You are the most amazing woman in my life. You’re not only my mother, you’re also my friend. We’ve shared so much over the years, and I’m happy and proud of our close relationship. I cherish the times we spend together, chatting, and laughing so hard we cry. Some of my favorite memories are the simple moments. Like relaxing with you in a coffee shop, me with a mocha iced blended and you with a caramel. Whipped cream on top, of course. I treasure you in my life, and also the special impact you have on the lives of my husband and our daughters.
Your keen sense of mother’s intuition has often helped guide me in the right direction. There was one day in particular when I sincerely appreciated your insight. You may not remember it, but I’ll never forget it. You encouraged me to reach out for medical help when I needed it the most. That was the day that marked the beginning of my recovery from panic attacks.
We were at the mall. You held Mackenzie’s hand, while I pushed little Talee in the stroller. The walls started to feel as if they were closing in on me. I couldn’t catch my breath, my heart was beating fast, and I was lightheaded. I thought I might pass out. I needed to leave. I didn’t want to admit it, but I’d experienced those scary sensations hundreds of times before.
Once we were outside and I was calm, you suggested I make an appointment with my doctor. You said I should tell him I get anxious and panicky. I’d never thought of my strange symptoms as anxiety. It surprised me that you were able to think of words to explain how I felt, because I couldn’t do that. I’d avoided going to the doctor because I had no idea what to say. I was embarrassed and didn’t think anyone would ever understand.
I’m thankful you’ve spoken openly about your depression. You helped me realize that millions of people struggle with mental health issues You showed me I shouldn’t be ashamed of my anxiety. And you let me know I didn’t need to suffer alone.
When Talee was 10 years old and she started to have symptoms of panic attacks, I knew I could talk to you about it. You believed me and never judged us. You helped make us feel safe, and confident we could get better.
I’m grateful for your love and support. As I’ve raised my children, I’ve attempted to follow your examples. It means everything to me that you’re by my side, and my family’s side, every step of the way.
I love you, Mom.
Read more from Jenny in her blog Peace from Panic.
If your experience is similar to Jenny’s, check out When Panic Attacks by David D. Burns, M.D.
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