Anxiety III


Anyone tired of reading about anxiety?

I’m a little tired of writing about it, but it’s plaguing me, so here we go.

My daughter got on the plane.  I took yesterday off to coach her, via phone, on how to get herself through that last minute prep.  She told me another secret. She failed a class last semester.  Deep breath.  She misread a due date. Final not accepted, you fail the class. Survey says, you lose. Period.

It’s not surprising.  Apparently she was overloaded, all of us do the same stuff. I missed two deadlines just last week, because my work has piled up on me. Thankfully, I’m past the age that someone can simply tell me that I failed. I KNOW I failed.  So does she. I suppose they could fire me…I think probably not today, though.

“We’ll take care of that later” I said.

The school wanted verification that she wasn’t “hospitalized” after fainting last week.  My daughter used the word “hospitalized” when she meant “checked out at the hospital”.  They got a different impression. Okay, school is happy. Cleared to go.

She needs four extra passport photos. Hers are printed on paper, probably not okay.  Go to the printers, get four more made on photo paper, it’s easy, sweetie. (Here I am thinking, you could have done that last week or two weeks ago) Mission accomplished, though. Cleared to go.

I made up an acronym appropriate to Africa  “A  ddress  P roblems E arly”  APE. That way she’ll remember when she sees a monkey.

She got to the airport, found a buddy.  Feeling better. Found the study group.  She’s reassured.  “I’m disconnecting my phone now Mom”.

As far as I know, she’s in Amsterdam now, or on another flight to Nairobi.

I wish my heart would stop pounding.

I have no idea if she should have gone with that degree of anxiety and that remorse about the class she failed.  I played the confident mom/therapist with her. I have to trust that if she has a nervous breakdown or a parasite, they’ll send her home.  She went without adequate medication for her attention problems; her medication is a controlled substance so she couldn’t get the full supply before she left. I  have no idea if she can get it refilled there.  Again, didn’t deal with the problem early.

“Don’t forget to tell the program director right AWAY that you need to order more medicine and see if it’s possible”

Have I anxiously covered all the territory here?

Inadvertently, my daughter’s last minute fears revealed a lot about my marriage. My ex and are are both fairly anxious, but our styles are completely different. My way of managing fear is to throw myself right at the problem. That way you can wrestle it to the ground and get that resolution quickly. His style is run away, procrastinate, hope the bear forgets you and leaves you alone.  I am fight, he is flight.

This daughter is also flight.  It drives me crazy. How can you stand the terrible fears building up, when you can take some minor action and move on? Of course, there’s always something else, and my style can veer into the obsessive, the overly precise, the reveal of problem after problem on an endless track of issues.  There are problems with any adaptation.

Except, perhaps, just to breathe.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.


2 comments on “Anxiety III

  1. Wow, this was profound reading for me and then to end with the serenity prayer – – well i can think of nothing more fitting. This is a terrific thing for you to blog about and give the rest of us some perspective on a psychotherapist’s POV (with these issues) because I think we imbue you guys with extra special Life Magic. Thank you. And thank you for following me. PS. Love the APE acronym!

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