First and foremost let me start this by saying that I hope you’re all well. I hope you’re safe. I hope you’re healthy. What a wild world we’re living in right now. (Also…congrats to BC for doing an amazing job at flattening the curve – Dr. Bonnie Henry is my hero).
I have had many people emailing, messaging and texting me to check in on my son. If you’re unsure of our history – he has severe anxiety – and yes, it’s severe, I’m not being overly dramatic. He battles massive panic attacks and he fights his mental illnesses like a true warrior. He’s also my hero.
Here’s what I’d like you to know: My son is living his best life. He’s relaxed. He’s silly. He’s super funny. It’s as if his anxiety has disappeared (I assure you it hasn’t – it’s laying in wait, of this I’m certain).
Sure, he misses his friends and all his activities but the anxiety level in him has gone waaaaay down. I haven’t seen his tongue move side to side or his feet marching (two signs of him battling anxiety) for weeks and weeks.
Our self-isolation started with a lot of anger from him and I understand that. You see, we had a trip to Hawaii planned (leaving March 15) and since January I’ve said to him “Buddy, all we gotta do is make it to March 15th and then we’ll get a break. We just gotta hang in until then and then we’ll leave and take a breath”.
How the hell could I know there’d be a pandemic?! But – he was angry with me – so angry. “You said all I had to do was make it to March 15!”. On repeat. Yikes. It was not awesome. But, he quickly got over his anger (quicker than me – I was pretty damn upset myself) when he learned that by staying home we were helping others.
“So, we’re like superheroes?”, he said.
What an awesome way to look at it. Kids are the best.
No school (middle school is hard). No sports (sports are hard). No anxiety.
Anxiety is at an all-time low. Have you checked in with your high-anxiety friends? I wonder if they’re feeling the same. Because it certainly seems that although people are concerned about COVID-19 – by self-isolating and taking care of themselves and others – well, anxiety for some is down, down, down.
I’ve recently learned to try to find the silver lining in all the bad that goes on in my life – some days that is hard. COVID-19 is awful, horrible and has put our entire world in an initial state of panic but now (at least a lot of us) in a state of camaraderie. My silver lining to this horrible pandemic? I get to see and experience my son in a state of no anxiety. It’s different. Amazing. And I’m holding on to him in this state as long as I can.
He’s resting. He’s reading. He’s playing with his Dad and sister. He’s silly and he makes us laugh. He loves family time. He still pushes his sister’s damn buttons – but hey – #siblinglife.
Thanks for checking in. Thanks for asking. My son is doing well and our family is safe and healthy. If you have a loved one that battles anxiety, I wonder if your experience is the same? I certainly hope so – because it’s a beautiful silver lining.