DEAR MOM & DAD, I HAVE ANXIETY A B OOK F OR P ARENTS F ROM A C HILD â€™ S P ERSPECTIVE C ORINE T OREN Copyright ÂŠ 2016. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of very brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
A LETTER FROM THE AUTHOR Welcome! Thank you for taking the time to read this book. I am so grateful to be able to share my experiences with anxiety. So many kids, teens, and even adults stay silent about their anxiety, and suffer quietly. Because of that, their loved ones will never know that they are suffering. Of course it’s no one’s fault that people struggle, but I believe it’s important for those people to know that they are not alone. I wrote this book because I want you, the reader, no matter what you’re going through or struggling with, to know that you are not alone. I want you to understand what anxiety is and how difficult it can be to live with sometimes. When you understand that, you can show others who are struggling that they are not alone; you are there for them. A lot of what people need is just for someone to say, “I care.” When I was in second grade, my teacher taught me that a little glue goes a long way. It seems silly, but this motto can really be applied to many aspects of life. A little care can go a long way. Just a smile can go a long way. You never know how much you affected someone with just a smile, or just saying something like, “I appreciate you,” or “I’m always here for you.” People need to know that someone that they trust truly cares about them. With that said, all of the information I give throughout this book is completely my opinion, and comes from my own real experiences. I am not a doctor, psychologist, or professional in any capacity. All of the
advice and facts I give about anxiety is solely based on my experiences struggling with anxiety. I really just wanted to share my challenges and memories in the hopes that people will relate, and hopefully I can help others in the process. For a long time, I felt alone. I felt like no one would ever understand what I was going through and the pain I was enduring. It took a long while for me to understand that I was not the only one having scary thoughts, or having a difficult time getting out of bed, or living in fear. There are so many of us with anxious minds that battle very similar behaviors and thoughts. No one should have to live feeling like theyâ€™re completely alone in their struggles. Writing this book meant so much to me, and for my mental health. I will be so thankful if writing about my experiences benefits someone else. I hope this book serves its purpose, and reaches out to you or a loved one. Please enjoy!
TABLE OF CONTENTS A Letter From The Author Chapter 1. Introductions Chapter 2. Triggers Chapter 3. Lacking a Purpose Chapter 4. Pressures Chapter 5. Extra Support Chapter 6. What is Motivation? Chapter 7. How Do You Win?
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION Dear Mom and Dad, and anyone else reading this, I have anxiety, but guess what? So do millions of other people in the world. I have struggled in the past, but I have come a long way. I’ve overcome so many obstacles created by my anxieties. Today, I am proud of all of my accomplishments, and I’d like to share some of them with you. This is my story: Since I was younger, I knew that I thought in a different way than most children. Once I matured, I began to obsess over the unknown of what was to come after death. I envied my carefree peers, while I craved control. After seeking help, I grew to realize that living with anxiety is not so abnormal. Some people have low cholesterol, some are allergic to peanuts, and some, like me, have an anxious mind. Honestly, I would pick anxiety over a peanut allergy any day. When I first started seeing my therapist, I was still feeling alone and misunderstood. I refused to talk to my parents about what I was going through because I was convinced that they would not understand. While I was learning to cope with my anxiety and irrational fears, I thought about how many other teenagers shared the same thoughts as me. I felt like I wanted to let others know that they are not alone in what they are going through. While my mind was beginning a tug-of-war with my anxiety, I tried to help my parents understand my internal conflicts. It was difficult for them to sympathize with me, and I felt that they did not know how to handle my thought processes. My experience with my parents inspired me to write in order to show other parents how to help their children who have anxiety. So this book is my gift to you. Actually, it is mainly a gift for myself (because I’m very self-centered). As much as I want to help you and your child, I cannot promise
