Social Anxiety

I suffer from social anxiety disorder and it stops me from getting out in the world and making friends. As lonely as I am, it is so hard to interact with people.

Now that I have moved to a new community, I have no friends. I look at every person I meet as a potential friend. And the invitation came the other night. I was invited to hang out with two other new teachers. The plan was to eat pizza and watch a movie.

Despite the nature of the activities, I did not want to go. My stupid anxiety was getting in the way. I kept trying to think of some excuse to get me out of the gathering but I did not want to appear rude. Plus, I wanted friends.

Last night, I went to the gathering and had a great time. I was there for almost six hours. I am glad I faced my anxiety and hung out with friends.


Is ADHD an Excuse?

As a teacher, it can be difficult teaching a student that has ADHD that is not taking medication. When they are unfocused or getting in trouble constantly, you feel like no other child is getting attention because you are too busy dealing with the one kid. I know some people are very against medicating kids. You can easily tell the ones that need it though.

I am not out to talk about the kids though. I want to talk about adults with ADHD. To me, ADHD is similar to depression and similar disorders. Anyone with these disorders has to find a way to deal with the struggles while trying to function in society. It is not easy. When my depression has me feeling down, it is hard to go about basic life and do simple things like brushing my teeth, washing dishes, or getting out of bed. Work is nearly impossible but I still somehow manage. (I know for some people though, it can be so severe that disability is needed; that is not everyone though).

I do not believe that ADHD should be an excuse for most adults either. Coping mechanisms need to be established so that they can contribute to society. I do not believe that it is an excuse to not take care of your children or to not pay bills or any of the other things that adults are expected to do.

If we all dig deep enough, we could all probably find excuses that could be used to stop us from participating in the real world. But then, there would be no society. As an adult, the excuses need to stop. It is time to grow up and be a responsible citizen. Sure, any disorder can slow a person temporarily or lead to mistakes. But it is only a small thing. In the end, we are expected to take care of ourselves.

So Far Behind

It feels like forever ago when I was last able to write. My life has been so crazy lately that I do not even have a chance to sit down and relax. And maybe that is my fault. Maybe I am taking on too much.

On Tuesday, I had to go to some conference. i really did not want to go but my friend talked me into it. That was before I decided that I could tell her no. But that meant leaving Monday night and getting back Tuesday evening. The worst thing about being a teacher is that taking a day off is actually more work that actually being there. So I did something I rarely do and got up early Wednesday morning to go to work with the intention of getting something done. And then I went in early on Thursday and Friday because it seemed no matter how hard I worked, I always was behind. I have never been so disorganized or behind in all of the time I have been teaching.

To make my life a little more complicated, I took on a difficult freelance job. I have had to write numerous articles and every one of them has required research. Then, I have had to write anywhere between 1,500 words to 2,500 words. Those articles do not go very fast. The thing that keeps me going though is knowing that the money is going to God.

Because of my crazy life, I was unable to go to the volleyball game on Thursday. This game was the game before state or something like that. I actually did not want to go because I am not a sports person. However, my friend was going and that is why I wanted to go. We rarely spend any time together anymore and I figured it would be kind of nice. But I finally turned her down because I knew that I would feel better staying at home and catching up on work.

I am very good at managing my time. But maybe I just need to slow down and take a breath. I am sure God will understand.

All Alone

I came back from my city job at the amusement park on Monday. I was not ready to leave but I need time to get the classroom ready for school. Ever since I got back though, I have felt extremely lonely. I never felt that way when I was at the amusement park. It is not like I had guests over at my camper at the amusement park. Occasionally I would hang out with friends but it was not very often because we were all busy working.

People have welcomed me back but that is about the extent of the conversation. It really does not bother me I guess because I really have nothing to say to these people. They are just familiar people to me that I recognize by face. It is amazing though how many people in this tiny town say how happy they are that I am here but yet I stay locked up in my apartment alone every night. I have yet to see my friends since I have been back either. That makes the loneliness even worse. I check my cell phone often; hoping that there was a call or a text I missed. I have turned the volume up so that way if someone does contact me, I will know right away.

