There is nothing that gets under my skin more than Sock.

Sock is P’s name for her amygdala. He spends most of his time leading her to believe she is being chased by a ferocious tiger. He floods her with adrenalin that she neither understands nor has any idea what to do with.

Sock is an idiot. He has the best of intentions but leaves her with regular stomach ache and (increasingly now) chest pains. That’s setting aside the hysteria that currently goes with a swimming lesson that includes none of her friends.

I’m sympathetic. God knows I know a bit about excess adrenalin. My amygdala is now called The Cat in the Hat and frankly he seems to be comparing multiple sports days, school visits, T’s guitar exam and a camping trip to a herd of elephants stampeding my garden.

But despite my own understanding of all this I just can’t help it – sometimes the stomach ache and refusal to eat gets on my nerves. Sometimes when I’m trapped in a car delivering P to a swimming lesson saying for the fiftieth time that she will be fine and she is a good swimmer when I actually want to cry myself and say “oh just get on with it it costs me a fortune”. But on we go.

Since re-reading this article, following it’s advice and naming Sock (the little git) I am more tolerant of the moaning and we feel like we are on a journey together. Who knows maybe it’ll calm The Cat in the Hat down too.

So we are working on her recognising that Sock frankly reacts in an excessive way on a regular basis, and helping her work on how to cope when he does. Largely with breathing exercises and relaxation (which degenerated into giggles when I told her to relax her bottom).

If your child suffers from anxiety I cannot recommend the advice contained in the article from Hey Sigmund highly enough. She seems to understand what is going on. Which is the start of being able to tackle it. I hope.

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