Anxious

Hi. My name is Emily, and I’m a thinker. And a worrier. And a people pleaser. And a shit show. And a bitch…not all the time, but sometimes. 

I’m not really sure what the point of this story is, but I have found that getting thoughts out of my head and into words can be very therapeutic, so this is really just a way for me to clear some space in my brain so I can better retain baseball statistics 😉

A friend of mine recently posted a rambling blog about her anxiety (thank you Lana), and I hung on every word, identifying with every single thing she said. It made me feel so normal to know that someone else had these feelings of apprehension and anxiousness when–to everyone around them–it seemed to be the complete opposite. 

And cue the bitch. Here I am finding comfort in someone else’s struggle because it’s similar to mine. So what does that make me? A crazy bitch who wants other people to feel crazy too so I’m not alone in this crazy bitch game??? I mean, I really hope not, but it’s definitely a possibility 😉

And then I had my son’s year-end conference at school. My kid (Henry) is killing kindergarten. I’m so proud. The only concern his teacher expressed was how Henry wants so badly to master every task on his own, without help. And if he doesn’t, he feels like he has failed. I hurt just thinking about what his sweet, 6-year-old heart must be going through. I mean, I’m 40, and I still don’t know how to deal with it. 

We’ve seen it in him for awhile. He gets up at 5:45 in the morning because he doesn’t want to be late for school. If we leave the house at 7:32 instead of 7:30, his wheels are completely shot off for the rest of the day. 

To be honest, I haven’t known exactly how to deal with it. We do our best not to coddle in our house. There are consequences for actions, and we preach that life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. But I also want my kids to be able to feel safe with their feelings. And deciphering between a pouty kid and a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed can be a fine line. 

And this is what I have come away with. Henry is me. The little girl that slept on top of her covers in her school clothes so she wouldn’t have to waste time getting dressed and making her bed in the morning so she could be on time for school. The little girl who never wanted to fail at anything because she didn’t want to disappoint anyone. And now, the grown ass woman who can’t just be still and whose mind rarely stops racing.

As his mom, I just want to do the right by him, even though I don’t exactly know what that looks like. I want him to know that it’s ok to strive for perfection, but I also want him to know that there is no way in hell that’s ever going to happen. And that’s ok. It’s more than ok. That’s just life–for him and all of us.

I want him to be able to talk to me about his fears and his insecurities. I want him to embrace his weaknesses so he can learn from them and be stronger for it. I want him to know that his mom is a giant shit show, still trying to figure this thing out at every turn too. I want him to mean well and do good, knowing that sometimes intentions don’t always mirror execution. 

Above all else, I just don’t want him to feel alone. So if I have to remind him every day that he got this crazy from his mama, that’s what I’m gonna do. Because if nothing else, I hope he’ll find some comfort in knowing he comes by it honestly.

Henry and his kindergarten teacher, Mr. D.

6 thoughts on “Anxious

  1. DFWTOAXA

    Em,

    You are obviously hitting it out of the park as a mom, because all these concerns weigh on your mind. I can relate because I am crazy too, with OCD. If I don’t always do more, I come down on myself. I need to give myself a break. Because of your overachieving-self, you are who you are today – which is fabulous. Hopefully sweet Henry can learn to take a deep breath, give himself a break, and enjoy the moment.

    I always wonder if my parents knew what awesome parents they were. I bet one day Henry wonders the same about you.

    Reply
  2. Wendi Van...

    Just today a few of my co-workers and myself were talking about how almost every one of us in that office are treated for anxiety. To give you a picture of this conversation you have 11 women, one male, ranging from the ages of 73 to 21. Most of the women beside myself and 2 others, have worked at this University for 30+ years. I also have 2 student workers, one of which, a male, also admitted to being treated for anxiety.
    We have a problem when being anxious is the norm.

    I turn 40 this year, and I’m fighting off my first case of the shingles…caused by reduced immunities and the surpressed virus…low immunities caused by anxiety that has rocked my world this year.

    Today as an office we discussed how we express our anxiety with unending tears, uncontrollable mood swings, and even cleaning to the point of “nesting”. Yes, that’s me. I cleaned every closet, room and even my back yard to the point of insanity because my eldest daughter graduated from high school this last weekend.

    But that’s what we can do about. We can talk about it. I’ve talked about my crazy with my 3 teenage daughters. I talk about it daily with my husband so that he doesn’t run away from the crazy in this 20th year of marriage. I talk about it with my co workers. Yes, that sounds way too vulnerable for a professional setting. But isn’t that what we should be? Transparent.

    I choose to be transparent. Keep the conversation open. So that my children know their mom is a bit off kilter and it’s okay if they turn out that way too. So that my co-workers know when I’m having a rough time so that they know when to steer clear of me. So that the students around me daily know it’s okay to be exposed in this fashion because if we all bottle it all in we are all just a bunch of pressurized bottles awaiting to explode.

    In reality, we can show empathy to one another without having shame about this weakness. Let’s be real. Let’s be transparent. Let’s be bat shit crazy together.

    Reply
  3. Mike Harper

    Such good stuff, Emily. Thank you for sharing your stuff so others can know they’re not alone, and see that their stuff can be handled…not perfectly, but handled. I think lots and lots of moms can identify with your struggle, and also benefit from your stories. Don’t stop writing.

    Reply

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