Day 14 – My Son Has Anxiety


I got a phone call from the driving instructor that my 14 year old son was crying in the back of the car after his turn to drive.He had asked him a bunch of times what was going on, but my son was to distraught to speak. When he called he said he would let him try one more time, but then he would request that he be let go from the program.

I asked my son what happened and he cried again. I asked what he was feeling and he said he had no feelings, it just happens. I told him he had to stop it. After getting nowhere, I sent him to shower and I got on the internet.

First, I found that repeatedly grilling him is not helping. (I love parenting – it’s so easy!!) 

Second, I discovered the most amazing website for anxiety in teens.  There is a site for adults too. 

He took the test and I was surprised. My introverted, sensitive, quiet son isn’t! He has, in his own words, Social Anxiety. The site didn’t have those words but HE NAMED IT. Now I have a beginning spot. “IT” has a name. The intangible, overwhelm can be contained.

I compare it to how I have come to understand alcoholism. Once I understood what it felt like, there were others like me, and there were answers, I could work with it. Not eliminate it, but calm it and quiet the beast. And i have learned that it is a part of me and I am not ‘less than’ for having it. It will flare up if I don’t take care of myself. 

Honestly, I don’t want to add helping my son deal with anxiety so bad that he may be let go from driving, to my plate right now. But…this is what has to happen above all else. 

11 thoughts on “Day 14 – My Son Has Anxiety

  1. I have generalized anxiety disorder. My son seems to be very like me.
    I would ask him- does he want to take driving now? Completely open, no pressure. Some people never learn to drive. And that’s perfectly ok.
    Maybe next year will be different.

    If he does, then the question is how can you help him be comfortable learning.

    I have learned to back off and let things happen when my son wants them to. I gently prod, as I also like to be supported when i am scared and need moral support.

    Anxiety is a lifelong friend. It might have a name, but it’s not well contained.

    Hug. Your son will be ok. So will you.


    Liked by 1 person

    • He really wants to! And it’s the only thing he has shown an interest in in a long time. That’s the part that makes it so hard if it gets taken away. Thanks, Anne. I will need more guidance on this journey of anxiety.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I also have generalized anxiety disorder, and used to suffer from it with horrible panic attacks.
    It took therapy and reading to help.
    I read an old book, called Hope and Help for your Nerves, by Dr. Claire Weeks.
    When having a panic attack…crying or shakes or breathing issues
    1. face the fear…don’t run from it.
    2. accept the feelings…don’t fight
    3. float above the feelings…don’t listen in t them
    4. let time pass

    Another thing that helped me is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
    I can lower my anxiety by going through some of the exercises…
    Feeling Good is the name of a classic book by David Burns that deals with this.

    It can get better.


    • I hadn’t made the association that his crying is a panic attack! Thank you Wendy, I know he will benefit from your list. I like having the correct language to talk to him that is comforting and doesn’t make it worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My son didn’t really show discernible symptoms until about your son’s age, so I know how your heart breaks to comfort him. He’s now 24 and has grown out of the super-intense panic attacks and anxiety, so it does get better!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lori…I’d seek some professional help (like a counselor). And look to any other resources you may have…like a family friend that can take him to a parking lot to drive around some (because it’s hard to be someone else’s support in early sobriety)… Can he just have his permit and learn to drive over a much longer time…then re-enroll in the class when he’s ready? ..Whether that be next week or in 6 months.
    My bottom line to you is he will be okay if he doesn’t drive for a while. Your sobriety is a key to yours and his long-term well-being so I’d maybe leverage the resources you have in the community or in your own family when it comes to taking care of your son. (I only say this because I about killed myself trying to do it all and take care of everything and recover early on…it’s hard).
    Sending healing and peaceful wishes your way.


  5. As a 27 year old who has had social anxiety since I was very young, it pleases me to hear that you were able to help your son identify and name what he was feeling. It’s difficult for me not to feel a little bitter at times when reflecting upon my own childhood and having wished my own parents had helped me in this way too. But perhaps I long for something that never could have been.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It scares me that without others letting me know, I would not have seen it. But I do know it is his journey. I can’t ‘make him better’. I don’t even get to understand how he feels. He will have to own this all his life. He has started to say things like his brother, “I can’t (or its hard for me) because of my social anxiety (autism). It is becoming a fact and not a disability, like ‘I can’t hear you I’m deaf.’ I can’t FIX someone’s hearing and I can’t FIX autism or social anxiety.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is a scary thought to imagine him suffering alone had you not found out, though I think it’s good he has your support and love even if you aren’t able to fully understand what he’s going through.


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