To my child with anxiety,
I will always fight your monsters. The ones under your bed and the ones in your head. The anxiety that makes you think not so nice thoughts about yourself and cripples you in so many ways.
Because I feel it all the time. I feel it attacking you.
I feel you at class, making sure I'm close with a hand touch as your security blanket. You are afraid someone is going to smack into you or hurt you. You stay clear, and if they come close, you break down.
You are startled by sudden or loud booming and ringing noises. You don’t like the unfamiliar tone, and you flinch, jumping up to me to hold you tight.
And I do.
I’ll take you into my arms, holding you close, because I will always fight your monsters.
You are my shadow. You follow me everywhere I go like a little duckling.
If I leave the room for just a second, I see your face crinkle, crack, and the tears start to flow.
"Baby, I was just gone for two seconds," I say cuddling you into my arms for a tight squeeze. "I'd never leave you." And sometimes I wish that could be true because I want always to be there to protect you and make sure everyone is nice.
Because I will always fight your monsters---and you are the kind of soul that is too sweet for this world.
And gosh that scares me because I was you. And I got hurt. The kind of hurt that changes you. It thickens your skin, gives you resiliency, but you carry it with you always. And my anxiety never helped.
It told me I wasn’t smart.
It told me no one would like me.
It told me I could never do ANYTHING right.
It was cruel—because it told bald-faced lies to win.
And at times it did.
My love, you are anxious, but you are a gift to this world because everyone who meets you will be a better person for it.
You are the goodness on this earth.
And we will work together to beat this and any battles you come across.
Because I will always fight your monsters. The ones under your bed and the ones in your head.
This post originally appeared on the author's Facebook. Her book Living FULL: Winning My Battle with Eating Disorder is available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2O4mJId
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.