Yesterday I had to sit through a mandatory training class for my job. It was 8 hours of sitting in a classroom. Huge Anxiety Trigger for me. One of the worst, in fact.
But I did good. I really did. I have learned to deal with classroom anxiety for the most part, but 8 hours is asking a lot. Happily, I was calm enough going in and didn’t have any anxious intrusive thoughts. My head was in the right place emotionally, speaking from an anxiety perspective.
We had a few short breaks, but it was a long, long day and a really intense class. And I have to say, to walk away from that knowing I did well and could handle it without any anxiety or panic attacks is such a wonderful, glorious feeling.
While sitting in the class I did notice my thoughts and where they were going. An anxious mind wanders a lot and mostly does this without us even knowing it.
But I am on to this dance, game, habit, or whatever you want to call it. And I am doing it – one day at a time I am putting myself out there and exposing myself to the things that I fear the most. Little by little. And I am healing.
Thank you Lord.
I remember a time when I could not sit in a classroom unless I was really heavily medicated with anti-anxiety medication. And even then it was really hard to sit still and not bolt from the class.
I look back on my high school and college days and man, I am so thankful to have come this far. I honestly don’t know how I made it through school sometimes.
Yesterday I sat in the furthest seat from the exit, on purpose. I sat with people on both side, which is what used to make me the most anxious- having my escape route blocked.
But blocked it was, and although I felt my mind wanting to go into the “What if you need to leave this instant??” territory, but I refused to indulge it.
It tried a few times to pop into my head.
By the time we were into the second hour of class, I was not having any potentially anxious thoughts anymore.
Driving in to work I psyched myself up really well. I reminded myself how much I wanted to get this job, how very hard last summer was because I needed to be working because my husband came thisclose to losing his job. It was paralyzing. The days were so slow. I did everything I could to keep myself busy, but not working and generating an income was scary as could be. (anxiety or no anxiety!)
Remembering that made going having to deal with classroom anxiety for 8 hours much easier.
Sitting here now, after the fact, typing these words there is no way I can adequately give voice to how very grateful I am:
and to You.
You who read this anxiety blog are with me during my ups and downs. Getting better and doing self treatment for social anxiety had been the biggest and most challenging journey of my life, and I feel so blessed to have you all along for the ride.
I often think about you when I am doing things that I consider gentle exposure therapy. Sitting through this training and having to deal with classroom anxiety is one of them.
For example I was at the Science parent teacher event a few nights ago. I was a bit nervous about going, but it turned out really well. While I was there I thought about Zoe, because she was also going through end of the year stuff with her kids. And doing great I might add!
Summer holiday vacation is almost here (meaning the kids are soon out from school) and is usually a tough time of year for me, anxiety- wise.
But I will face the scorching weather and the long days of bored kids and feeling whatever it is I go through here to the best of my ability. I will use my anxiety self help toolbox every day if need be.
I intend for this summer to be the calmest one I’ve had to date. That is a realistic goal for me.
And the next time I have to deal with classroom anxiety due to mandatory training for my job, I will be fine.
Thank you for sharing a bit of your day with me and I hope your anxiety recovery is going well lately.