We All Deserve To Be Our Best Selves

It was a normal drive there. I asked about her day and shared my happenings. She is my thinker – always wondering, analyzing, and asking for clarification – so the questions flowed. At the end of our short 8 minute ride we exited the car, entered the building, hopped a ride in the elevator, and arrived on the second floor.

In the 7 or so steps from the elevator to our destination something changed, as it does each time. It’s just different, we’re different. It’s sort of like a preparation. We quiet down, or at least I do, and await for what/who we may encounter. With caution we open the door. Sometimes it’s a ghost town and other times there may be a few people waiting. Nonetheless, it’s often silent with the exception of the white noise used to create a sound barrier.

Yesterday there was one person waiting. She appeared to be a mom. Reading a magazine, she never acknowledged us as we entered. This is not abnormal in this familiar room. Nobody tends to talk, but is either buried in a book, in a magazine, or is glued to his/her phone. I am guilty too. But why? Normally I talk to anyone who will listen.

As time passed, the mom was called back and disappeared . Shortly thereafter, I am called back. Me? I wasn’t expecting that. I obliged and divulged all the recent issues my little one has been experiencing with her anxiety. The conversation gave me hope. I hate when she suffers.

The majority of the appointment was consumed by our conversation, but there was still 15 minutes left and I knew my little one could use to empty that mind of hers today. So, I re-entered the waiting room only to find some different faces. A dad and his daughter were passing the time by reading. The little girl gave me a once over. I said “hi.” I then began reading myself. The little girl was eventually called back and her dad followed. In just a few minutes he returned.

I wanted to talk to him and give some support. But…maybe he is not interested in conversation, maybe he doesn’t need support, maybe he is embarrassed, maybe he just wants to explore the internet or email as he stares at his screen. My mind continued to go around in circles…just say something, maybe he needs it today. No, keep your mouth shut. But people need to talk about this – it’s a good thing. He’s going to think you are nuts. Oh so what – add him to the list. “Can I ask how old your daughter is?” He replies, “She’s 6.” “Well good for you for brining her here. I bring my daughter so she can learn some tools to deal with her issues now so she is not dealing with them when she is 18.”

The kind man continued the conversation speaking of the importance of counseling and how he makes it a priority to be there nearly every week. I was happy I spoke up and was enlightened by his perspective. He was no longer the quiet stranger distracted by his phone, but another parent who deeply cares about the well-being of his daughter. We spoke of the amazing benefits of our children speaking to other adults. We were not ashamed nor embarrassed. We were proud of our children for being brave and we know they will be better off for it.

We all deserve to be our best selves.


13 thoughts on “We All Deserve To Be Our Best Selves

  1. Your daughter is so lucky to have you and your perspective. It does seem so many are embarrassed about needing to process their feelings or anxiety. It is such a natural part of life and I love how you are thinking about giving her tools to help her — isn’t that what we all do as parents. Glad you connected with the other parent — I would have wanted you to connect with me!

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments Clare! You make me feel so validated when you say “I would have wanted you to connect with me!” THANK YOU!!!!

  2. That’s wonderful how you were able to talk to each other about the importance of your children, it had to make the elephant in the room go away! Everyone needs help finding the right tools for their situation. “We all deserve to be our best selves”. Great Slice!

    1. Funny you should say that – the elephant disappeared! 🙂 Yes – we all need help in different ways and in different situations. Thanks for your positive comments! 🙂

  3. Good for you! I was hoping this was what this would be about when I saw your title, and I’m glad it was! Talking is the only way we will break this stigma. Nobody thinks it’s weird to go to the doctor when they are sick, so why are people so afraid of mental illness?

  4. What a neat thing you did for that dad in the waiting room. Sometimes people hide in their phones because they don’t know how to interact, not because they don’t want to. You had that internal struggle about approaching him and your courageous side won! This is a day he won’t soon forget.

  5. Thanks for sharing this story. As I read this I was thinking, doctor’s or dentist’s office. Love your use of intentional vagueness and all the great description. As parents, we definitely want to help our children be their best selves. Kudos to you for giving your child “the tools” to do exactly that!

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