A letter to my anxious child, from your anxious Mum.

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My darling girl,

It has come to my attention that, at a mere 5 years of age, you are struggling with something that I truly wish that you could have escaped. As you tell me stories about school, I see it in your eyes, mirroring the expression that is so often in mine. Worries about friendships, about getting into trouble about being good enough all pour out, troubles that seem insurmountable in your little world. I hear your words and it is as if you are speaking the thoughts that have plagued my consciousness over the years.

You see, although outwardly confident, I know you know, I see you watching me, like a hawk, my every move recorded, my unspoken thoughts clear to you. I try so hard to protect you from it, to not show you that the band is tight across my chest again, that my thoughts are racing too fast for me to keep up with, all the things I need to do are overwhelming me. Yet often, I get lost in those thoughts, dragged into them and kept prisoner there, finally escaping and re-emerging blinking and dazed into the real world to see you watching me, always watching me.

I don’t know when it started, I was always shy, painfully shy, struck mute in many situations. An only child, sometimes lonely child as can often be the way, I found dealing with others confusing, often making social mistakes and then retreating back into my shell in embarrassment, fear of looking stupid containing me. As I grew older, things got better, or maybe I just became a better actress, who knows, it still lurked though, that shadow, always that shadow.

Then when I had you, beautiful, gorgeous you, the one perfect thing I had ever done. I would do anything for you. Literally anything, I would put my hand up and shout loud in the biggest crowd if you needed me too. When we moved to a new area, I knew that I would have to face up to my demons for your sake. There were all this things that I wanted for you. Swimming, friends, fun, and all involved me interacting with others. I would steel myself outside every play group door. Deep breath, large smile, once in, targeting another Mother on her own, complimenting her child, hiding my blushes in your baby bag, behind the buggy as I searched for something. Babies are so useful when you are shy and prone to blushing!

Slowly, the acting became less and the confidence grew. What’s the expression, fake it til you make it! That’s what I did! But then your brother came along and it was hard, so much harder then I had ever imagined. No family nearby, no one I felt able to lean heavily on, and a huge sense of failure. I was failing you, failing him, failing Daddy and failing myself and it ate me up inside. Every single time I lost my temper after too little sleep, I would be corroded by acid guilt that ate away at me. I would beat myself up endlessly for all the things I wasn’t doing with you, unable to accept that I had years to do these things. Always anxious, new situations, driving new routes just so anxious!

And now? Well, after some real help for what turned out to be some pretty serious Post Natal Depression, a move to a new area, friends, real, phone in a crisis, laugh until you cry friends and a big dose of happiness, things are better. So so so much better. In fact, most people wouldn’t realise that I could have ever been the person described above and yet I know you know, I know you sense it.

I think that we are both blessed, (or maybe cursed!), with a great empathy. We really feel things that others are going through, sensing someone’s mood maybe even before they do and so when I get myself into an emotional tangle, you feel it and it worries you. I am now trying a new tactic. Instead of trying to hide it, an impossible feat some days, I acknowledge it and I talk to you about it. ‘Oh Mummy’s got so much to do and she’s not sure how to fit it all in and so it’s worrying her but isn’t that silly as she will find a way to get it all done won’t she?’ In doing so, I feel as if I am helping us both. I am talking myself down from the ledge while also helping her process it.

I feel that it’s working. You are  still a worrier, things still seem to bother you, but we talk about them and work out ways of dealing with them and I never tell you that you’re being silly, because I know that it isn’t helpful to dismiss your fears because I understand exactly how a throw away comment that would breeze past another child can sit close to your heart like a tiny thorn, causing a hurt that you can’t yet understand but can feel so deeply. As the famous quote goes;

“Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.”
― Catherine M. Wallace

So in conclusion my beautiful one, I am with you, oh so with you, your worries are my worries, your pain is mine and I shall always do anything for you, including helping us both to beat this horrible sense of dread that can creep up and pounce when you least expect it. I will listen to every little thing you tell me, maybe not right before bedtime when I know you are stalling, or when I’m on the phone, or cooking, but I promise to make time to talk to you, to iron out the wrinkles in these thoughts that can plague us and to set you back on the path of the happy and confident girl you are most of the time. And in the process, I am also taking more and more steps towards being the happy and confident person I know I can be. Although I’ll probably still shout sometimes. Sorry about that, it can just be very hard to be heard and taken seriously sometimes! 🙂

