30 Things About Anxiety Nobody Talks About

30 Things About Anxiety Nobody Talks About
http://themighty.com/2016/03/hardest-parts-of-anxiety

1. “It can come out of nowhere, even without a trigger, and overwhelm you at any given time. It’s very powerful and scary. Feels like a heart attack, a dizzy spell and a punch in the gut all at once.”

2. “A lot of people with anxiety disorders are in a constant state of anxiety. It’s not something that comes and goes. It’s a 24/7 thing that can’t be turned off or turned down no matter how hard you try.”

3. “‘Anxiety’ is a term used very loosely. It’s not often that people acknowledge just how debilitating it is.”

4. “It’s hard to have a relationship when you have anxiety… anxiety causes low self-esteem and low self-worth and sometimes we push people away because of it.”

5. “Hypervigilance — some of us are super aware of things going on in our surroundings, whether we’re conscious of it or not. This makes some of us easy targets to scare, and it can take a while to calm down from something like being tapped on the shoulder.”

6. “It’s exhausting. Being tense and on edge is physically and mentally draining. It is so much more than just the mind. It affects appetite, behavior, emotions — everything.”

7. “People with anxiety can feel helpless and suicidal. These thoughts are not only associated with other ‘more severe’ mental illnesses.”

8. “The physical issues that come with it. Constipation. The runs. Puking and much more. All the ‘gross’ stuff that no one wants to openly admit.”

9. “Violent and tragic intrusive thoughts, like not being able to stop imagining family or friends you care deeply about dying horribly and painfully.”

10. “A panic attack looks different for different people. I’m good at masking them in public, pretending to be part of the conversation, nodding strategically because I can’t even speak.”

11. “Sometimes, once you have it under control, you feel a little less like yourself. It’s so all-consuming that when it’s gone you almost don’t know what to. This little devil sits on your shoulder, and when you’re able to brush him off, you miss the company.”

12. “It’s common for young children to be labeled as ‘bad’ because people don’t understand anxiety disorders in children.”

13. “Nobody talks about how everyone experiences anxiety differently. While I may need space, cold water and a tune to hum when I’m feeling especially anxious, others might need a shoulder to lean on and a peaceful distraction. This lack of conversation is particularly harmful because I and many others often have our experiences with anxiety invalidated when we tell someone that we experience anxiety in a way they may be unfamiliar with.”

14. “The guilt is there even when I’m feeling better. I feel such shame and guilt for all of the broken promises, dropped commitments, jobs I had to quit and events I missed. My anxiety is the thief, but I still feel like I’m at fault.”

15. “The physical part, the rapid heartbeats, the numbness, tunnel vision, being completely fatigued and physically worn out after an episode.”

16. “It gets boring. I have the same obsessive thoughts and worries over and over. I replay situations in my head for hours. I write lists to try to get things out of my head, over and over. I turn molehills into mountains until I can’t think of anything else. I get hung up on one detail and it’s all I can see for days. It’s boring, it’s repetitive and it’s overwhelming.”

17. “It can cause you to snap at people when they’re doing something that triggers you. Then later, when you try to apologize or explain, they don’t understand.”

18. “Even if I take medication, it doesn’t mean I’m suddenly free of panic attacks and anxiety.”

19. “Anxiety can make you jump to a wrong conclusion really fast.”

20. “For me, sex/relationship difficulties stem from anxiety.”

21. “It’s just like depression in the sense that there isn’t necessarily an answer to the question ‘what are you depressed about?’ Depression is an illness. It’s ‘about’ an illness. ‘What are you anxious about?’ Who knows?! I just am. The end.”

22. “Anger can come with the anxiety. I show irritability when my anxiety is high and it makes me seem like an unhappy person. I’m not, I’m just spinning out of control in my own mind.”

23. “It affects every facet of my life. The constant tension, irritability and fear seeps into every part of your daily existence. Snapping at the people you love because they’re doing something making you more tense, sleeping so lightly that every noise wakes you up. Anxiety shapes your day.”

24. “Anxiety is such a powerful emotion. It’s hard to explain how it really truly frightens you to the point where is controls your life. It feels like being in an emotionally abusive relationship with the negative thoughts in your head. No escape.”

25. “Anxiety isn’t always people freaking out externally or imagining the worst case scenarios, blubbering out loud about it. It’s more than that. Anxiety can be silent, unheard and internal. You’re freaking out internally and panicking and sometimes, keeping it all in will result in those moments when we just break down.”

26. “The paralyzing self doubt that comes along with anxiety can manifest itself is procrastination when it comes to doing things with your life or certain tasks. It makes you seem lazy.”

27. “There actually is a level of healthy anxiety that helps us to perform well on tests, in athletics, in school plays or similar. The issue is when it starts affecting your everyday life and stops you from doing the things you love or stops you from being successful.”

28. “We constantly swap and wear masks to hide how we really feel. We are human chameleons and masters of disguise, so other people don’t see our panic and pain.”

