I posted this on Facebook in the midst of a season of learning in the hard stuff + wanted to share it here as a piece of our story. I’m not sure if this is ever an area where you ever really arrive + have all the answers but I’m just here to continue learning and loving along the way. {I’d love to hear what you’ve learned along the way if this is a piece of your story}

From the perspective of a mom who watches 2 of her kids fighting their way through anxiety, trying all the tools in their boxes + even some outside the box. I think its important to share a little insight for those of you who may be on the outside of anxiety looking in and feeling lost. I’m only sharing our families experience + feelings, this is in no way a comprehensive look at anxiety. I believe it differs greatly in people and how they see themselves or their loved ones in it.

Let’s be clear, being anxious and having anxiety are NOT the same thing. We all feel anxious from time to time, this is NOT anxiety. Anxiety can be an almost or often times totally irrational + crippling thought about your circumstances. Its your lid flipped {did you know that saying is actually what our brain really does?} so that your logic is no longer accessible. Your body uses up your happy hormone faster than your body produces it leaving you with longer lengths of time without it {Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, Endorphins} to help close that lid! {again this is a simplistic look, don’t look at me for all the in depth science I am not Bill Nye} It can affect not only your emotional state but your physical state as well where it can decide to add in a panic attack.

Telling someone with anxiety that they need to learn to cope {Jessica literally can not comprehend that word}, take some vitamins, get more exercise, sending motivational quotes or just telling them to look on the bright side does not help {that’s not to say they shouldn’t do all those things} though in our experience it actually just adds to the anxiety. I’m still learning the best way for our family through this and as an Enneagram 9 who just wants to buy the world a coke and keep them company {are you singing it now? haha} I am realizing the best thing I can do is LISTEN. Then offer empathy because I do not know what its like in their shoes. See them, hear them + let them lead the way through their fight. I will follow them, hold them up, pick them up every single step of the way, I’ll celebrate the wins and listen again in the setbacks. It’s going to look different for almost everyone because heavens, we are all created uniquely why would any one thing fit all of us….

So friends who are looking in on someone in the fight, ask them what they need + then listen. Truly listen, not to give advice but to hear their heart + their need. Let them lead. Offer them the toolbox you have and then ask others what tools they have in their boxes. And if they don’t know how to lead {its often hard to do in the midst of it} or you’ve depleted those ‘toolboxes’, do not ever be ashamed to seek help outside of your walls, Doctors + Therapists are smart peeps, they know what they are doing, they can make a world of difference {find your fam good ones who listen + you can learn from}. Oh and guess what? Those Doctors + Therapists can also be the very first place you go, you guys get to chose how you do this, you get to use your resources to the best benefit to your family.

I’ve messed up a ton along the way but grace + mercy is new each day as we get up and fight alongside our kids + loved ones. You’ve got it in you, they’ve got it in them. I believe God has us all.

Good things are comin! Start by listening.


  1. Boobi

    You is Smart
    You is Kind
    You is Important

  2. Rhonda

    So good. Your words; the way you speak…full of wisdom, grace + a smile, but so very humble as you share your story. Thank you!


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