I noticed that while I was working at the amusement park, I could talk to anybody. I worked with lots of other people and I rarely had problems talking to them. I also had no trouble talking to the guests at the park. That was a big deal because I have social anxiety. But now that I am back home, the social anxiety has returned. I have a hard time looking at people directly. I also have nothing to say. It is odd that a person with social anxiety can speak to strangers and not to familiar people but I think I know why. I am not afraid of strangers judging me because they do not know me and that will be the only encounter I have with them. People in this small town know me and therefore judge me based on my actions. That is why it is difficult going to the grocery store but it is ok to go to Walmart.

I guess it is time to get ready for bed and hope for some sleep and wish that my loneliness will go away.

Going to the Dentist with Anxiety

I have been experiencing pain in my mouth for the last couple of days and it just wouldn’t go away. I did some research and was not finding any answers. Besides, I could not even tell if the pain was from my jaw or tooth. I finally had it and decided to look into a dentist. I hate going to the dentist. It is also way worse when you have anxiety disorder. It is a good thing I only had a couple of hours before I needed to be there because the longer I have to think about it, the worse my anxiety gets.

I am still in the city for the summer so I did some research and found one close by. I went in yesterday and they could not find any cause for my pain. They finally decided that because my antidepressants cause me to grind my teeth, I probably had a sore jaw and was given some medication. They also said that braces would probably help.

I told them that I had an appointment next week for braces. I wrote about a month ago that I was not sure if I should get braces as an adult or not. I  made a pros and cons list and decided to go through with it once I get back home for the school year. They also said that I should actually get a cleaning too before I get braces.

The cleaning was this morning. I had about twenty four hours to worry about it but I guess that is better than having the appointment scheduled on the calendar months in advance. Surprisingly though, I did not take my anxiety medicine that I can take whenever I am experiencing high anxiety. I just took my regular medication.

Unfortunately, I did have a couple of cavities but I guess that is what I get for not going to the dentist in forever. I guess I have learned my lesson. I also have another reason for getting braces: My teeth are so crooked that it is hard to brush and floss them.

Anxiety at the Amusement Park

I absolutely love my job at the amusement park. However, it also causes me great anxiety. It does not help that last year, I had several encounters with unpleasant guests that were very upset that the park was closing and then they could not ride rides anymore.

This year, I decided to ask my boss if I could mostly work the 9-5 shift instead of the 12-closing shift. I still have to have at least one night shift because we all take turns closing down a particular ride. I also have one other night shift. Even though I still find it difficult to handle the night shifts, I will take two of them over anymore. Plus, to make it even easier on me, I was not given the night shift on weekends.

I feel really horrible about asking for the 9-5 shifts though. I feel like instead of dealing with what makes me anxious, I took the easy way out and decided to avoid the problem all together. My friend agrees. I am an assistant manager and my friend says that it will hold me back from getting promoted. I do like being an assistant manager even though it does have stressful moments, but I know that I would not be able to handle being a manager. I know that the stress would get to me.

I really do not know how to feel in this situation: Disappointed in myself, anxious, or happy that I do not have many closing shifts.

Treatment for Anxiety

A couple weeks ago, I was having serious problems with my anxiety. I was having a very hard time breathing. I knew that it was time to get help. I am afraid of doctors though. I got up the courage to get help one Saturday before work only to find no clinic that treated anxiety on weekends.

I knew that I would have to wait until I got home from my job at the amusement park in order to get help again. I got home late in the afternoon on Monday and I knew that it would be too late to get help. And I figured that today would not be good either because I knew I would be expected to go to school and do some work. I figured I could get away with going on Wednesday though and then go to school for a few hours.

