First, please know that there’s nothing you can say or do to make the anxiety go away. There’s no exact sentence you can say to your loved one to make it vanish into thin air. You don’t have the power to get rid of it. So, this is what you can do.
You can be there. Be there for the times when your loved one can’t breathe. Be there for the moments when he shakes uncontrollably with fear, or when she stumbles into your house with a look of pure terror in her eyes. You can be with them during the countless doctor appointments, trying to figure out what the best medicine for their brain will be. You can be there when it’s midnight and he can’t sleep, and you can be there when she lists every single fear she has just about tomorrow.
You can be there through the worst of it. You can be there through the times where you think it will never end. All you have to do is be there.
You can sit with them. Sit with them when they feel like they are truly dying. Sit with them when they are on a plane ride, convinced that it will crash to the ground. You can sit with them when it’s 3 am and they ask you to watch T.V with them because sleep isn’t an option for them in that moment. You can sit with them when they talk to you in through their tears about how much anxiety affects their everyday lives. You can just sit with them. And make their day a little better.
You can hold their hand. Hold their hand when they are struggling to breathe properly. Hold their hand when they wake up with a new thing to worry about. Hold their hand on another trip to the ER in fear that it’s actually not just another panic attack. Hold their hand through the night, even if they are sleeping soundly. Just hold their hand.
You can hold them. Hold them closer to you when tears roll down their blotchy face. Pull them nearer to your chest when they ask you if you think they’re crazy. Hold them through the attack that comes out of the blue, and through the moments when everything is ok. Just hold them through the good and the bad. Hold them through the amazing moments and the ones that cause so many tears to drop.
You can’t change their brain anatomy. You can’t suck the anxiety out of him or her. You can’t make it go away entirely. But just by you being there says something. Just by simply being in their presence, means something much bigger than the anxiety. It’s the love you have that will get them through this. It’s just simply your love, that will give them a sense of comfort in their most uncomfortable state.
Just be there for them through the dark, the dawn, and through the morning after. Hold their body closer to yours, and don’t give up on them. Don’t give up on your love. And don’t give up on the notion that love is more powerful than anxiety will ever be.