All my love,

Your slightly flawed but very eager to change Mum. xxx

 

Mummy Pages

81 Comments

  1. A lovely post. I don’t suffer with anxiety – in fact I am the opposite, I utterly refuse to get worried about anything at all. But this is all very much a ‘fake it til you make it’ scenario – one that ran away with me and now I feel nothing at all. But my little girl is just like yours, a real worrier and I need to teach her to find the happy medium between feeling everything in amplification, and teaching herself not to – and ending up feeling nothing at all.
    Nat.x

    • Thank you for your comment Nat. I’m sorry your baby struggles too. It’s horrid to see them worry. I’m also sad that you don’t feel anything, I don’t think that’s true though, because you are such a caring and loving Mum. I am also careful because I can be too tough and shut myself off too much and that’s no good either. It feels like you can’t win sometimes! We’ll get through it though! Maybe we can get them together in the summer hols to spend a bit of time together.xx

  2. Absolutely blown away by this and how much the current ‘me’ is resonating with the before ‘you’. I’m so pleased you’ve found a way to work through the thoughts that plague you, I really like (not the correct term but you know what I mean) the concept of verbalising a bad day with u

  3. Ah I hadn’t finished! …verbalising with your daughter the struggle you may be having on a given day. Much love and thanks to you for writing this with such compelling honesty xx

    • Oh lovely! I’m so sorry it resonates with you. I so hope that it gives you knowledge that you can step out of this shadow, and have way more good days then bad days. It really is possible. And you are so not alone. I’ve been inundated with messages from others feeling the same. I think that so many of us hide our real feelings behind a brave face and that if we maybe had colour coded badges as a secret code to each other, pink for shy, blue for anxious, orange for PND extra, I think playgroups would be a much easier for all! Thanks for your lovely comment. You know where I am if you need a friendly ear.xxx

  4. This is beautiful. It gave me a lump in my throat, especially the quote. It sounds like you’ve been so brave throwing yourself into things for your girl – a real mama lion. I looked at my baby recently and thought I hope you haven’t inherited the worst bits of me, my fears. But babies make you brave. I hate flying, for example, and I know I’ve got to just suck it up when we go on hols as I don’t want my baby to replicate my fears xx

    • Oh thank you Michelle, I recently did a spider phobia course because I could see that they were developing a fear too, I am so desperate not to pass anything that will hinder their happiness as they grow up. I know it’s not possible to protect them from everything, but I really hope to guide them through the difficult bits and teach them to face up to things calmly and confidently. Mama Lion, I love that. Have a brilliant holiday.xx

  5. Lovely post, it really resonated with me.

    Incidentally, did you know Postnatal Anxiety is a thing? More common but less well-known than PND. I had it. I wasn’t depressed – I just couldn’t ever relax; I was easily overwhelmed; always agitated. It made me miserable, but the anxiety was the problem.

    I hope you find a way to ease things for yourself and your daughter xx

    • Oh thank you Kate. I had heard of it, but hadn’t really explored it. That sounds like me, I’m not unhappy, I just can’t switch off. I’ll look into it. It’s great to have something different to look into.xx

  6. You are right with the listening thing, I need to listen more to my son but he is a motor mouth and sometimes he talks ‘at me’ not making much sense at all (he is on the spectrum and gets himself quite worked up over random things at times). I need to sit down and listen more. Thanks for the reminder x

    • Oh but it’s hard though isn’t it?! When they have a billion things to tell you and the stories are jumbled and you have 500 things on your mind. I try and find a calm time to sit down and give her my full attention somewhere away from the boys. Not always easy though!x

  7. This really resonates. I feel like I’m reading about me and my eldest daughter. I have suffered with varying levels of anxiety forever but definitely had post natal anxiety after baby number 2. Everything you describe, the feeling of being totally overwhelmed, the dread, the fear, the irritability, everything, was me. My daughter, who is 6, is going through some things at the moment, worrying about friendships, school work etc. She is a total empath as well and soaks up other people’s emotions like a sponge. She also picks up on the slightest of moods from me. I feel terrible that she might be plagued with anxiety, I just hope I can teach her some tools for dealing with it that she can carry through life. We’ve got some great books from Amazon about ‘worries’ which are helping. The hardest part is that she finds it hard to open up and tell us what is on her mind. I can recommend ‘The huge bag of worries’ and ‘Nifflenoo the Nevermind’ as great books for helping kids talk about their worries.
    Sounds like you have overcome a lot! x

