High Functioning Anxiety 6

Normally I don’t post so late, but alas, school has been occupying most of my thoughts. This week didn’t start out very well… I taught my first lesson as a TA in a master’s level addictions course. I felt the all too familiar all-consuming dread, heart pounding, feeling flushed, mouth dry, head ache, etc before I went into the classroom. I mean, it wasn’t as bad as it was one time in high school when my eyes watered and I couldn’t speak well and kept stuttering. I don’t think I made as much of a fool of myself this week as I did then. I wasn’t completely dissociated, but it got to that point by the end of the night. I manage to make it through my presentations, but it exhausts me. I have another Saturday and another next Thursday.

The professor I’m working with actually gave me pretty positive feedback on my lecture earlier this week, and just said I may need to speak up more and try not to read off the slides/try to incorporate more questions along the way, but he said I engaged the students. Idk. I was absolutely exhausted after. Swimming beforehand didn’t seem to take away the jitters like it normally does. Oh well, it’s over. Maybe I’ll do better next time. It’s always just in the back of my mind that I’ll do something to embarrass myself that I can’t recover from or that something monumental will happen and I’ll panic and have to leave … that hasn’t happened yet, but it’s in the back of my head. Some times I present and those worries don’t cross my mind, other times, like Monday, they’re always looming. It’s just sad for me because I feel like after all this time of being in therapy/working on anxiety, I should have a better handle on it than I do and not go home with a migraine after presenting, even if on the outside I look calm. Especially given the field I’m in, counseling, I feel like it’s expected you just should have your personal shit together.

I haven’t had much fun lately. Swimming hasn’t been having the calming effect that it normally does, or getting my anxiety lowered. When I went Monday someone chose to swim in the lane right beside me even though all the other lanes were free, so I just felt self conscious the whole time and didn’t want to use my goggles/snorkel. I often feel like I’m just bothersome/in the way/doing something wrong/repulsive.  I’ll try to end this entry on a positive note, though. I did something I never thought I would do yesterday, and that’s work out/train at the university gym with another member of my cohort who is helping me learn Muay Thai for fitness/self-defense. I … pretty much never exercise with other people. Normally, I think, I’d be too embarrassed or anxious to learn something new and I hate gyms/the way I look. So I’m not really sure what it was that pushed me to do this, but it was a good workout and a good experience, so I’m looking forward to doing that more regularly. It was the first time in a while I actually came home and was excited to tell my parents about something that I had done. And maybe after a while I’ll actually be able to do some damage if I need to 🙂

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