No One Feels The Way I Do

At a recent family function, I was sitting and chatting with two cousins whom I have known since my birth. For many years I kept my struggles with anxiety to myself, convinced that I was alone in the way that I felt.

My cousins were interested and curious to know more about my book “Boom… Boom… Boom…” They also wanted to know how it had been conceived. I explained the focus on anxiety and  emotional intelligence. I told them about the importance of helping children understand that it’s okay to feel, accept and communicate with others about their feelings. All their feelings.

Both my cousins then shared with me their personal experiences with anxiety. This heartwarming conversation confirmed two things for me. Firstly, we should never assume that others don’t experience anxiety or related feelings just because they don’t talk about them.  Secondly, sharing with others often encourages others to share with us because they feel safe to do so.

This is a good lesson to teach our children. With four children I have heard many times, “No one feels the way I do.”

I always answer them in the same way, “You’ll be surprised how many do. They just don’t talk about it in the same way that you do.”

I teach my children that anxiety is part of our human condition. Ignoring these feelings gives them a power that they shouldn’t have. Acknowledging and exploring anxiety empowers us in ways that we would not expect.