I’ve talked about it a little bit, but I’ve been battling anxiety for most of my life. It’s not just a little nervousness or healthy fear, it’s full-on, debilitating, makes my life stop anxiety. It is truly an illness.
I’ve tried dealing with it on my own, talking to my family doctor, seeing a psychiatrist, and taking medication. It’s taken years to find the right combination that works for me, but I finally feel like I’m in a pretty good place, and that it doesn’t rule my life.
(*Please note that I am not a doctor, so if you think you have anxiety, please find a professional to help you. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.)
One of my biggest fears as a mother is that my children will have to deal with this condition. Unfortunately, I’ve already had some indications that they may.
Now, this may seem like a strange way to start a post on what I’m thankful for this week, but I think it will make sense soon enough. So, on that note, here is 1 big thing about anxiety and 4 other things that made me happy and proud this week.
Big C has been going through some separation anxiety lately. He’s not exactly afraid to leave me, but he’s afraid of a lot of people being in a place and that he’ll get lost. He wants his brother to stay near him and “not lose me.”
He gets teary, his heart races, and I can see the worry in his face before we go somewhere he thinks will be a lot of people. It happened last week at soccer, and it happened again this week before childcare at the gym. It just breaks my heart to see him so scared and sad.
However, I think we’ve made a little breakthrough!
We talked all week about him going to soccer again. I told him that I would watch him the whole time, wear a bright color so he could see me, dress him in a bright color so I could see him, and make Little P stay near him. I promised him I would not lose him, and I also promised him a new train if he participated and didn’t cry the whole time. I’m not above a little bribery.
I could see the worried look in his face when we got to soccer yesterday. I kept reassuring him, but I knew he was anxious. He did start the practice with Little P, ran the first warm up lap, but on the way back, he was crying as he was running. My poor big guy.
So, I went and stood with him, did the warm up with him, and stayed with him until they split up in groups. He started to enjoy himself, I could see the anxiety leaving his body, and he even let me leave to get his brother a snack from the car. Of course, Dad was there still watching, but we made progress!
The rest of the time, he was actually smiling and having fun. He did an obstacle course twice, kicked the ball around, and did the cool down. Afterwards, I told him how proud I was of him, and he got his new train.
It may just be a phase, and it may not be over, but I am so happy that we’re making some progress.
I rarely go out these days. Between all of our scheduled activities and just daily life, I’m pretty exhausted most nights. Even though I don’t like to admit it, my anxiety also plays a role in me skipping events sometimes.
However, this week I got some much-needed mommy conversation and time out.
It actually started last Friday. Even though it was work-related, I went over to my bosses house to work on choreography for our upcoming showcase. It was fun to bounce ideas off each other, and we also talked about our kids and just life.
I also went to my book club on Tuesday night, and it was so nice to sit in a room with a bunch of smart, funny ladies. Plus, there was wine. And I actually read the book!
At soccer, once Mr. C was OK, I also got to talk to my good friend and neighbor, whose kids both play soccer too. Even though we live across the street, the kids are always around, so we have to grab moments to talk whenever they are distracted for a minute or two.
I’ve been overwhelmed with gratitude for all the people who have stepped up to support us and donate to the March of Dimes on behalf of our family team. The March for Babies is coming up tomorrow, and we’ve almost raised $1000.
While it’s not as much money as we raised last year, every dollar counts when you are trying to help babies.
If you’d still like to donate, please click HERE. I’ll even send you a t-shirt if you donate $25 or more.
I was contacted by a fellow blogger earlier in the week. She does a series called “Community Over Competition” and wanted me to participate.
I was super excited to be featured, especially since it focused on our work with the March of Dimes. The response I got from her, her readers, and other bloggers has been amazing and made me feel so good.
Please check out Short Sweet Mom and my post HERE. Thank you so much Tiffany!
I’ve also become part of a blogging group called The Peaceful Posse. It’s run by 3 amazing bloggers who I’ve been following for a while. They are so genuine, smart, and funny. You can check out Lyndsey’s Blog The Flynnigans, Charlotte’s blog My Pixie Blog, and Chrissy’s blog The Brave Wanderer. It has been such a supportive and encouraging group. If you’re a blogger, and want to connect with some awesome people, you can check out their page HERE.
This group and three ladies are what have inspired these Friday Posts!
Routine Life Stuff
We are finally done with sickness, everyone is back in the swing of school, and I’m back to my gym schedule. It feels great to be back on track, getting things done, and not taking trips to Urgent Care.
I’m making a dent in our massive laundry pile, I’m going to start planning the twins’ 5th birthday (How the HECK did that happen?!) and we’re Marching for Babies tomorrow.
We played in the rain, lined up trains, and I didn’t buy all the Easter clearance at Target.
Plus, Vampire Diaries. I’m obsessed. That is all.
Hope you had a wonderful week. If you have any questions for me about my battles with anxiety, please feel free to ask in the comments. I’m also planning a post to share more.
Beth Kondrick says
Anxiety is such a bi*&h. I have dealt with it most of my life too. I am glad you have found what works for you, I am also in a pretty good place with mine as well. I’m glad you’ve also had a breakthrough with your son. And I love our Peaceful Posse group too!
Shann Eva says
Agreed. Thank you so much Beth!
First, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the shoutout to the group. It seriously means so much to me to see how supportive everyone has been and kind and encouraging. I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful place and it’s lovely to see you help to spread the word <3
Second… My goodness, well, you know I can relate. I have been dealing with anxiety for the past few years, and mine tends to be social anxiety (amplified by feeling enclosed in spaces or when there are so many people in one spot). I'm sorry that you are going through this too but hope that opening up about your battles helps. That's sometimes how I cope, too. I feel like simply releasing it and letting it out there kind of helps to reduce the stigma a little (and maybe normalize the experience, if that makes sense).
Awww, the separation anxiety. I'm sure that's just as difficult for the parent as it is for the child. You are such a wonderful and compassionate mommy, and I hope that maybe having anxiety helps you relate to your child in a way you may not be able to without. Obviously it's not something I wish on anyone, but as he grows older, he will appreciate these moments that you stuck by him in soccer practice, because you "got it" in a way that some people may not 🙂
XOXO sending so much love your way.
Shann Eva says
Thank you so much Charlotte. I know you get it too. Sending love right back at you!
Julie Scott Thorne says
My 11 year old has dealt with a lot of anxiety…so I can empathize! But yay for breakthroughs!
Shann Eva says
Thank you Julie!
Shann Eva says
I’m so glad you were able to get help!
Shann Eva says
Thank you so much!
Shann Eva says
Thank you so much, Kim.
Eli J. Pacheco says
I know so little about it, but I wonder what meditation could do to help with anxiety. I know it’s quieted my mind quite a bit since I began a couple of years ago. Little victories on the soccer field, too – they come in all varieties. I think it’s awesome to have that outlet for your boy, that opportunity to face a fear and begin to make progress on it. Glad to be in the PP with you!
Shann Eva says
Thank you so much Eli! Same here!
Lindsay @ The Flynnigans says
Awww, his little teary face breaks me up. Poor little soul. 🙁 Anxiety is no joke and it always saddens me when I read about people’s lives and how they deal/cope. You’re such a good Momma, I think because you know first hand what it’s like to live with anxiety, it makes you more compassionate, patient and understanding. <3
So glad to hear that your house is free of sickness. Hallejuiah!! Its nice that you were able to get out for some down time, too. 🙂
Thanks for the lovely shout out, you're awesome babe.
Have an amazing week hun. xo