Sunday, September 8, 2013

Abby's Anxiety

If you know Abbigail at all, you know that she is an adorable sweetie pie.  She loves to help with everything.  She is also curious and is constantly asking "why" so that she understands the process and the reasoning behind everything.  She is full of smiles & laughs.  She is energetic, athletic and amazingly smart.
Even if you know Abbigail well though, chances are you have not seen her at her weakest and most fragile state.  Within the last year, it has become increasingly obvious to Brian and I that Abbigail has some anxiety tendencies.  There are certain things that trigger her emotions AND physical state.
Despite being able to recognize what the triggers are, we can't put our finger on why they occur.  We've poured through events of her {short} life in an attempt to figure out why Abby seemed to have these small anxiety attacks, but to no avail, we can't seem to find reason.  Instead, we simply have to be aware & conscious of what is going on with her and make every attempt at keeping both her & things surrounding her calm as we navigate through the excitement & chaos of life.

To be more clear, here's what we have seen at least once or twice a week
 if we let Abby's anxiety get the best of her:
If Abby thinks she is going to be left behind when we all leave the house, she worries.  This includes when things get busy & we are trying to get out of the house on time.  It all creates a huge amount of anxiety & worry with Abby.
When this happens, she starts to use her fingers to pull on her lips.  This is her nervous reaction. She begins to cry... sometimes even uncontrollably.  She looses any and all concentration of what she should be doing or what she wants to say.  In just a moments notice, she pleads for us not to leave her, or for one of us to wait at the bathroom door while she uses the potty (to ensure no one will leave without her).
Meanwhile, Brian and I both constantly reassure her we would never leave without her.  Of course, that's obvious.  But to her, it doesn't seem so.
We try to calm her down with a hug.  We get down to her level, look her in the eye and tell her we love her.  We try very hard to calmly give her directions on getting ready or what to do next...
One. Step. At. A. Time.

This eventually helps.  It eventually calms her down when we walk out of the house together.
The hope is that with extra time, extra loves & hugs, Abbigail will move forward...
... and not struggle with stress.
And just smile her big smile and laugh her big laugh.

1 comment:

enigmas said...

Hi, So glad to read this. So many thanks for sharing.