    • Thank you so much for your comment. Sounds like we are very similar and in very very similar situations. I shall definitely look into those books, we are all big readers and so can make it part of bedtime stories. I think that we need to cut ourselves some slack. We are kind, caring and loving Mums who are extra anxious because we want the best for our children. I’ve heard a lot about mindfulness and there are some apps for children that I think I’m going to try out. Will be good for me too as I’m not sure how to go about it!xx

  8. What a lovely post to your daughter. You need to keep it and show hr when she is older. Wishing you both the best xx #bigpinklink

  9. This is lovely, I am a very shy person, my daughter was equally shy if not more so when she was 5, however by the time she h as reached 7 she is a completely different person now #bigpinklinky

  10. This made me cry. How beautiful. I always see you as this shiny pink energetic super mum and it’s hard to imagine the shy person underneath, but knowing there is one makes it easier to think I might be a super mum too one day. A great parenting message, thank you. Enjoy your week off and I love your new profile picture – tres chic. #bigpinklink

    • You are already a Super Mum. You just need to believe it. We all have a mix of people in us, I think the happy, bubbly me is the side I share the most online because, well, it’s more fun for others! I tend to be quieter on SM when I’m having a bad day. Thankfully they are getting fewer and further apart! 🙂 I fancied a change, I do love the funny face one too though!xx

  11. This is lovely. I also think of you as someone really positive, energetic and bouncy and I am sorry you’ve had hard times like this. Your daughter is truly lucky to have you as a mother and I am sure you’re both wonderful people to know in ‘real’ life! #bigpinklink

    • Thank you, I am generally like this more then I’m not, (if that makes sense!), and I like to think that the ‘real me’ is as you describe, however, if I’m really honest, I think the very core of me still has that anxious person hanging around!

  12. I feel rant I could have written this myself. Thankfully, I’ve never been shy, or maybe I have and to compensate, I have been the opposite- I do come across as confident despite not always feeling so. I have suffered from anxiety though, since I was a very young child and I fear that my son does too. Well, I know he does. He’s 4 and his anxiety centres around other issues than it did for me, but it brakes my heart. I do all that I can to allieveiate it. Sending love and hugs. The fact that you worry means that you’re doing a fab job despite the occasional shout x

  13. Anxiety is a bitch, lovely post xx #bigpinklink

  14. We just love our kids so much. We worry endlessly and this is a reminder of how incredibly special they are. Anxiety is cruel and I am glad you are able to work away at it and show your daughter how it’s done. #bigpinklink

    • Oh thank you for your comment. I hope that together we will beat it, all you ever want for your children is 100% happiness, but that isn’t realistic and teaching them that is so important. We’re all flawed and that’s just fine.

  15. Wow, what an incredibly well written post that resonates with me more than you can ever know. Anxiety is horrendous, it really is. However, it can be managed and always remember one thing, you’re not on your own. #bigpinklink

    • Oh I’m so so sorry it resonates so much but it really does help to know that there is a great bunch of us all muddling through together. We’ll get there. One day!xx

  16. Well done for talking about this. I’d like to open up more about my anxiety but I find it so hard x #bigpinklink

    • I felt sick hitting publish on this. Seriously! I have fretted about it all weekend. But now I feel better. Everyone’s lovely responses have been brilliant.x

  17. A beautifully written post. Amazingly honest and you have real clarity, which is wonderful for both you and your daughter. Communication is certainly key and I think that quote is so lovely and so true. Now my girls are tween/teens it really resonates. Alison x #bigpinklink

  18. It’s amazing what affect children can have on your wellbeing and help you deal with your fears. Well done to you on being able to pick up on something that a lot of people cannot and dealing with it too! I absolutely love the quote and I’m going to take that with me if you don’t mind too much Popping by for #bigpinklink

  19. I love this so much, thank you for being so honest. I am a worrier too and can see my eldest (also 5) starting to be one as well. It’s part of her character but your advice about always listening is so wise. I do my best but it’s so hard when you’re juggling work, cleaning, cooking, washing, parenting the other child, etc etc etc. It sounds like you are doing a great job to me, and being aware of something like this is often the biggest battle, I always think xx #BigPinkLink

    • Oh you’re so welcome, it was really hard to hit publish but I’m so glad it’s helped people. It is SO hard to listen and I need to remind myself all the time. I tend to make certain times where I dedicate time to listening to her to mae up for all the times I have to brush her off!

