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June


To me, to you, to me. Friday June 30, 2017

My son suffers anxiety. I'm trying to help him smash that wall. I suffer anxiety. I have built a life around it. I have, rightly or wrongly, built a life to accommodate it. When my three caterpillars have grown fully (and they are almost there) and spread their butterfly wings and fly, I will confront some of it but until then, I am ok with having built my life around it.

In my life, nobody knows. I act. First thing today when my boy was hurting so much, after we parted, I sent him a text message. He loves to stay in touch. After I sent it, I realised I needed to heed my own advice. Here's what I sent:

"It is an intense time right now. You've not got much time to process everything and that is what you need to stay healthy inside your head. Processing time will come, and we must take it in little bites when we can. You've done it before and you'll do it again. What is for you doesn't go by you. If it's meant, it happens anyway, just at a different time. I'm here for you."

He came home better and made choices in his day which could put me to shame! It's time I take my own advice. This is a good example of being kind to yourself, a phrase I have long not understood. I can be kind to myself by hearing my own words and applying them to myself.

Inspired by our lovely Leah, I will leave you with a question. What might you say to my son that might also apply to yourself? Absorbing your own message is being kind to yourself. I'm learning.

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

LP Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 1:55am

Such a beautiful message ratg. What a lovely mum.
I would say pretty much the same as you. We can't be expected to do everything perfectly all at once. Take your time, one thing at a time and leave it to the natural course of things for things to work out how you want.
I might add have fun!

It's so good to hear that you have started on the path of self kindness and care ratg.
I am so mixed up at the moment.
I have had to take time out to do all the extra things that have been asked for at work on top of the day to day things and guess what? I got two more things from people who should know better and two from my regulars. Sorry to be so negative, I'm just putting my confusion into context.
On the one hand I took the time I needed and spoke out about it fully and clearly.
On the other, I still literally spent all day trying to catch up and don't feel able to stop till Ive caught up.
So I've neglected my basic needs in order for work not to pile up.
I wasn't there ( physically) for my teenage daughter today either because I was obsessing about getting people to stop dumping on me at work.
I can give kindness and compassion to others but find it hard to give to myself especially when stress is being piled on at work.
Late night, over thinking, over working still going...
The little half steps I took were calling work to take time out to catch up a bit, saying why I couldn't be taxi today and managing to pop out for some healthy food a little fresh air and change of scenery.
Here's to us all taking our half steps.
Thanks to you and your son who sounds great ratg. LP xx

Bearofliddlebrain Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 7:05am

Aw LP..you are so kind to others, but not always to yourself: think of the oxygen mask on an aeroplane...you put your own on first before helping others, cos if you don't, you may not be able to help anyone at all. Good for your taking some time out and getting some fresh air. Maybe something to remember to say when others try to dump their work on you is to say 'Well, I'd like to help, but I'm afraid it's not going to happen today. I may be able to help in (then think of a realistic time slot: a few days, a week, a month) then say nothing. Zero. Nada. Zilch! Let them figure out what they should be doing...after all, it's their work. Or if you really know you have to help, ask them to help you finish what you are doing first! It's a hard lesson for us to learn, but we people pleasers have to learn it. Bear hugs x

LP Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 7:28am

Yay! Hellooo Bear Hugs! :)) Thank you, so true oxygen mask at the ready today! I might rock up to the next staff meeting wearing one! ;)) in actual fact remember remembering to belly breathe is probably not such a bad idea! I might get a little bear keyring too! How are you doing ? Xxx

Bearofliddlebrain Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 7:39am

I'm grand thank you LP! New puppy causing havoc and keeping spirits up! ;) like the sound of your traffic lights and key rings! If you get a traffic light or Bear one...I hope they'll be good reminders xxxx

LP Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 7:22am

Ps sorry about the wee hour gloom ratg! :)
After some sleep I have woken up to a quiet blue sky with soft fluffy white clouds gently drifting by, reminding me that it's a new day with new possibilities. There are wood pigeons and parakeets going about their day!
I had to check my own blog for my own advice! I'd perhaps tell your son that I've had the idea to remember it like traffic lights or a pelican crossing (even a no entry sign :) he can choose or make a reminder up of his own).
What do you want? To cross the road (maybe there's something good on the other side! The sign for that could be bigger better and brighter than a boring old stop sign! :)
1. Red - Stop and let the worries pass ( the word even looks like lorries!)
2. Amber/flashing - Look, listen and relax/while you wait. Keep focussed, looking and listening, let traffic pass.
3 Green - Go, its clear to cross, but keep looking and listening As you cross.

4 (favourite colour or all clear) = Enjoy! :)

Practice makes things better. I might even look out for a little traffic light keyring, but maybe it's not that cool! How old is he?

