Keila blew us away when she chose to compete in a swim meet! It wasn't so much how fast she swam, or which heat she was in - it was that she even chose to do it at all. The level of anxiety that she deals with is hard to understand. The constant battle against those immobilizing emotions is exhausting let alone the day to day living. She's worked so hard to understand what she is feeling, to learn to vocalize it and to find a space to nourish "being still".
When summer came we chose swim team as a way of practicing the skills she has learned to fight her anxiety. It was done in the hopes of helping to prepare her for full day kindergarten this fall. I didn't expect anything more than going to practices daily and for her to swim the full 25m. She's done that and done it well. There are no more tears at the practices, no more screaming or meltdowns when asked to do something. She is physically exhausted but over the last few weeks she isn't as emotionally drained. She was more than capable of swimming all the strokes the full distance so it was suggested she compete in a meet.
We also did some summer art classes. She is extremely critical of herself and makes perfection her never ending torture. I hoped that with the art classes she might begin to see that there is no real standard of perfection and also find a new outlet for some of her emotions. With the patient tutelage of Shannon Baker and her own persistent personality she has gone from this
While the idea of full day kindergarten looms over her, I hope that this summer has given her a glimpse of all she is capable of. She is a little powerhouse and just can't see it with all the lies her anxiety tells her. Sometimes the greatest successes are fought in our hearts and minds and are immeasurable by world standards. I'm so proud of her!