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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!**