A day of gentle self care, mindfully letting worries drift pass. Will try! :) LP xxx

Bearofliddlebrain Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 7:22am

RATG...What a lovely, kind Mum you are! How you cope with your son's anxiety as well as your own is amazing. You say the right things to one so young, who is coping with all that life throws at him, he will never forget these messages of hope.
I have said to my daughter 'What is right for you won't pass you by...it just might not be the right time for you and 'it' at the moment.'
I've also used something similar with food, especially those fussy eaters who have come for tea with daughter - 'try it. If you don't like it now, you might another time when your taste buds have changed....or you might miss out on something delicious!'
I also like putting messages in daughter's bag, even though she is all grown up, a little message helps on a hard at work!
Bear hugs x

Eva Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 7:53am

Hey bear, good to see you, and to hear about your puppy, hope you are having lots of good romps

Eva Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 7:47am

Hi ratg, I would say read this "How to Master Anxiety: All You Need to Know to Overcome Stress, Panic Attacks, Trauma, Phobias, Obsessions and More (Human Givens Approach)" it helped me to understand and move on from the anxiety and panic attacks that were ruling my life. It's not long, it's easy to read, it has examples both with very young people and adults.

Eva Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 7:48am

Oh, and then I would go and re-create it, if I hadn't just lent it out again... :)

Eva Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 7:49am

Re-read d*mn predictive text!

David Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 8:18am

Keep Calm and go for a walk it will go away with time.

Jul Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 8:26am

Hello ratg. Why is it always so much easier to give advice to others rather then ourselves? We draw on our own experiences to help others who suffer from the same anxiety etc as we do. I am not terribly good either at accepting or acting on advice from others except from Moodscopers (true!). You did so well texting that lovely meaningful message to you son with obvious benefits as he came home in a much better place from what you say. I think the advice I would give is "be yourself" and "express yourself" ("Don't repress yourself" to quote Madonna). I'll have to think on this some more. Love Julxx

Marmaladegirl Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 9:14am

Dear RATG - Your blog felt very relevant to me, so thank you for writing it. For me, I know WHAT to do to help myself, but I don't DO it (not enough anyway). Both my daughters (one soon to be 17 and t'other 18 years old) have anxiety and depression. One missed the whole of Year 11 because her anxiety levels were so high she couldn't leave the house. Her older sister has more drastic behaviour that it would benefit no one for me to describe here. I wish I had suggestions based on my experience... I'm not sure I have anything better to say to your son than what you said yourself, "I'm here for you". I tell my girls I love them; I tell them we can get through this; I tell them to take it one small step at a time - get through this hour, get to lunch time... I tell them they CAN do it; they WILL get through it. And lo! at the end of the day, we're all still here, so there's PROOF we can do it. MG xxx

Tutti Frutti Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 9:39am

Hi RATG
What you said to your son sounds great and what's more it worked so just go with your instincts on this one. I have a teenage daughter. To be honest she's a fairly happy soul who isn't particularly angst ridden at the moment. So when you asked what do I say I thought more of my god daughter who has been having a much tougher time (GCSEs apart from anything else). Didn't know what to say to her but you have prompted me to email her mum to catch up. Love TF x

Anne Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 9:42am

Wise and kind words, beautiful...

Advice I give and need to heed myself -
Breathe, let go, trust the process, be you, be gentle...x

Orangeblossom Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 9:43am

Hi RATG.Thanks for the very thought-provoking message which I need time to mull over. Also those who have left their comments.

The Gardener Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 2:33pm

RATG - so glad you have such super communication. One of my sons has had problems with depression etc since quite young - he and I are much alike and should be able to mutually help - yet I always say the wrong thing, so I am very wary of him - although always delighted to see him and get on marvellously with HIS children, which is great. As for being kind to yourself - the only person in good order here is Mr Sod. Should be doing church flowers, but funeral bells ringing, organiser forgot. Gathered them in rain, now I shall have to wheel Mr G and flowers to church tomorrow morning, when I should be preparing house for visit. Also posters to do for music festival. People looking at this dispassionately would say 'give something up' - but, really, all feasible except for Mr Sod - still have to pick up Mr G and deliver posters by car, diving in and out of rain. I will take five, perhaps even ten, and get calm before next onslaught. Talk to eldest son - on same wavelength - both had one hell of a week - 2nd son just left, super four days - so, like RATG, communication is all. Ta x

Sheena Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 4:55pm

This is curious and a big one! I believe there is space for all of us - so to quote (Woody Allen?) "I try to be myself, after all - everyone else is taken" Sometimes, the more sensitive, who are well represented here, find themselves fitting in. As a young person I worked really hard to fit and as a parent realised that if observation is key then control is minimal! In short, my advice which I lived by as a parent is "Do what you feel is right for you, with due respect to those around you".
Sheena

Mary Wednesday Fri, Jun 30th 2017 @ 10:54pm

Hmmm. Elder daughter went off this morning for a "taster day" at Hills Road, Cambridge (possibly the best (academically speaking) State sixth form in the country). She knows the pressure there is intense. She was anxious, and felt sick. I treated it as totally normal. Yes, you have anxiety; don't worry about it, just deal with it. If you throw up, then try to have something in your stomach to throw up with. Breathe deep, remember that nobody is making you go there. Remember you have other options. And - you are fabulous.
So much depends on the way we treat things. A lot of performers get so nervous befor going on stage that they will regularly throw up. For them, that is just part of the routine. For me, noting carefully the exits in any crowded space is a must. "I'll meet you outside," is something my family is quite used to hearing in those situations. Treating anxiety as normal makes it one less thing to be anxious about.

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