With sons at war

A mother’s thoughts and coping mechanisms.

By Anat Schneider | | Topics: Hamas, Gaza
Illustration. Photo by Melanie Fidler/Flash90

These days I am super sensitive.

I’m not available for almost any small talk. It’s hard for me to listen to the multitude of solutions and arguments that take place between people in coffee shops. It feels wrong and annoying. So I prefer to meet less, talk less, and if possible do more. Lately, the slightest noise can startle me.

I am aware that these are symptoms of anxiety, and I take them very seriously.

As a therapist, I know that what helps in times of anxiety is to ground the person, that is, to bring him to a state of presence in the moment. To distance him from thoughts about the future which can be very frightening, to understand that these thoughts are not reality but just thoughts in the mind.

There are quite a few methods to help a person to be present in the moment.

One of my favorite ways is through breathing – paying attention to the breaths that come in and out, to their rhythm. Take a deep breath and let the air fill your body, then exhale it all. This creates ventilation and provides more oxygen to the body.

And it relieves anxiety.

In addition to the breathing exercise, I seek to discern what is right for me and what is not, and to act accordingly. For example, I hardly listen to the news, because that weighs me down and makes me tired.

In addition, I make sure to stay active. Activity grounds us in the present and eliminates difficult thoughts. It also creates a sense of efficiency.

One of the things that creates the most stress for me is when I don’t get any “sign” or communication from my sons who are now serving in the army. I really don’t need much. I don’t need to talk, and I don’t need to know where they are or what they are doing. I just need a little signal. Even an emoji is enough.

And here, too, I have developed a way to calm myself down.

I know for sure that if my sons have any window of communication they will connect with their girlfriend/wife. So I simply contact each one’s girl, and through them I can keep updated. Most of the time it works. They are more informed than I am. Maybe it sounds stupid, but right now it helps me keep my sanity. It calms me down, and frees me from anxiety for a while.

But most of all I like it when there is Israeli music playing. Songs have the ability to fully connect us to our emotions. Songs manage to release anguish, and free trapped feelings.

There is a poignant song by one of my favorite singers, Shlomo Artzi, for such a time as this – when nearly every household has a loved one who is risking his or her life as a soldier to defend the nation.

This song is like a prayer for me these days:

More than this we do not need

Sung by Shlomo Artzi; lyrics by Avi Koren; translation – David Shishkoff

Our eyes are dry with no more tears,

Throats too hoarse to wail or sing.

What more can we ask of thee?

We’ve asked for almost everything.

 

Just send us rainfall in its season,

Sprinkle flowers all around,

And let the soldier return safe and sound

More than this we do not need.                   

 

We’ve already suffered a thousand scars,

Deep down inside we’ve hidden a sigh.

Please tell us that we’ve finally passed the test.

Our eyes can no more cry.

 

Just send us rainfall in its season,

Sprinkle flowers all around,

Please let him come back to his love

More than this we do not need.

 

We’ve already covered a hill or two,

Buried our hearts among cypress trees in graves.

Our sigh will soon break through –

Take it as a personal prayer.

 

Just send us rainfall in its season,

Sprinkle flowers all around,

And let us see him again –

More than this we do not need.

Members

Israel Today Membership

Read all member content. Access exclusive, in-depth reports from Israel! Free Zoom events. Connect with Israel right from your home! Raise a voice of truth and hope. Support Faith-based journalism in Jerusalem!

Monthly
Membership

$5
/ month
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Become a Member

Yearly
Membership

$46
/ year
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 18% Per Month.
Become a Member

Six Months
Membership

$28
every 6 months
Full access to Israel Today's Member-only content on all Digital Platforms.
Save 9% Per Month.
Become a Member

Leave a Reply

Israel Today Newsletter

Daily news

FREE to your inbox

Israel Heute Newsletter

Tägliche Nachrichten

KOSTENLOS in Ihrer Inbox

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter