What My 9 Year Old Taught Me About Anxiety

It started as a slight scratching, almost an itching, in the back of my head. Nothing I did made me content. I couldn’t watch TV, I can’t read my favorite books, nothing is able to entertain me. There is always this nagging feeling that there is something else that I could, and should, be doing. That feeling lessens when I write, but it’s still there, relentless, ever present. This itching, scratching, nagging feeling that won’t ever go away completely, but that I can never ever let be in control.

As I write this I hear “life just isn’t fair sometimes Daddy” come from my 9 year old daughter and my heart tightens even further. My daughter should be concerned with how to catch a unicorn, not learning already that life is hard and you need to be a survivor to get through it.

Being a mother at the same time as being both a physically and mentally disabled individual is not in anyway and easy path that allows unicorns to go skipping down it’s paths. Being a mother who has severe anxiety who has a daughter who has unfortunately inherited her severe anxiety and having it manifest already at the tender age of 9 is a path that is so hard it is ½ flooded with tears.

“Grab your sweater, it’s cold outside” is a sentence most easily understood by a 9 year old. Unfortunately, it is not true of mine. If i do not specify exactly which sweater, down to the color and embellishments on it, she will spend 10 minutes thinking about which sweater would be the right one for the day. So, any child who needs this type of special mothering deserves a mother who can be the best mother in the world, because they deserve it. Instead – my kiddo got me. A PTSD survivor who is anxiety ridden with GAD and bipolar disorder, without getting into my physical limitations and disabilities.

My daughter is perfect. She is the best thing that has ever happened to this world. She just happens to have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and ADHD. Her conditions are not her person. Her diagnosis does not make up who she is as a person. My daughter is an amazing beacon of what is good and worth living for in this world. And suddenly, the nagging scratching itching in the back of my head lessens again.

For by thinking about my daughter and seeing her for all that she is has made me look at myself differently. I am not my diagnosis either – i am more than my conditions. I am a woman who is strong, and caring and would do anything – anything – for her wonderful daughter, Suddenly , looking at my little girl has allowed me to truly see more than her – she has allowed me to finally see all of me that is also good and caring as well. She has made me see me for me.


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