Anxiety can be such a weird thing.
I’m not talking the regular anxiety that everyone feels here or there. The kind of anxiety that everyone is feeling a level of at the moment with the state of the world. I’m going to dive a bit into the kind of anxiety that comes with having an anxiety disorder.
I’m a teacher and this week we began remote online learning. I’ve been totally calm through most of it. I’m tech savvy and confident in my abilities. I love my students and my focus is on them and relationships and being there for those kiddos. It’s been fine.
One of my anxiety triggers is… are you ready for this? Talking on the phone.
I hate it. I dread it. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. In life situations such as doctor appointments, phone calls to banks, or whatever, I put it off as long as I can. It’s torture. I will look for any way out. Email, online chat, taking care of it myself… whatever. Just don’t make me actually place the phone call.
And incoming calls? Hell no. My phone is always on silent. I will never answer if I don’t know who is calling. And even then, if you aren’t one of my closest friends, chances are I won’t answer. I will text you back, message you, and if I absolutely have to call you, I will have to work up to it. I can’t just answer your call on a whim. For real? You’re crazy.
My heart races, my chest hurts, my head pounds and I have to force myself to breathe calmly.
Who thinks I am exaggerating? It sounds like I must be, right? I mean, it’s just a phone call, for goodness sake! It’s literally a conversation on a phone.
For whatever reason, it’s my trigger for anxiety and everything I just explained above is 100% accurate and true for me.
I’m not saying it makes sense. I realize it’s a bit ridiculous and that nothing can possibly harm me from talking on the phone. But my fight or flight kicks in and it’s game on.
So, what’s the point of this tangent? Well… online schooling calls for phone calls to parents!! It’s a bad time to have issues with talking on the phone!
So what’s a girl to do?
This is life and I’m not going to drown in it. So I’ve had to pick up the phone and call parents. Sometimes you just gotta do the things. You put on your big girl panties and you start doing the hard things and you do it the best you can. It doesn’t have to look perfect, but you try your best. You do and you grow.
2. Take Care of You
While you are doing all these hard things, take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, get sunshine, drink lots of water. Take your vitamins! I’ve found these to be very helpful!
3. When you get overwhelmed, and you just can’t do the things, ask for help!!
I had a moment yesterday of near breakdown. A parent needed me to call and I just. couldn’t. do. it. It was a parent that has trouble understanding things when we are face to face. A parent who has not been able to understand technology when I’ve been face to face helping them on their phone. A parent who hasn’t been able to respond to emails. And I needed to call this parent and talk them through google classroom. And I was on the verge of breakdown. So… rather than curl up in the fetal position and give up, I reached out. It’s OK to ask for help!! I asked a coworker and friend to call this parent for me. She is awesome! She said Yes. No questions asked, didn’t make me feel foolish, just Yes. And I was able to breathe easier.
Ask for help, friends. You do not need to do it all on your own. There are people who care about you who are willing to help you through this.
4. Don’t Give Up.
After my near breakdown, I took a nap. Then in the evening, I had another parent reach out asking me to call. Deep breath, I’ll handle this one. I dialed the number and… some man kept yelling at me in Spanish. Every time I opened my mouth, he would yell. I couldn’t even get a word out. When I finally could ask for the parent I was looking for, he said no one speaks English and hung up.
Crash and Burn.
I decided I was done for the day at that point.
But here I am, new morning, new day, new chance to try again.
I will not give up.
I am a great human. I am the best Mommy. I an a wonderful teacher.
So what if I have an anxiety disorder that sometimes looks crazy weird and makes me not want to make phone calls and I just put that out there for the whole world to see?
I’m still freaking awesome.
Whatever you are battling, whether it’s regular anxiety over the coronavirus which is totally valid or some anxiety disorder, you are awesome, too.
Just keep doing the things. Take care of yourself. Ask for help when you need it, and don’t ever give up!