29. “It’s a nightmare to find the best course of treatment. Medications can help, but they also have side effects. On the other hand, natural remedies don’t always work the same for everyone. Be patient with us while we are trying to figure out what is best for us.”

30. “The fear of anxiety can also cause it.”

Maya Angelou

A Last love,
proper in conclusion,
should snip the wings
forbidding further flight.
But I, now,
reft of that confusion,
am lifted up
and speeding toward the light

-Recovery

 

There are some nights when
sleep plays coy,
aloof and disdainful.
And all the wiles
that I employ to win
its service to my side
are useless as wounded pride,
and much more painful.

-Insomniac

 

7 Strategies To Survive As An Introverted Teacher

7 Strategies To Survive As An Introverted Teacher
Quiet Revolution By John Spencer


I am an introvert who spends his days interacting with 140 seventh and eighth graders. Noise and chaos often overwhelm me although I believe that both are necessary for the learning process. I struggle to “be present” in the crowd and often find myself wanting to withdraw into my own world. I believe that relational engagement is critical to student engagement, and yet I have a hard time with start of a semester, trying to see students as individuals rather than six class periods.

I’ve had moments when I wondered if teaching was the wrong profession for me.

When I first began as a teacher, I forced myself to be extra visible on campus. After hearing my college professors talk about the need for “team players” and collaboration, I made an effort to plan lessons with other teachers even though I felt most comfortable planning projects alone. I ate lunch in the staff lounge even though I wanted to read a book. I chaperoned dances and attended sporting events so that the students would feel supported. I felt guilty that I didn’t look more “high energy” when leading a class discussion.

Within the first year of teaching, I found that I couldn’t keep it up. Lunchtime was more exhausting than teaching, and I found myself quietly leaving the staff lounge in order to have some think time. I quit two committees, and instead I volunteered to help them with independent projects. It was a slow transition of giving myself the permission to be an introvert, but I figured out how to carve a space for myself in an often extrovert-dominated field.

Here are some of the strategies I’ve used:

1. Student conferences
I meet one-on-one with every student once a week. Instead of wandering around—monitoring the class or endlessly lecturing, I keep the direct instruction short and schedule lots of one-on-one time. This keeps me from burning out, and it helps students get valuable face time with their teacher. This has taught me that being an introvert can actually be an asset to student engagement. These conferences allow students to feel known on a personal level by their teacher.

2. Introverted hobby
I write often. If I’m not writing blog posts, I’m up early in the morning working on a novel or a column. I spend my lunch periods painting or drawing. Those activities leave me feeling restored and ready to deal with the second half of the day.

3. Noise limit
I can handle small doses of noise, but I have a threshold where it becomes overwhelming. For this reason, I drive to work with no external stimulus: the radio is off. It’s my chance to reflect on how things are going. I also limit noise in my room. It’s not silent, but it isn’t loud either. My students get a high level of peer-to-peer talk time, and they can listen to music on headphones during independent project time. However, I require them to keep the volume to a moderate level.

4. Permission to be alone
I give myself the permission to withdraw. I used to feel like I had to attend every sporting event to support my students. I felt like I had to coach sports. I felt the need to allow students to come in before school and hang out. Now I see that I’m a better teacher when I’m not exhausted. In the same vein, I don’t go to the staff lounge for lunch.

5. Volunteering for introverted projects
I am the first to volunteer to design a logo or a website. I’ll write a proposal for a committee. I enjoy editing videos and podcasts. In this way, I get to be indispensable to the school while still having ownership over the projects and working independently.

6. Social media
I still need community to challenge my thoughts about teaching and push me to refine my craft. I have a few good friends that I meet for coffee or for a pint. However, I have also found community through social media. Often, we plan our projects together in direct messages, Google chats, or Voxer conversations. I love these interactions because they have built-in think time. They’re both synchronous and asynchronous, and they often have a level of depth that doesn’t necessarily happen in the staff lounge.

7. Awareness
People who don’t know that I’m an introvert assume that I’m standoffish, shy, or even angry. I’ve had to explain that my introversion is why I do well as a listener one-on-one, but large group collaboration kills me. This is one of the things I share with fellow teachers on the first day our school assembles. It’s one of the first conversations I have when we get a new administrator. I may not be hanging around the staff lounge, but I’ll quietly write a note of encouragement to someone who needs it. I may not be able to handle a loud, noisy group in my classroom each morning, but I connect and conference with each one of the students throughout the week. I’m not saying this is better—just that it’s different, and that’s okay. And by advocating for myself, I’ve become an advocate for introverted students who might be struggling in the chaotic space of middle school.

I began using these strategies for my own survival, but I had no idea that I would go from surviving to thriving. Respecting my needs made me more energized and engaged with students. I became a better colleague and team player for the school.

I thought I was “getting away” with being an introvert. What I didn’t realize was that I’m a better teacher not in spite of being an introvert, but because of it.