It was Yaakov’s freshman year he tried out for the high school soccer team and didn’t make it. We noticed some depression happening, and his anxiety was becoming evident in his daily life. Even teachers were complaining about his behavior.
We felt he needed to be involved with some sort of activity, and he didn’t like high school track. I had heard that a local competitive soccer club was still looking for players. He played for the team several years ago but we have removed him from the team when they were short players for a team. As we were driving to his tryouts he tells me he wanted to play for Heritage Soccer Club, so his skills would improve so he could make it onto his high school team.
When we got to the field he panicked! The panic was bad, worse than what I ever I had seen in the past. In the past, we always had coach/teacher/friend there that could step in and allow me to walk away. Taking me out of the equations was typically enough to jump start him. Yet, there wasn’t someone there that could offer him or me that support. I’m was trying to get a run in around the track, so he can do the tryouts and he’s yelling at me don’t make me do this mom don’t make me do this! Yet, on the way there he had told me he wanted to play so he could get on his high school team. And to be honest I yelled at him and used language towards him that I don’t do with my kids. I told them I was tired of his bull shit and we are always putting so much extra time in with him and it obvious was a waste of my time when he wasn’t grateful for all we have done for him. Somehow or another I use the word hell in there. Another words I was not helping him be successful and I myself had a massive meltdown and this may have been the first one towards him ever. (I have meltdowns, but they are in the shower were no one can see me crying. So, he doesn’t know how much I struggle with dealing with certain situations with him.)
His dad and I been talking about doing something for his anxiety, but we had no idea what to do. The tools that been working for years were no longer working and the next step was medication. After seeing him paralyzed with fear knowing how much he loves soccer I had to make a decision.
The coach later came over and told me that Yaakov has enough skills to play, but there is probably a better fit for him. He told me to go ahead and take him to the following day practice with a team that was older, but a little less aggressive and see how he feels about it. The next day Yaakov was excited about being able to tryout and that the coaches saw that he could play will enough to be successful to tryout. But, that all changed when we got there and once again like the day before he started melting down. This time, I left the field to go run I came back forty five minutes later and he had not moved, but this time there was no coach to help him get over his anxiety. I told him to come to the car told him I’m done trying to help support him and that we are going home we will pack up his computer and he won’t be playing his video games and computers anymore. I know it’s harsh and I knew once again it was anxiety but I also knew he needed a big push to get him out on that field. He started crying he asked me to pray with him. I did, and then I sat in the car and cried as he went back out in the field.
After tryouts the coach came over with form and said he wanted Yaakov on the team. With the coach standing right there I felt it was important that Yaakov to say he wanted to play, so if another meltdown happen it was clear Yaakov want to play and I wasn’t making him. So I asked him, “do you want to play for Heritage?” He said, “yes.”
As we left the field, I told Yaakov that we’ve been considering putting you on medication for his anxiety. I asked him, “how do you feel about that?” He asked, “what does that mean and what will it do?” So I explained, “when things are bad and we use our tools like prayer, like hugs, taking deep breaths, and everything that has worked in the past is no longer working you possibly need more. A couple of these tools maybe medication and even some therapy. I also told him that fear, being scared, and nervous is all natural. As a Christian, I believe it is a way for us to check in with God and ask for help. But, with that being said when your anxiety is so bad and you can’t function God has given us other tools and that is having good doctors who can work with your symptoms”.
As all of you guys know of for my past post this was very hard for me because I’ve been so against medication for my children. Yet him hitting his teenage years, I’m realizing that he needs more tools than what I can give him, and my own fears cannot control his life. So another words I had to do exactly what I’ve been telling him to to do trust God and move on and get him help.
We did put him on medication and he’s been on in about 3 months now and I can honestly say it made a huge difference in our lives. It wasn’t too long after we put him on medicine that we lost his dog. And though we thought he was going to have a huge meltdown and there was a big possibility that the police would have to be called he said what he had to say, he cried and he is moving on. In June he had to have surgery; don’t get me wrong he was nervous, but he went in there with quick prayer and faced what was coming and did a wonderful job. I guess what I’m trying to say is there is a time and a place for medication and I’ve always thought that for other families. But it was very hard to accept that same reality with my own son. Yaakov cannot tell any difference, but with less meltdowns and less anxiety attacks our house is a little bit calmer. Yaakov is a little more at peace.
Lastly, I want to make it clear this not a blog post on preaching, or trying to put my beliefs on others. It isn’t how AiN staff or board members feel, but the writer’s own thoughts.