My Complicated Little Boy turned 13 this weekend. Goodness me how did that happen? How did he get so old?? How did I get so old??
Well, anyway I thought I would give you an update on the whole Anxiety Disorder thing. I think we have pretty much cracked it. I think he has got it sorted. (If you have no idea what I am talking about, see my previous post The Adventures of My Complicated Little Boy – Part 3.)
If you look at this picture you can see he is holding pictures of very large tarantula’s. Now a couple of years ago, he would have been sobbing in the corner at the mere suggestion of that. We have come a long way. And this weekend we are going to watch the Harry Potter movie with all the spiders – something he has never been able to do before.
That is the thing with Anxiety Disorder – everyone has anxieties and it’s an important part of being human. Anxiety makes us to try harder, push ourselves, be brave and most importantly be safe. But some people develop anxiety over things which are not harmful e.g. My Boy’s cucumber phobia. Or they develop reactions that are debilitating – like My Boy’s sobbing. And finally some anxiety can make us stop doing things – My Boy wouldn’t read books or watch movies or play games, just in case there were spiders in them – I had to read, or watch or play first.
So that is why it was so important that he learnt to manage his anxiety, so he could get on with life and do everything he wanted and needs to do. He will never like cucumbers and he will never like spiders, but he is now able to not react or at least manage his reaction to these things.
We have had these pictures of the tarantula’s floating around the house now for a while. He had not been able to pick them up. But his computer is dying and there is a new game coming out that he is desperate to get, but our computer won’t handle it. So why is that important? Well, when you are following an immersion program with phobias, each step you overcome earns a reward. And My Boy’s ultimate goal, when he has proved to me he is on top of his fears, is a new gaming computer.
So in desperation, he has pushed himself and I also think turning 13, maturing a bit and being a big boy in Senior School has led to the final sprint towards the end of his program. I am so very proud of him and so chuffed that he has really done the last stage on his own. Now I just have to find the money to buy the computer – he really surprised me and I wasn’t expecting this and hadn’t budgeted – but I will find it, because he is worth it.