I have known for a while now that I have high anxiety. A couple of years ago I mentioned it to my doctor. She prescribed some medicine and we scheduled a follow up appointment for a couple weeks later to check in on how it was working. I never took the medicine. I convinced myself that the timing wasn’t right. And that the side effects would make me tired, and perhaps hinder my work performance. When the follow up appointment came, I (somewhat) jokingly asked if there was an anti-anxiety medicine for people who were too anxious to take anti-anxiety medicines. The joke didn’t land and we sat in silence for a couple of seconds.
Lately, I’ve been a bit more observant of the anxiety triggers. And there are many. Something as mundane as getting gas. Insert your card, keep card inserted, REMOVE CARD RAPIDLY!!! Gets me every time. And if I happen to pull up to a pump which has both gas and diesel….My god. What a roller coaster that is.
My oldest son is also anxious. I worry that I have projected that onto him. He’s only 4 and seems to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders at times. A few weeks ago we went to a party with other families. We were all playing outside and a little girl asked my son to get in a wagon. I, needlessly frantic, spoke up and said “oh no! Hold on, Hold on! Let me make sure its not wet in there first!” I approached the wagon and this 6 year old girl, looked up at me, and with the most unrestrained, rational and impulsive voice said “it’s ok…”
And it was ok. Even if it was wet. It was ok. Even if he got covered in mud. It was ok. All of it, whatever happened with that wagon, everything would’ve been ok.
A six year old inadvertently changed my thought process. She put my parenting into perspective. She made me pause, breath, evaluate. And I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I’m going to buy her a pony.