In Fall: Help with Anxiety & Individuation, 1
The demands of the Fall season make many feel a need for help with anxiety: the surprising thing is how this anxiety connects with our need for individuation.
Often parents of school age kids feel a need at this time for help with anxiety — for many very good reasons. But others feel restless and anxious as well, whether they have children or not.
What does Fall evoke ? We may need help with anxiety, sure enough, but what about our individuation?
Hopes and Fears of the Past
For many children, embarking on another school year evokes hope, but also anxiety. Returning students anticipate that the school year might be a time of personal growth and adventure, when they might find something really new and exciting in life — some new possibility. Yet, the school year’s start may bring anxious forebodings that the year — and life — may not be like this. Adults often feel some echo of this.
“Children Must be Realistic”
My earliest school memory is of a friend in my class who was slapped with a ruler for making 4s that were closed at the top, rather than open, as the teacher had shown us. I think that he had intended to proudly show the teacher that he already knew how to make 4s, but instead he ended up humiliated and chastised.
For many adults, the association with school may be all about having to accommodate — to shut down parts of themselves that proved “too much” for the school environment. Some people take that shutting down message to heart, and never recover from it.
Just how “realistic”, i.e., not ourselves, have we learnt to be? If we need help with anxiety, could it stem from alienation from ourselves that forms a barrier to our individuation?
Onrush of Demands and Obligations
For parents, the re-commencement of school along with the whole multitude of kids’ activities can be an overwhelming burden at this time. In my experience, many do need help with anxiety. How do we take care of ourselves in the midst of this? Is it even OK to think about what I might need to develop as a person?
Where are My New Beginnings?
Living through this time of year, we’re aware that kids have new beginnings, and kids have optimism about the future. What about me? Does my life open on any growth, any depth, any new beginnings?
The journey to individuation may call to us most strongly in Fall.