  20. Really lovely, heartfelt words. So glad you got diagnosed. You are the perfect mother for your little ones, remember that. That quote has really hit me. On my office days I only see my kids for about 40minutes in total and sometimes 20 of those are spend nagging them to get ready or get to bed. Huh. It’s bloody hard and we all do our best. And there’s always the choc and wine! xx #BigPinkLink

  21. What a heartfelt, honest post. I’m a really anxious person as well, and I’m worried about passing that anxiety onto my daughter (worried about being worried, of course). Just remember that all you can do is try your best. That’s all any of us can do. #bigpinklink

  22. What a lovely letter, so full of love and hope and enthusiasm. Talking about your fears and anxiety will mean that your daughter will do the same and hopefully will learn that these things are quite normal and can be dealt with. A strategy of talking and listening can not fail. #bigpinklink

  23. this is lovely! I’ve never suffered anxiety but I know a person close to me who does, and its not easy! making positive moves to move forward with it, as you are, is great, and will in turn help your daughter too. Keep on this path, your doing great, and she will too. #bigpinklink

  24. I suffered terribly with anxiety as a child and still do now. it isn’t nice at all and I worry so much about my son being fearful and, well, like me :/ I always try to be open and talk and also try and listen to him -even tho he is just 3 at the mo – I always want to try and take him seriously #bigpinklink

    • That’s all you can do, as a Mum, you will never be perfect and there are always things you don’t want to pass on that filter down but it’s how you deal with it that is important and it sounds like you have that covered. 🙂

  25. I think this is beautiful. Raw, honest and beautiful. Your daughter will be able to read it when she’s older and feel proud and inspired. It will also inspire other women, mothers who may be feeling the same thing. Thanks for sharing (I think you should award yourself the BigPinkLink favourite badge next week!) x #bigpinklink

  26. Oh hunny this is such a moving and beautifully written post. I suffer with anxiety too, (also an only child), but you have never struck me as suffering yourself. You always seem so positive and confident. Your little girl is very lucky to have such a special mum that takes the time and makes the effort to recognise and be in tune with her thoughts and feelings. I can really relate to this, and I hope that I can encourage and support my little ones in the same way that you have as they get older.
    #bigpinklink xx

    • Oh thank you, this is such a lovely comment. I have battled for years to get mine under control and I think I am almost on top of it, at least, very good at quelling/hiding it anyway! I’m sorry you suffer too. We should start a little support group for only child anxious bloggers!xx

  27. Oh my goodness, I could really feel the emotion in this post. I’m so sorry that you went through such a tough time – it’s amazing that you can now write about t with such eloquence and understand the troubles your daughter is facing – I am certain that what you have learnt will only help her – she watches you because she is looking for answers in a world where she doesn’t quite know what the question is yet and you are only doing your very very best to make her feel safe. I have a daughter that suffers too and it is hard as every emotion that I feel has to be doctored to not cause alarm to her – I know that feeling of relief when you have time to yourself to be yourself too. A beautiful post and by admitting so much and recognising so much you really are being the best parent you can be lovely #BigPinkLink

    • This is such a lovely comment, thank you for your beautiful words. It’s really made me feel better and I know how wonderfully you are tackling your own daughter’s struggles. Your teen video help series is just brilliant.xxx

  28. Anxiety disorders can be truly crippling. I love how you spin it to focus on how empathetic you both are. I’ve never thought of it that way and it makes perfect sense. Lovely piece.
    Potty Adventures
    #bigpinklink

  29. An emotional post. I suffered terribly with anxiety a few years ago. I found it so debilitating and struggled to keep it under control in front of my children. It has, however, made me more sensitive to any changes in my children’s demeanour and it has created a deeper level of emotional empathy between us, as they saw me at my lowest point. A problem shared is a problem halved and we all talk openly and support each other whenever possible. #bigpinklink

    • That is so good to know. I tried my very best to hide it but I’m not great at that so we’re trying talking instead! It’s lovely to hear that it’s had a positive effect on your relationships in a roundabout way.