Tomorrow is Wednesday though. I am not sure I should go. My breathing problems have gone away for the time being. Sure, I still have the anxiety that accompanies me every day but it is not major. I have a feeling that it will be major before long though considering school starts in less than a week.

Right now, I am feeling rather depressed and I badly want to cut (so far I have managed to hold off) but I know that my depression is the result of me coming back to this horrible town.

In order to get help though, I have to drive to the neighboring town (another reason to hate this community). Plus, there is construction so this would not be a pleasant trip.

I just do not know what to do.

I Almost Got Help

I have suffered from anxiety for years. When I was seventeen, I was put on medication for awhile because I was having trouble breathing. I did not stay on it for very long though. My anxiety has continued for years. There have been times where I have thought about getting help. There are times when I get no sleep and can’t get my breakfast to stay down. But I am also afraid of doctors and that is what has held me back. My breathing problems have recently returned though. Yesterday at work, I was struggling to get a deep breath. That is when I knew that this has gone on long enough. I decided it was time to get help. Last night I did some research and figured out where to go. Then, this morning, it took a lot of courage but I got in my car and drove there. And that is when I found out that clinic does not treat anxiety on Saturdays. I was recommended to another place and I had some issues getting there but I finally arrived. That is when I discovered that they are not open on weekends. So I decided to find the second place the first clinic had recommended. They were not open yet and by then I needed to get home.

I want help. I really do. I just had no idea how difficult it would be.

Stressed-out Teacher (and it is only Monday)

I missed school on Friday so that I could go home to spend time with my family. It was a much needed break. However, when I returned, I had a ton of papers to grade and things to do in order to get ready for the coming week. Thankfully, the students had two specials today so I had an opportunity to get some things accomplished. Usually, on Monday, I use the specials’ periods to try to get ahead for the next week so already behind.

As if that were not enough to make my day chaotic, I had a bunch of student problems. I have several students that did not make much of an effort on their assignments so they will be redoing them tomorrow. I had a couple students that thought they did not need to be nice to each other.  I feel like I have been arguing with students all day. I finally told one student that I would be talking to his mom after school. That immediately stopped his bad attitude but of course I still talked to his mom.

I cannot believe that it is only Monday. I feel like I could use another break even though I just got one on Friday. What I really would like is to cut. I have been clean for thirteen days and I am proud of my accomplishment. But I know I would feel better if I cut. But at the same time, I hate how I am trying to let my problems and my students get to my wrists (literally).

When is it Going to be Summer?

A week ago, I decided I would like to take a day off and come home. I had not missed any days yet and I figured I deserved a break. I really did not think I should need to have a break three weeks after Christmas vacation but lately, I have just hated going to school. I have a difficult group of students and I am extremely anxious each morning about going to school. I am so anxious in fact that I feel like I am going to be sick.

I got last Friday off so I spent Monday evening doing lesson plans. I do not like doing lesson plans on a Monday because things can happen during the week that change lesson plans but I knew it was to be a chaotic week. I had noon duty for the week on top of preparations for being gone.

Tuesday, I woke up exhausted and shaky. I wanted nothing more than to stay home (partly because I was exhausted but also partly because I did not want to deal with my students). I knew those were not valid reasons for skipping work though so I went. And then came home at about nine o’clock because I was not feeling good.

Because I was gone Tuesday, that created even more work for me on Wednesday. And to make matters worse, PE was cancelled so I got even less prep time.

Wednesday was just crazy. I had a ton of papers to grade in my thirty minute break. I also had lesson plans to finish as well as things to prepare for Friday. I stayed late Wednesday at school trying to get it all done. I was not able to though because one of the teachers suggested we got out to eat. Then, when we got done, I had an hour to finish packing, complete lesson plans, and fill my car with gas before choir practice.

I survived the week and was able to have a relaxing three day weekend. Of course, I am not ready to go back to school tomorrow. I just do not know how I am going to make it to summer. It has only been three weeks since Christmas vacation and already I really want a long break.