Anxiety Managed: Check!

Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord.  It’s the last day of winter and our son Justin is well.  What more can one ask for after a long, hard winter.  Justin was diagnosed with panic disorder and agoraphobia last fall.  Wow.  That’s all?!  Not an easy thing to deal with but we have watched as our son faced this affliction head on.  Justin’s worst fear was to join a group of peers who suffer from anxiety.  Although he really didn’t want to, he forced himself to join one at the encouragement of his therapist and of course his parents.

Let me back it up!  Lucky for us he decided not to return to school in January, like most other university students do.  He looked at his dad and I and said, “Nope. I cannot go back!”  Magical words were never spoken such as these.  We both knew Justin was shy growing up but he managed to join in with the other kids and play after much coaxing.  There were a few moments when we wondered if he was ‘okay’ but after he lived in France for three and a half months on an exchange in grade ten, and then lived in Deep River for the science academy one summer, we thought it was over.  The anxiety was beaten.

Little did we know as we toiled away at work building our clinic, Justin was suffering worse than ever!  Justin called home regularly but he was adamant ‘everything is fine’.  Over the Christmas holidays, Justin appeared relaxed  but then one night I asked him if he was sure he could return to school.  Hmmm…. That night didn’t end well and we’ll leave it at that.

From the holidays until today, Justin has struggled to overcome his anxiety and we are happy to say ‘HE DID IT!’  He is returning to McGill for the summer term (received his acceptance today – a formality they said) and for the Fall/Winter terms.  Our son Justin has taught us so much more about himself and about us too.  I think we all suffer from anxiety to a certain degree. Some more than others.  However, let me just say that the past three months have been the best months for growth for all of us.  Happy to be reunited again and supporting each other.  Family life is great and we are so very proud of Justin for  drawing a line in the sand to stand up for himself and go against what societal expectations are so he could do what’s best for HIM.  Proud of you Justin.  We can all learn a lesson from your experience.  You are our HERO!  Congratulations.

If you haven’t checked out Justin’s blog, please do so.  He hears from many professionals, adults, who have admitted they too have anxiety and suffer from panic attacks.  It’s a secret many carry around and it is a burden to them, especially if no one is helping to support them.  Most people do not want to admit it and I’m sure they have their reasons.  It takes a hero like Justin to bring it to the surface.  Justin has a genius IQ and gets straight A’s but there is no substitute for talking about and dealing with panic disorder, letting others know what he needs to cope, and interact with other like minded individuals.  Make an effort to find others suffering from anxiety if you are suffering in silence.  Justin’s sure glad he did and so are we.

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Comments

  1. Inspiring story. I think no one knows how many people suffer silently. A friend once told me she always admired how I was always so calm no matter what. She mistook my calm. I was actually frozen. When the anxiety would riot inside me I’d simply freeze, nod my head and seem agreeable. I think we all find our coping skills. Sometimes it takes time to get it down to a science. Good luck to your son!
    Nice blog!

  2. Thank you! I’m sorry to see you’ve suffered from this too but it sounds like you have mastered it as well. BTW, that’s exactly how our son reacted to people when anxious. Now he’s interacting more, sitting back less. My best to you and I thank you for dropping by and taking the time to comment.

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