Basketball And A Birthday

Anxiety on the Court

We just got back from my wife’s cousin’s birthday party. He just turned 6 and he is obsessed with basketball.

So of course his birthday party was at an indoor basketball court. They have three kids, but they always throw awesome parties.

My daughter loves her cousins, and usually I have to drag her home. She also always wants to run around and throw balls, so we figured she would have a blast.

My wife and I were dead wrong.

She was playing on my phone in the car and once we got to the gym, she didn’t want to stop. I told her that she could have it in a couple hours, but she just locked up. Once she gets her mind set on something it’s very hard to change it.

No tantrum, screaming, crying hitting or anything like that, she just refuses to do anything or have any fun.

I used to try and punish her for this behavior, thinking she was just having an attitude, but now I know it’s just social anxiety.

We talked to her softly and I let her use my phone. We could tell she was really close to having a panic attack, and the game she was playing helped her not have to focus on her anxiety,

What my wife and I didn’t realize at the time, was that the gymnasium and all the kids playing ,made her think about her old gym class at school.

My daughter suffers from separation anxiety and used to have meltdowns and cry the entire time she was at school, or worse she once told me, she would, “put on a fake smile and be sad on the inside”.

She did end up playing a little bit, and even made a basket. Plus she had some cake, so that’s a score for her since we don’t eat too much sugary stuff at home.

Having my wife by my side, and having our daughter to take care of, helped me cope with my social anxiety. I mean I didn’t talk to anyone, but at least I was there.

Anxiety Off the Court

One of the hardest parts, was watching all of these dads playing basketball with the kids, and not being able to go out and shoot some hoops myself.

I have always been a very athletic person and I used to play basketball all the time, but with my shoulder dislocations I am limited on the physical activities I can do. Most sports are out.

I also felt terrible for my wife, because where I am 6’2 and have some skills, she’s 5’3 and could still smoke me on the court. She played basketball in school. She is a very strong woman, and she was the only girl on a team filled with boys who resented her, but that never stopped her from playing a sport she loved.

That was before she got RA, now she can hardly hold a ball. I could see the look in her eyes and I knew she wanted to shoot a couple baskets, but she would pay for it tomorrow. Her fingers lock up very easily, but she is still active, just no sports.

The party had some rough patches, but all in all we had a good time. I try not to focus on the negatives. I know there are people out there that have it way worse than us.

The positives are that we got out of the house and had some extended family time. None of us had panic attacks and we all had some cake.

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One thought on “Basketball And A Birthday

  1. Marty says:

    Nice post,

    I have always feared public speaking, it was like instant panic attack.

    That was hard being a pro athlete. My father demanded I be the greatest baseball player ever.

    So getting up front, even after healing is difficult

    I do not judge myself now harshly fear now for feeling inadequate

    We have other strengths and avenues for success and happiness

    Our negative judgment do the damage,

    Hope that helps


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