  30. This is such a beautifully written and heartfelt post. I think you are a wonderful mother and doing everything your daughter needs – talking through your worries will definitely help you both. I’m sorry you went through such a difficult time but you seem to have overcome so much and be in tune with your feelings. Thank you for writing this – I am sure your words will help many people who feel the same or have had similar experiences. #bigpinklink

  31. What a lovely raw and open post that moved me so much. My eldest daughter has recently been diagnosed with chronic anxiety and depression but growing up we had absolutely no idea that she was struggling to deal with anxiety. Four years later, at 16, it has got the better of her 🙁 I so wish that I could have been like you as a mummy because I know it will help your daughter hugely. Ours always seemed as though she was coping so brilliantly with everything. The truth is, she was acting and hiding away her feelings – so not healthy. My younger daughter also has anxiety but we talk, she shares how she feels and we discuss what she can do to help herself. I think by you being aware that she has anxiety, you’re doing just the right thing. What a brave person you are, in every way. Well done for sharing. #bigpinklink

    • Oh lovely, I’m so sorry you’re going through all this. Don’t feel guilty though, (as hard as it is!), anxiety thrives on hiding away in the sufferer’s mind. It’s enough to just be there and to offer a ready ear and cuddles on tap in my opinion. I so hope she finds her way out of the pit. Thank you for your kind words.xxx

  32. Ah lovely, this is so heartfelt. And it really resonates with me – I think anyone who has experienced anxiety or extreme worry or nerves as part of their personality can relate to this (and probably a whole lot more people can too). I often worry about my son experiencing the same panic I have experienced but there is no reason for him to…we talk and I think talking about it is really important like you put in your post. If I’m feeling anxious about something and I’m sure he can know it (in that it’s affecting me outwardly) I’ll really try to explain it to him so he doesn’t feel he has to be scared. Fortunately at the moment he seems much more to take everything in his stride than I did but he’s only three…who knows. I love love love the quote, it’s one I often think about and a real mantra for me to parent by. I really try not to belittle any of the things he’s feeling or stressing about…the little things now are the big things now to him – even if to me it;s only a purple or yellow spoon issue! A really wonderful post, thank you for sharing it #bigpinklink

    • Your comment is so beautiful Lucy. I don’t think there is any reason to think that children are destined to be affected if the mother or father is. My son is showing no signs whatsoever of anxiety and actually looks after his sister on a lot of occasions! You’re doing a wonderful job, I never take the spoon issues seriously! 🙂 xx

  33. This made me so emotional, I completely identify with it, and see it in my eldest. I had horrific PND and have suffered with panic and anxiety disorder my whole life, it is something I am in constant therapy over and really struggle with. My eldest is such an anxious child too, perhaps due to going through so much at a young age, and perhaps as like me, he is sensitive and intuitive and a born worrier. Really enjoyed reading this, even though it did make me cry, thank you so much for sharing with #bigpinklink

    • I’m so sorry it made you cry Laura. I think that watching me do battle with both anxiety and horrendous pnd have affected my daughter greatly, as my son, who hasn’t seen that side of things so much, is totally unaffected. You have been through an awful lot in your lifetime, as has he, but it sounds as though you are doing all the right things and I feel very confident that you will both come through this.xx

  34. Oh Lou, Big Girl and Small Boy (eek, I nearly used their names then!!) are so lucky to have you. To recognise and acknowledge your own feelings like this, and to see so clearly your daughter watching you, and mimicking your actions takes a lot of self awareness, and you are approaching a solution in such a fantastic way! Such a fabulous mum-I only wish I could have more patience and understanding sometimes… I think we’ve pretty much been leading a parallel life-I was the same painfully shy child, always blushing puce, and retreating, thinking I’d made myself look stupid. I still get super anxious about absolutely everything, and unfortunately, I can see it in my eldest too… He already has huge anxieties about getting dirty, and dirt being in his food, and he is borderline OCD about cleanliness. At the height of my PND, a friend of mine came over a lot to look after him, while I went to various appointments, or if I made a panicked phonecall to her to say I didn’t think I could go on anymore. Even though he was only 15 months old at the time, he still screams and runs away whenever he sees her… He obviously associates her with me suddenly leaving, and with me crying a lot, and being completely detached. I’m sure your beautiful girl will overcome this, even if she is faking it till she’s making it! She’ll always have you there to be amazing. xx

