amounts of self-awareness. For me, as an autistic woman, it provided a rare chance to feel seen and understood.”

–Sara Luterman, SpectrumNews.org

“...piercing, intriguing and witty...Bitingly humorous, insightful and candid. The book acts as a channel for the reader to learn about autism as an identity and a neurology. Kurchak offers a balanced view on autism research and the need to expand it. I am optimistic about the level of interest in Kurchak’s book, now and in the longer-term, and genuinely encouraged by her arrival on the landscape as an openly autistic writer, skilled at and determined to be a perceptive trailblazer with a razor-sharp sense of humour.”

–Wanda Deschamps, CharityReport.com

 

Details


Douglas & McIntyre
ISBN: 9781771622462
Paperback / softback
5.5 in x 8.5 in - 240 pp
Publication Date: 02/04/2020
BISAC Subject(s): BIO026000-BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs,PSY022020-PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Autism Spectrum Disorders,BIO022000-BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women