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Allison Raskin is a writer, creator and former BuzzFeed personality. She is best known for her YouTube series “Just Between Us” with her best friend Gaby Dunn. Allison is about to launch Gossip, a fictionalized comedic podcast soap opera with Midroll. She recently co-wrote the New York Times best-selling book “I Hate Everyone But You.” We had a chance to catch up with her to chat about life, work and mental health.
Describe yourself in three words
Driven. Silly. Controlling?
You’ve been very open with your mental health struggles. What prompted you to do this and how has it influenced your work?
It never occurred to me not to be open about it. Growing up my dad thought it would negatively impact my career if I let people know I was “crazy.” Instead, it’s been the heart of everything I do. It obviously helps I’m not in a traditional field.
What do you think are the most common misconceptions about OCD?
That is should make sense. So many times I’ll do something “gross” and people will counter with, “Don’t you have O.C.D.? How can you do that?” They’re expecting a mental illness to be rational. But it’s the opposite. Everyone’s struggles look different. I like to call it the grab-bag of mental illness.
You are an author, actress, blogger, podcaster and YouTuber. How do you stay relaxed while being so busy?
Medication. My dog. I also get my work done as fast as possible. It’s hard to worry about work while you’re working.
How do you deal with roadblocks?
I cry and then I move on. It helps to always have a lot of irons in the fire so one failure doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
What is your proudest moment?
This is tough to choose. But a few months ago I wrote a blog for Mental Health Awareness Month and my mom’s best friend shared excerpts from it during an important lecture at a psychology conference. She said it was very helpful for therapists to hear. Also, on September 5th, 2017 my novel came out AND I was Wiki-feet of the day. That’s hard to beat.
A surprising fact about you?
I smell my dog’s yawns. There. I said it.
What’s next for you?
A lot of writing! Working on the podcast, writing a feature, keeping up the channel. I’m shopping a few TV projects this year so hopefully one will go somewhere! If not, I will do my best to remain calm. Although I can’t make any promises. Life’s a journey!
Photo by Robin Roemer