Separation Anxiety Doesn’t Just Happen to Children

So apparently separation anxiety doesn’t just happen to babies and children. I know this because I have gone through it — you know, as an adult — very recently.

A little back story: my anxiety manifests itself in various ways; it shows up as actual anxiety/panic attacks, a short temper, that need to know (read: control) all the things, to having no appetite. The last one stuck with me over the course of the past four days. From the day my husband and children left on a road trip to visit his family, while I flew out to attend my cousin’s wedding.

Why was I nervous, why couldn’t I eat, why, why why? My children were perfectly safe, they were with my husband, he knows what they like to eat, what they like to do. He knows how to take care of them because, you know, he’s their father. And because he’s my husband, he knows what I need. However despite the daily phone calls, photos, text messages and video chats, my brain couldn’t turn off. And I let the anxiety control me, leaving me feeling like I was walking on a tightrope while our little family was apart.

Steady as she goes, I kept myself distracted, enjoyed the special time with my extended family, the gorgeous weather and the beautiful wedding. Meanwhile, my subconscious had a party of its own where my anxiety was the center of attention. The constant push and pull I felt as I walked into an empty house where I was alone just for one night. There is something about being alone with my own anxiety that creates even more anxiety, because apparently that’s a thing, too. But somehow I made it through, and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t easy. I distracted myself, played music to tune out the quiet, read my book filling my mind with the words of someone else’s story.

And the anxiety lessened for just long enough. Maybe today is the day I can accept it and be with it. One thing I do know is that despite the uncertainty in each situation that life throws at me, I gain more realization, which prepares me for the next time and the time after that. With practice and patience comes acceptance. And each day I work towards that goal.

How about you?

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anxiety

Sad beautiful woman with long curly hairs

To the Person Who's a Master at Hiding Your Anxiety

I see you. I see you sitting there, with a desperate plea in your eyes that touches my heart so deeply you couldn’t begin to understand. You smile sweetly. Others are blissfully unaware. You are a master of covering up the way you feel. You use situations within your control to hide the deep fears [...]
Sad young woman with friend

14 Things to Remember When Someone You Love Has Anxiety

This piece was written by Koty Neelis, a Thought Catalog contributor. It wasn’t until the past few years that I realized how badly my struggle with anxiety was. Simple things like waiting to hear back from someone or anticipating how something could turn out would leave my stomach in knots and my heart and mind racing. [...]
Mother and little son watching video or playing on touchpad lying in bed at night

6 Things I Remind Myself Every Day as a Mom With Anxiety

For me, being a mother and having anxiety, I have faced all sorts of days. When my anxiety strikes, it’s like I have left this world. I feel helpless, alone, scarred and disconnected from things around me. I used to curl up in a blanket and let the anxiety take its toll on me until [...]
blurry background of people walking on a busy street

When I Watched Someone Else Have a Panic Attack

As a woman who copes with anxiety and depression, sometimes the world can seem a bit closed off from me. I find myself stewing in my own thoughts more often than not, and it quickly becomes easy to forget the world and its problems. Something happened to me last weekend, though, that made me remember [...]