Anxiety is often misused

A pattern I have consistently followed is obsessive worry. Most people worry, but there are people like me who have an anxiety issue far bigger than it should be. Left untreated, it’s like the roots of a tree invading all our pipes. Eventually, we get clogged up behind the excess anxiety created in our own minds.

To a person who doesn’t suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, it is probably difficult to understand why we can’t let things go and move along. I have asked myself that question millions of times.

I believe I have tamed most of my anxiety until I’m proven wrong. In this instance, constant worry over our oldest son’s state of mind and happiness. The outcome of any of life’s challenges can be influenced by what we do at this moment, but we can’t control the end result.

Which brings me to what is really on my mind this morning.

Being a mom of adult kids requires constantly switching gears. Throughout their lives, we watch our kids gradually grow into independent beings. They will need us less and less–except for dinner and money–and apparently how to get the casing of an edamame bean from the back of their throat.

Yes, I felt needed.

Kind of.

Our oldest son had been annoyed by this little piece of vegetation stuck in his throat for days and he asked me for some cures. My mom remedies were to gargle, eat something a little more rough, eat a banana. Coke—that stuff can corrode many things, it could surely wash the hull down his throat. The last resort was Dr. Google.

Anyway, the matter has been resolved, and it led to the best conversation I have had with my son since—forever.

He went through the tedious explanation of how enzymes, saliva, and the organic nature of the object will eventually work together breaking down the structure of the hull, allowing the body to do what it does. His wording may have been different, but that is what I heard. I thought, Okay, thanks for the science lesson.

He then sat down.

We talked about depression, his childhood,ย future plans, hisย job, a tiny bit of history, religion, politics, and human behavior. We discussed his frustration about not having a friend who he can relate to. Funny thing, he has a friend just like him–or very similar. The only problem is that he lives on the west coast. Neither of them use social media or do well talking over the phone.

His IQ has never been tested, but I would bet it’s well above average. Some would call him gifted, but we chose not to label him. He didn’t want to stand out among his peers and we honored his wishes. However, he couldn’t relate to his friends, and the public school system is poor at it’s best–even the accelerated or advanced courses. We helped to feed his curiosity and need to learn as best we could at home. According to him, school, including college, was a complete waste of time.

I found out that he has worked through the issues of dealing with stupid people as he matured. He can’t do anything about his perceived lack of their intelligence or their obnoxious behavior. He hasn’t joined the rest of the robotic human race, he has come to recognize what part he plays–which he constantly questions.

Hmm…my excessive mom worry wasn’t warranted. He has this covered. He understands depression and, like his mom, will take the necessary steps to seek help. We simply have to find a therapist who has an above average IQ. One who understands the type of person he is. One that understands he doesn’t fit the mold of more common forms of depression. He requires a different approach.

My worry is misplaced, all I needed to do was hear what he was saying and not try to fix or change him.

I should worry about myself, I’m frantically working on keeping up with blogging, reading blogs, organizing my hoard, purging the excess crap, finding a plumber, squish in knitting, and all the other household chores that need to be accomplished. I would like a clone, but I’m pretty positive I would think my clone wasn’t doing things to my specifications. eye roll

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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22 Responses to Anxiety is often misused

  1. aviets says:

    I’ve been caught up in that way before, too – worrying and trying to figure out how to fix something for one of the kids, only to find out they’ve got it covered. I kind of think when you have to deal with worrying about their mental health that makes it a lot worse. Anyway, I’m really glad to know that things are looking more hopeful now. And it’s kind of shocking how much your son sounds like two of our kids. Our two youngest have a serious problem with being completely inable to tolerate teachers/peers they don’t respect. Their standards are impossibly high. But thankfully, at least in high school, they were lucky enough to have many teachers who were both extremely intelligent AND excellent at teaching. But boy, do I hear about it when they run across a stinker. Sorry to say they’ve found a lot more rotten teachers in college than they ever had in K-12.

