The statistics are alarming, even if they aren’t that surprising: the number of kids suffering from anxiety is on the rise.
I’d like to share my own recent experience with anxiety, since it’s been transformative to the way I understand mental health and how I want Cast Iron Babe to help kids and families live happier and calmer lives. Next week we’ll share solutions to help reduce anxiety and stress in kids and adults alike.
Ten months ago my friend Reyna and I were in a drive-thru waiting to pick up a couple of cold drinks. The man in the car in front of us was taking a LOOONG time to order. Cars were stacking up behind us, exhaust was swirling, and drivers began to honk.
The man in front of us thought the honking was from me and became furious. He started screaming at me, his face red and angry through his open window as he waited for his order.
Finally, he picked up his food and pulled into the parking lot adjacent the restaurant.
Reyna and I collected our drinks and drove the long way to the exit to avoid passing him.
About a half a block away, I realized he was following us.
We were on a busy street, so rather than have him tailgate us, I pulled over, made sure my doors were locked, and called the local sheriff.
The man pulled up right behind us, raised himself out of his window, and screamed and gestured wildly. He was out of control.
Over the phone, a deputy instructed us to drive to a fire station that was three blocks away. We did so, and the man followed us.
In the driveway to the fire department, the man blocked us in, continuing to yell and scream.
By this time, I was teetering between wanting to get out of my car and tell the man he had messed with the WRONG lady (along with a few choice four letter words) and having a calmer head to stay in the car until someone came to our aid.
Our lack of control in that experience was visceral, and Reyna and I were shaking, crying, and holding hands.
A firefighter walked out and the man finally left, although he still circled the block until the sheriff arrived.
Here’s the gist of the outcome: the authorities couldn’t charge the man with anything (despite surveillance footage and my pressing).
But there was an internal result that rattled me even more. I’m a pretty strong lady, but this experience added to my ‘normal’ stresses of life and the pandemic to a degree that I wouldn’t have expected.
I became easily startled, super sensitive on the road, and sometimes I didn’t even want to drive in my home town. My emotions felt very raw too.
Feeling helpless and at the focus of someone’s intense anger impacted my psyche.
I have and continue to take steps to empower and heal myself, including an exhilarating Porsche Travel Experience in Colorado and classes at the Porsche Experience Center (photo below!), which made me a better driver and gave me a newfound level of comfort on the road. Joe and I also love sharing these bucket-list type experiences together.
Focusing on my family (including my new grandson) and building a company with people I love has also been a HUGE balm to my soul.
And, like I said, I have new understanding and empathy about anxiety, especially anxiety in kids. Cast Iron Babe is designing its products and eduTainment with the mental health of kiddos in mind, so that we can help empower children and families to lead happier and calmer lives.
I’ll be back next week with tips to help reduce anxiety in kiddos (and adults too!). Until then, pass this on if you know someone who needs to hear this.
I genuinely love hearing from you. So take a moment and let me know how you are!
PS: Looking for a calm, fun activity for a kiddo in your life? Check out our Etsy shop for care kits, stickers, collectible cards, stationery, and more!