The shine has worn off and what used to be feelings of elation and motivation to make it a great year have been overtaken by fear, anxiety, and trying to tell myself to power through. I thought because everything in my life was starting to all come together that going back to the classroom would be a good step. I had administration holding me on a peddles tool and singing my praises, for someone they only looked at the outside with and didn’t see the deep wounds. You know the feeling of being at a motivational seminar and you bring those home till one day they wear off and you’re just you with no external drive to push you through.
At times my anxiety seems to be like a catch-22, there are good days when I put on the happy face and all is good in the classroom and with life. Yet then there are the times when everything piles up, suddenly there are “non-negationables” and test data and enough work for 15 hour days. I go in a little early each day to try to get some things done, but there just isn’t the time to chip away at the block of materials to get done. I’m trying to balance out my life by leaving at the end of the day. Even though I’m leaving I still have the worry of what I’m leaving behind and trying to figure out when to get it done.
Each day I carry more and more anxiety yet put a smile on my face so that others won’t see my fears and rat race inside my head. Sure, yes it is going good, I say. But truthfully I’m regretting ever sticking my foot back in the door of the traditional classroom. Now as I try to break free before I find myself falling deeper into the rabbit hole and then falling back into old ways, I say I’m going to see about a position that would allow me to work with teachers and students in a positive light without all the burdens. Basically my desire is to teach one subject all day vs the 10 I’m responsible for now.
What I do know is that being in education is something I am passionate about, yet being in the classroom isn’t the spot for me. I do know that coaching kids in one subject in small groups is something that I have desired for a long time. Taking the stress level down about seven notches. One thing that I have learned this past year is that I need to do what I love, put me first, and find consistency.
The past month or so I’ve been noticing my quality of life going down. I’m tired all the time-going to bed often before the sun went down. I was missing training days because my anxiety from school is creeping into my home life and taking over things I loved. One thing you thing you must know is I’m very good at hiding things I don’t want people seeing-putting my vulnerability in a box and painting a happy face on the outside. Till one day the box drops, cracks and in order to live I must let a little of that vulnerability through with words on a blog.
This past week I’ve been sick with a really bad cold. Being home I felt such peace, my jaw hurt less because I stopped clenching it out of stress. I didn’t miss being away and I didn’t miss 33 pairs of eyeballs hanging on my every word. Now that I’m almost better from my cold I my anxiety attacks are coming back with a vengeance. Last night I had my first full attack and I was physically sick with fear of going back. I’ve missed four days of school and part of me just wants to stay home till my interview in the afternoon instead of facing my fears. As I sit here and write this post I feel my body trembling, my heart racing, and my emotions slipping away into a dark hole.
I know I’m stubborn and sometimes set in my “I’ll prove you wrong” ways. But I recall talking to the Life Coach Instructor at OPEX, who I value and I told her I decided to go back to teaching in the classroom, I really had to sell myself to her and looking back I see I was trying to sell myself on the idea. I remember her saying “we’ll see”. Now I wish someone would have sat me down and pulled my head out of my ass and helped me to remember what I fought so hard to forget. I’m not sure it would have worked, when you crave praise and your new bosses give you the “Cinderella” effect in a new job sometimes it’s hard to look past the pixie dust and see what’s really at hand.
I know I am the author of my story and while I dislike confrontation, I know I need to trust God that he has a plan for me and that I need to trust my gut on this. Believe me I crave consistency and wish I could find it wrapped in something I’m passionate about. I will put my needs first and trust that me and my health need to be a positive focus again in my life.