About the Author and the Book

About the author

Nena Anne Sorensen is a writer and an illustrator who lives in one of the more geographically isolated cities in the world. At times, due to anxiety, she has felt herself to also be personally isolated. In the early 1990s she studied at the Claremont School of Art and has been creating in some form ever since.

Although Nena has lived with anxiety and an inferiority complex for much of her life, she has transformed her need for order and specificity into a successful career as an IT consultant. Thriving in spite of obstacles, Nena is learning to live in harmony with her Little Chicken and hopes that this book will help others to do the same.

About the book

Living with Little Chicken is an illustrated book about what it is to suffer anxiety and what can be learnt from it. Little chicken is to anxiety as the Black Dog is to depression.

Living with Little Chicken illustrates that it is OK for people to talk about how they are feeling, that ‘anxiety’ is not a dirty word that people should be ashamed of.

Little Chicken helps to give people the sense that they are not alone, that how they are feeling is OK. Readers are encouraged to communicate better with themselves and others, and that will allow themselves and others to be exactly as they are, in the moment. This conversation may happen naturally when people pick up and read the book.

Through describing the many aspects to anxiety the book can show the reader that they can be in a bad mood and still move forward, it is just one part of who they are at that time. Following the experiences of Little Chicken the reader learns to develop their own little sayings that can help put Little Chicken in its place.

Living with Little Chicken tells us when things don’t feel that great:

  • Feel the fear and do it anyway.
  • This too will pass.
  • Just keep moving forward, one step at a time.

What the author wishes for the reader

“I want people to be comfortable admitting they live with anxiety, because it is not something to be ashamed of. There have been times in my life where I have been bullied because of it which made me feel ashamed, but now I know this is not right, and now I can stand up and do something about it.”

“I wanted the book to be written simply so that it could be popped in a handbag and pulled out when needed, or by the bed and used to reflect on the day. You may not get awareness straight away, so having the book there to reflect back on the day can be very helpful. The ultimate aim is to encourage a connection with these feelings, until you become aware of the feelings and connect with them right there in the moment.”

“When I started to learn to live with Little Chicken and started using mindful practice, the days seemed so dark because it wasn’t easy to just accept the way I was feeling. I felt BAD, and then in turn I would push the BAD feelings down, I certainly did not want to accept them, they felt wrong. There was a constant hum of fear and I could not put my finger on it, but it was there all the time. I now know this was because I was not letting my feelings be, I was trying to control them. When I finally understood this I was on the road to recovery.”

“When I am sad, if I let it, it will pass into something else. Now sometimes when I am feeling particularly lonely I do my best Bridget Jones impersonation and sing Celine Dion’s ‘All By Myself’ with a glass of wine in my hand aka Bridget Jones’s Diary, 2001. Sometimes it’s just a good time to have a bloody good cry and damn it, it is OK to have a pity party and sing badly.”

Nena Anne Sorensen (2013)

Getting to know your own little chicken

Living with Little Chicken encourages anxiety-sufferers that it is OK to feel the way they are feeling. Living with Little Chicken reminds you, “…as always, however you are feeling is okay, because this is how you are feeling. Allow things to be exactly as you find them, exactly as you are in this moment. And like all feelings, this too will pass.”

Living with Little Chicken is passionate about helping others connect and learn to live with their own Little Chicken by showing them that it is OK to have a bad day, that they don’t have to be ‘happy’ all the time. There are so many other great emotions out there that all have their place. Starting to learn to feel OK with being sad or feeling down does not mean you are a bad person or a failure.

The idea behind Living with Little Chicken is to help people connect and accept whatever they might be feeling, to accept that not every day is sunshine and rainbows. It is OK to have a bad day, but the book is also there to give them ideas about how to get through those days in an accepting way.

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