    • April says:

      Same with my son, which creates a problem when both sons and their girlfriends are together. Our youngest’s is very chatty. I believe our oldest simply tolerates her or blocks her out. As for college, we kind of naively believed that since he was accepted to a school that was hard to get into (Georgia Tech), he would be challenged. To us, hard to get accepted = great education. A lot of his professors are researching this or that and cared more about their research than they did in teaching. I have more–but I will email. I’m trying to make myself stick to a routine, and catching up is a little difficult. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. revgerry says:

    Laughing in full recognition of this kind of worry April – in my case for a grandson I raised who is plenty smart but struggles with over-emotions on all sides – anxiety, anger, depression and can’t just “snap out of it” any more than I could years back. But worry won’t solve his problems and so I have to mindfully counter my anxiety, nor am I any real help in that state, so I breathe (and smile – try it) and wait for my body chemicals to even out. Glad you had a great talk with your son and that you can see his growth and maturity. hugs, gerry

  3. aviets says:

    Oh, and congrats on the Seawhawks making the Superbowl again! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • April says:

      I know how much to dislike the sport, so it is wonderful hearing this from you ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks, I think they have this covered….if not, they worked hard to get there and that’s what counts. My only regret is that we don’t live in Seattle anymore. Seahawk fans are very dedicated, win or lose. When they go to the playoff and Super Bowl, the area is crazy happy and proud.

  4. mewhoami says:

    It sounds like he’s got it under control. That’s wonderful. Still I know that it’s hard for you to sit back and let him take the reins, but at least you’re there when he needs you.

    • April says:

      He has turned into a wonderful man…still moves at a slug’s pace when it comes to doing certain things—such as finding his own place, but he’s working on that too.

  5. tric says:

    Wow! when I read this line that is what I thought. “My worry is misplaced, all I needed to do was hear what he was saying and not try to fix or change him”.Great post.

    • April says:

      Thanks Tric. When my kids come to me with a problem, my first instinct is to ask myself what I can do to take the burden off of them. I have to learn to recognize that isn’t what they are asking for.

  6. Glynis Jolly says:

    What a relief it must be to know that your son is taking care of his issues on his own. I wish I could say the same about my son. I have, however, learned to let go and let him find his own way, even through the mistakes he may make.

    Most (not all) of my GAD is misplaced within itself. It shows up in a raunchy attitude, or periods of sullenness or melancholy. It like to disguise itself with me. Does it do that with you?

  7. Gallivanta says:

    When I was growing up, this was one of my family’s favourite worry sayings dia-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/9c/4e/db/9c4edbf05416f807cb207c65449ea475.jpg My mother still says it from time to time. She is a great worrier. Glad you have had such a good conversation with your son.

  8. Wise awareness, April. Simply be present, listen, and don’t try to fix unless asked or invired. Good lesson here. Thanks for sharing.

  9. aviets says:

    April, just have to share this with you: My daughter has a friend over this afternoon, and they’ve spent the last hour moaning over the stupidity of the world. Outrage is running rampant downstairs. This is the friend from whom we learned the term “existential angst.” I find the two of them together exhausting, but I have to say it does seem to help our girl that she has a friend who is so like her, with whom can rail against the world. (eye roll). ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • April says:

      Our son is looking for a place closer to work with his college roommate. They seem to be on the same page. He is looking forward to it. He also found another person at work he seems to be comfortable with. I would have loved to hear that conversation between your daughter and her friend.

      • aviets says:

        It was certainly a wide-ranging discussion! Honestly, I just don’t have the energy to sustain that level of outrage any more. Except when I succumb to FB debates.

        Your son’s plans sound very positive!

  10. suzjones says:

    The biggest concerns that I always have is in trying to fix my children’s problems. It takes a lot to step back and let them go it alone but sometimes they need to learn by the mistakes they make (even though we’ve already made them and can tell them how it’s going to end). This parenting of adults isn’t for sissies April. Just as well we’re made of tough stuff hey?

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