As military families we recognize that our lives will never be free of struggle. These same struggles are often times the “refiner’s fire,” the works of molding us into more resilient, compassionate, brave, strong, and all around better people. When our hands are white knuckled grasping to the steering wheel on the rough roads we are faced in traveling there are always lights in the darkness that make us feel less scared, less alone and more in control of the wheel.
If someone you love suffers from anxiety you can be those lights by recognizing and doing these 10 things:
1. Look at the map before you ask for directions.
Anxiety is a difficult topic to explain to someone who isn’t well acquainted with it. Do your homework and learn about anxiety and its different shapes, colors and sounds. Processing and understanding everything that is anxiety is not necessarily the goal but understanding “enough,” will show your partner that you are committed to the journey, and that means more than you could ever know.
2. Anxiety is often silent lips and loud thoughts.
Anxiety is actually a beneficial response to potential danger, the thing that makes a study for a test, and it can even serve as a motivator. Everyone has experienced some form of anxiety in their lives. It’s normal. For some people, however, anxiety does not leave as it does in most others; rather, it pulls up a seat on the couch and stays awhile. Do not be offended if your partner cannot identify an answer to the question, “What is wrong?” It’s quite likely that they do not know the answer themselves. Your ability to understand this concept is key.
3. A partner with anxiety is worth fighting for.
Anxious individuals are often times full of empathy, thoughtful and not generally selfish. They have plans to keep everyone safe, cared for and looked after. If you happen to be in their tribe, always know that they are concerned with your well-being. Let them care for you, love you and be your best friend because anxiety has taught them to do these things with passion.