    • Oh my darling, I’m so sorry that we’ve been living such parallel lives and that you are still struggling now. I knew there was a reason that we get on so well. I’m so glad that I met you. You’re a wonderful person and a brilliant mother. You do so well to tackle the issues you face and to recognise the traits in your darling boy.xxx

  35. This is a lovely post and I’m sure it would be really beneficially for your daughter to read it one day. I would never have thought you were shy, you always come across as so bubbly and confident on your blog. I’m glad you’re having more good days now and hopefully you will be able to help your daughter through it as you have experienced it all yourself. I’m really shy and get horribly nervous when it comes to new situations/chatting to people I don’t know. I have been adopting the whole fake it until you make it approach in recent years and it is definitely helping, I still feel stressed and worry over certain situations but the most part I can do it, I just take a breath and tell myself I’ll be fine and most of the time, I actually am. This was a great post, sorry for the essay of a comment haha xx #bigpinklink

    • Thank you for a lovely comment, it’s really hard to be confident in new situations and I’m so pleased that you have managed to overcome the worst of it. I think it’s normal to get a little bit worried before new experiences but it sounds as though you deal with it so well.xx

  36. Argh that brought a tear to my eye and a lump in my throat. I can really relate to the new place no family small babies situation and it is oh so tough even for the most confident ( which I certainly an not ) but good friends, real friends,can make such a huge difference! Lovely post My dear xx #bigpinklink

    • Oh thank you, it’s so tough isn’t it? Friends really do make all the difference. I’ve been so blessed in that department. It’s just a shame that we’re spread so far over the country.xx

  37. Such a beautiful letter to your daughter, I suffer all my life with crippling anxiety and totally identify with it. That is one thing once they start school you can’t protect them as much and I dread when my boy starts in Semptember. Sending you lots of love and positivity X #bigpinklink

    • I’m so sorry that you’ve suffered so much. Thank you for your kind words and don’t worry about school, it really isn’t so bad.xx

  38. Beautiful, I really hope if either of my girls ever suffer with anxiety that I can be as honest and supportive as you are with your lovely girl. I have suffered with stress and anxiety but managed to work through it with some help from counselling and now have an overly positive outlook on life and I am so hoping I can pass this on to my littles. You are a wonderful Mum to your children and I am sure when your daughter is older and reads this she will tell you how much she appreciated everything you did to support her xx #bigpinklink

    • Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m so glad that you’ve managed to deal with the anxiety and I’m sure your positive outlook will transfer to your girls and if not, that you will be brilliant at dealing with it.xx

  39. This is such a beautiful and poignant letter. A lovely reminder that we have to be there for each other, as a family. Anxiety is invisible and therefore, people tend to make assumptions, and that makes it all the more harder. I too find myself taking a deep breath behind each closed door and thinking, “OK, today will be okay!” Fake it till you believe you can make it.

  40. Our oldest (8) is a worrier too, like her other momma. It’s tough to watch and hard to not just want to sweep in and fix it. Currently every worry is the same – giant. In a world of pebbles, rocks and boulders, we are all boulders. How to fix? I don’t yet now. I try my best to be present and offer deep breaths. Oy vey. #bigpinklink

  41. I relate to so much of this – my post last week was similar. And I can see my boy has clear signs of anxiety, which is common with autism in anyour case. But I am so aware that he learns how to react to things partiallynd from me. And I am trying to be better. I figure that it gives them so many gifts too though and hopefully mutual with love and support we all get through it together. Sorry my comments are late. My grandmother died last week and was tough to get round to doing them. #bigpinklink

    • I must look this up, I’m sorry your gorgeous gorgeous boy suffers so much too. It’s so sad to see them struggle with anything like this! Please don’t worry about late comments, as you can see, it can take me forever to get round to doing replies!

  42. I love your writing Lou it’s so honest and beautiful. Just read this on the back of MTRD’s post on anxiety. This resonates with me; having always been a deep thinker and naturally shy I am prone to both anxiety and depression. The last thing I want is my daughters to have the same, but they might. And if they do I comfort myself that I will hopefully recognise it earlier than I did and we can work together to deal with it.

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