Anxiety

I’ll never for­get it. The day the phar­ma­cist asked me twice, if I knew how old my daugh­ter was.

Didn’t he know this was one of the hard­est things we have done as parents.

With every ques­tion it felt as salt was being poured into a paper cut.

 

 

Just ear­lier that morn­ing my hus­band and I sat face to face with the Dr..

We had to swal­low our pride as par­ents and ask her how to help our seven-year old.

It’s not an easy thing to admit you had no idea how to help your child who was suf­fer­ing from anxiety.

The anx­i­ety had been got­ten so bad she could only respond out of anger.

A nor­mal response.

 

 

I know how old my daugh­ter is, please just fill it”.

Okay, but I have to call the Dr. first”.

 

 

I nod­ded.

I had lit­er­ally had just walked out of the Dr.‘s office.

My legs felt like dead weights

No one pre­pares you for that.

No one pre­pares you for the looks and the sighs and the questions.

No one pre­pares you for the nights you won­der if you are doing this par­ent­ing gig right.

If you’ve made the right choices for your child.

And no one pre­pares you for the talks you have with God, the ugly ones.

No one pre­pares you for all the emo­tions that you walk through when your child is suffering.

 

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I could tell when I saw her sit­ting on the gym floor that some­thing wasn’t right.

That she was hold­ing in tears.

She would act as if she was okay but once we got into the car she would tell

me about a lit­tle girl who would push her.

We would talk about what she did and what the teacher did.

For weeks this girl would hit or push Elyse.

It was around this time that we noticed that Elyse’s anx­i­ety was to

the point that it was par­a­lyz­ing her.

Anx­i­ety and worry and fear and depres­sion, all those things  can do that.

It can crip­ple you, to the point where you can’t put another foot in front of you.

It’s just that no one can see what is keep­ing you from walk­ing forward.

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I debated for the longest time if I should give her the medicine.

It made me sick to my stom­ach to have give her some­thing to help ease her anxiety.

Wasn’t I enough? Couldn’t I as her mom, help her?

All ques­tions I strug­gled with.

Maybe you know this all too well and are strug­gling right now with this.

Can I take your hand and whis­per in your ear that you are an amaz­ing parent.

It takes amaz­ing to say I don’t know what to do.

It takes amaz­ing to say help us.

 

And no mat­ter what any­one says, you don’t need more faith.

I’ll repeat that.

You don’t need more faith.

My old­est has severe asthma. I don’t tell her to pray more. To read her bible more.

I make sure she has her inhaler on her at all times.

I take her to the Dr. when she is hav­ing trou­ble breathing.

I’ve changed her diet and given her supplements.

I do what­ever it takes to help her con­trol her asthma.

Why is hav­ing a child with anx­i­ety or depres­sion or any­thing else any different?

Just today, I told Elyse that she is doing an amaz­ing job con­trol­ling her anx­i­ety and I know she is work­ing hard to over­come it.

I asked her what she has been doing and then I asked her if I could share it with you.

 

She says when she feels an anx­i­ety attack com­ing on, she takes deep breaths.

She says that she tries to find the source of where it is com­ing from.

Say for instance if she is anx­ious about a test, she will ask her­self what is the worse thing that could happen?

And if the worse thing hap­pens, then what will she do?

She says that most of the time the worse thing that will hap­pen really isn’t a big deal.

 

Over the years we lis­tened hard and looked deep to see what trig­gers her anxiety.

 

Bul­ly­ing was the top trig­ger and as par­ents we took huge mea­sures with the schools in gen­eral and to make sure that this girl would never be in a class with her.

There are some trig­gers as par­ents we need to fight for.

We need to stand up and make sure this trig­ger doesn’t hap­pen again.

 

Com­pe­ti­tions are another one.

One that she didn’t want to give up. And we agreed.

We learned and she com­mu­ni­cated that her being alone and lis­ten­ing to music helps her anx­i­ety before get­ting on the ice.

THIS WAS HARD FOR ME. This was hard for me to let go and not be there but I know this is what helps her.

Being respect­ful and trust­ing your child knows  deep inside what helps them.

It’s pow­er­ful.

 

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Being late and not pre­pared is another trigger.

She found that hav­ing her out­fit and back­pack ready in the morn­ing helps ease any anxiety.

To start the day off smoothly helps tremendously.

 

Feel­ing as she must be per­fect to be loved and wor­thy. Is some­thing she strug­gles with and causes anx­i­ety if she feels she is less than or that she has failed.

She knows that closer she is with God , the more she can com­bat that lie that says she has to prove her­self worthy.

She has mem­o­rized her favorite scrip­tures,  she will repeat over and over  when she is feel­ing the need to per­form or when anx­i­ety is close to the surface.

 

And jour­nal­ing.

It was one of our first step in help­ing her with her anxiety.

When she was young and couldn’t get the words out or express her­self she would art journal.

 

And the last one. It’s hard for this mom.

Know­ing when she needs to work through a sit­u­a­tion and not com­ing to the res­cue every time.

Know­ing that I can not save her from every situation.

Know­ing that she has to grow and strug­gle some­times to learn.

It’s not easy but is needed.

 

 

Notes from my journal:

 

I dropped her off on the first day of school. A new school, twice the size of her last school.

Her big sis­ter was talk­ing some calm­ness into her soul.

Reas­sur­ing her only as a big sis­ter can. I’m so thank­ful she has a big sister.

But she still got out of the car in tears.My heart shat­tered watch­ing her walk in.

One part of me wanted to grab her hand and take her back home. The other part of me told me it was good for her to go, to take the power she knows to help her with her anxiety.

It was the worse moment, this torn mothering.

All day I paced the kitchen, cook­ing what­ever I could to pass the time.

I was the first car in the school pick up lane. I didn’t want her to wait another sec­ond if it was a hard day. Did we take her off her med­i­cine too soon? Is this too much for her?

And then I saw her walk­ing out. All smiles. Thank you Lord!!

 

 

** Friend. If you find that you or your child is strug­gling please go and seek pro­fes­sional help. There is noth­ing wrong with going and ask­ing for help. In fact, in doing so you are show­ing us that you are amazing!!**

 

 

 

 

 

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