you that I will succeed. To me this book is a gift because it allowed me to set a goal for myself. Once I set that goal for myself, I endeavored to achieve it. My goal (aka this book) motivated me to get out of bed today. My goal motivated me to give myself a better life. My goal for this book is to show you how powerful the mind is, and how you can overpower it. This is definitely not a how-to book. I’m not going to teach you a lesson or tell you how I think you should parent your kids. Every parent has his or her own method, and that’s okay. I wrote this book to share my experiences of the way I grew up and how I became the person that I am, but most of all, how I came to accept the person that I am. There are so many parents out there in the world who believe that it is their duty to teach other parents how to be a good mom or dad. In all honesty, I don’t believe in that. The people that read those types of books are either nervous about having children (which is common), or are under the impression that they are doing something wrong. Here’s the thing: Parents-if you feel insecure about the way you raise your children, your kids are going to feel that from you, and it’s going to build a chain reaction, like the domino effect. Anxiety can become an epidemic, if you it let become contagious. Believe it or not, kids learn the most from their parents. Kids do not only learn from the annoying lectures, stories of when their parents were their age, or when you teach them how to ride a bike. They acquire, both consciously and unconsciously, all of the bad and good habits, way of speaking, style, music taste, interests, and more, that they watch their parents do everyday. They don’t notice and their parents don’t notice, until that one-day when your friends make fun of you for saying “pool” instead of “pull” because that’s how you heard your mom say it
in a foreign accent. This actually happened to me when I was like ten years old, and it happens to my sister on a daily basis. No one’s had the guts to tell her yet that how she pronounces words like Oggs instead of Uggs is wrong. Poor girl. So with that said, I want to reiterate that children do learn a lot from their parents and they pick up on a lot that maybe you don’t realize. I’m one of those children that spent a lot of time watching people, particularly my family, and learned from all of my memories. And that’s why I wrote this book. There are so many books about parents writing to other parents, but I could tell you that there aren’t many books written by children for parents. So don’t think of this as a howto book. Think of it as more of a how-to-help book. I personally think it’s important for parents to hear the child’s side. I really believe that children have a lot to say and have a lot of knowledge that they can share with their parents. No, I’m not talking about when a child uses a big word that their foreign parents don’t understand, but I’ve definitely done that before though! Totally makes you feel smart! But anyways, this is the kind of knowledge that parents can get in order to be better parents, and understand how their child’s mind works. Obviously I can’t speak for every child, or even a specific demographic. But what I can do is this: I can share my specific experiences, and show you how they molded me into the beautiful, smart, talented, independent woman that I am today. And I can also show you how humble I am. That was all a joke I promise! I wasn’t always this humble. I used to be a quiet, timid girl, and I let other people hurt me, and forgave them too quickly. But most of all, I let myself hurt me. I didn’t know how to love myself or be the person that I wanted to be. And
that’s why I wrote this book, because when I grew up and I learned how to accept the person that I am, I was able to show others the same. I helped motivate my girlfriends when they went through a rough break up, and boosted my boyfriend’s confidence when he thought he wasn’t good at anything. I showed my mom how to help my sister feel like she is actually smart. So ultimately, my goal is to help you understand your child and the little things that they may need. I want to help you help them become motivated. Permanently. But here’s the thing: I will show you what I have learned through my own eyes, and it will be up to you to do what you want with that information. So what actually makes me qualified to write this book? I’m not a therapist, a doctor, a social worker, or anything of the sort. And No. I’m not a teen mom. I am, however, a daughter, sister, and a friend. Some may even call me an analyst. I take things in and let it marinate, until I can understand the world. I learned enough from my experiences, and I continue to learn everyday. And maybe I’ve even suffered a little. But mostly, I’m a winner because I am a self-motivator. And since I’ve learned so much, from myself, and those around me, including family and friends, I feel inclined to share my knowledge with the world. After everything that I’ve been through, I want to help others learn what I have learned and show people how to look inside yourself without fear. I want to show people how to figure out who you are, and understand how to come to terms with it. Most importantly, I want to show people that it’s okay to LOVE yourself and appreciate your accomplishments. That doesn’t always make you narcissistic. But even if it does a little, who cares? In all honesty, that’s what I believe, and that’s what I ask myself every single day. And guess what?