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Old 09-16-2016, 03:52 PM
 
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I'm a second year teacher at a new, parochial school teaching 6th grade ELA. I've had anxiety disorder and bouts of depression for 25 years. I feel I was "called" to this profession as I went to school for high school teaching credits at age 41. But my anxiety is getting the best of me. When I'm teaching, I'm on fire - I can do no wrong! I'm the captain of my ship! But, then the doubt starts: why am I going to dinner tonight with a friend instead of lesson planning. Oh, may I add I have a driving phobia but now I'm driving 1-1/4 hours one way for my new school? I feel brave and defeated at the same time. I appreciate this board and hope I can support others here.


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Old 09-16-2016, 05:11 PM
 
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You have a lot going for you, Theresald1! Look how far you've come over the last 25 years, especially with the driving phobia. I understand that you may feel defeated at times, but you need to give yourself credit for your progress. Remind yourself of that when you get down on yourself. And think about self-care, too! Eating dinner with friends is self-care and that is just as important as your passion for the job!
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Old 09-16-2016, 10:37 PM
 
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(((Theresaid1))) That's a lot of worries you're dealing with!

Just continue to take this one step at a time. You are obviously brave to spend so long in the car when it's so difficult for you. It's not comfortable, but you're doing it! Set aside time each week- whatever seems to make sense logically- to do work like lesson plans. Then remember that aside from whatever time you set aside, you are "free!" You can enjoy dinner with a friend because you know you have a work block set aside to accomplish what you need to do for school.

Whenever you start to feel anxiety, remind yourself: what's the WORST thing that could come out of whatever that situation is? And seriously think about it and be reasonable with your response. You don't work on lesson plans for a few hours? Is the world going to explore? (no) Are you going to get fired? (again, no) Will you do the worst job any teacher has ever done in the history of humans? (definitely no!) 99.9% of the time, the worst that could realistically happen is nowhere near as terrible as your anxiety suggests.

Try to bring what you feel when you're teaching into the rest of your life. You're on fire while you teach because you're good at the job. You were called to it. You're quite capable. You're in the right place at the right time of your life. Things are ok with the world. Sure, there are not so great things about your (and everyone else's) life. But don't let them detract from the good things. Give yourself a little picture or a reminder word that reminds you of how you feel when you are at your best and most comfortable. When you feel anxious, say that word or look at that picture to bring you back to how you feel when things are good. I sometimes feel to myself like I "hoard" compliments. By that, I mean I store them in my head and when I'm feeling down about my abilities, I "pull them out" and remember how great I can be. How great I really am.

Don't let anxious feelings define you. Just let those anxious feelings sit there. It's ok to know you're anxious but to let it be there without you focusing on it or relying on it. It's like wearing a barrette or a jacket. You know it's there, you can feel it, but you can move past it and do what you need without those extra items interfering.

We're glad you're here on this board!
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Old 10-13-2016, 04:08 PM
 
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Wow! You are incredibly brave for doing that drive with your anxiety. You're definitely inspiring me!!! Anxiety is crippling and the best thing to do is what you're doing. You're not letting it control you and you're facing your fears. What relaxes you? Maybe schedule that thing one time a day.
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