When I was little I would have loved to have had someone aware of my anxiety. Someone there to tell me I was going to be okay, that everything I was feeling was normal for me.
I first became aware of my anxiety when I was in my early teen years. Though I did not know it was called anxiety. I knew my stomach hurt, I often could not take in a deep breath, and I would feel lightheaded, dizzy and faint. I collapsed while babysitting one day. It was so frightening. I also passed out in School, and because I stood out like a sore thumb with my anxiety, I was bullied a lot. I believe it is a miracle that I am still here, and I believe I am here to make a difference, and to help other's like myself.
Recently, I presented my Anxiety Focus cards at Chapters in Kanata Ontario. I had so many stop by to talk to me, and share their stories. I loved ever second of every conversation. I related to so much to what they told me.
A lovely couple told me about their young son, who suffered with anxiety. I think they said he was 8 years old. They asked me how they thought my cards could help him, with him being so young. I suggested they use a card every night with him, after story time. To make using a card with him a special time. Teaching him how to count and use the blue healing orbs. This could become part of his daily routine. Children thrive on routine. In time this would be such a familiar thing for him, and he would associate it with a feeling of calm. My cards become a friend to you. Something of peace that you can use anywhere, and when used as instructed, they subside physical symptoms that come with anxiety, panic, and PTSD.
My hope for this child would be that once he became acquainted with the cards, he could then take one with him to School, to have on him at all times. He then could use them when needed, even when his family was not present.
The best gift we can give anyone, child, teen, an adult, is to reassure them they are not alone. To let them know they can get through this, and to never judge what they share with you. Listen to what they say, how they feel, and let them know you are there for them. Each of my cards has a positive affirmation on it. It is so important to let those suffering with mental illness know they are well loved and that you are doing your best to help them.
Something really important when it comes to helping a child through such a difficult time, is to never tell them they are not feeling what they share with you. For example, your child says they are afraid. A response could be, "I understand you feel afraid, and I am here to help you. I will not let anything happen to you". If you respond with "no you are not, you are fine", they lose insight to trust their own instinct. They can end up confused and stop confiding in you. They need us to comfort them during rough times, and to validate what they feel. Though at times of extreme anxiety thoughts can be irrational, the physical symptoms feel very real. I had one of my children at one point, feeling overwhelmed and full of anxiety. He was having frightening thoughts. I told him I knew he was good inside, and that his mind was just very tired. That sometimes a tired mind thinks things it should not. We worked together on focusing on positive things, and redirecting his thoughts. My cards do exactly that. They help redirect our thinking, and help us to feel calm.
Some are born with DNA that predisposes them to having certain mental illness. Other times it is situational, and an event, trauma, abuse cause emotional scars, leaving us with anxiety, panic disorder, PTSD, insomnia, OCD...the list goes on. It can affect anyone of us, any age, any culture, any race...learning to be kind to each other, and more understanding will help all of us in the end.
A lovely couple shared about their young son, who suffered with anxiety...I think they said he was 8 years old. They asked me how they thought my cards could help him, with him being so young. I suggested they use a card every night with him, after story time. To use a card with. This could become part of his daily routine. Children thrive on routine. In time this would be such a familiar thing for him, and he would associate it with a feeling of calm. My cards become a friend of peace, something you can use anywhere and when used as instructed they subside physical symptoms that come with anxiety, panic, PTSD. The hopes for this child would be, that once he became acquainted with the cards, he could then take one with him to School, to have on him at all times, and he can then use them when needed, even when his family was not present.