Knowing and Doing

Our brains are really tricky organs.

I have been at a point, for awhile now, where I know what is causing my anxiety. However, despite being cognitively aware of some of the causes, and trying to talk myself down logically, my body reacts on autopilot.

Breaking that script is difficult.Stress is something that I both excel with and panic over. It is funny, really. To some extent, a certain level of stress acts as a stimulant. It gets me moving, spurs me into action, and helps me get shit done.

Other times, though, the stress starts to feel so overwhelming that I do not even know how to start.

But…I want to learn to live without it. To enjoy and embrace the quiet, instead of creating the chaos.

I feel the stress starting.

First, life has been hectic, as it tends to be. My sweet child had surgery a few days ago, and he is really hurting and struggling right now. It makes my mommy heart absolutely ache for him. I hate to see him cry and hurt…I hate to not be able to take it away. I hate how zoned out and loopy narcotic painkillers make him–yet, I am grateful they give him some relief. Motherhood is a constant ass-kicker.

Second…I am about to start my first real teaching job. My room is coming together. I like the way it looks. But…I am beginning to feel the PANIC start inside of me. The one that reminds me how much still needs to be done. How I don’t know the curriculum well. How, maybe, I really don’t know what I am doing, after all.

That voice of doubt is coming out–the one that reminds me of the high standard the school district expects from me, and the nagging fear that they will realize I am just some kind of sham.

So…I tell myself, You always freak out at the beginning of something new. And you always succeed. It will be okay. You love teaching. You are good at it! It is about the relationships.

The problem–every time I tell myself positive things like this, the impact feels so much weaker than the voice of doubt. That part of self that is a nagging, awful bitch.

To make matters worse, I am really struggling with PMS symptoms. A week before my period, like clockwork, the melancholy and depression feels worse. It can overtake me. I try looking at the calendar, recognizing the why, but, the feelings that come with it are real. And they are a serious downer.

I do stupid things. For example, today, I allowed myself to check out my former friend’s Facebook page. I haven’t been able to bring myself to un-friend her yet. I have, however, hidden her from view. Today, though, I looked at her page. All her happiness. Her new home. Her amazing anniversary vacation with the husband she really loves and who really loves her.

The ache of losing a friend is always hard for me. I wonder, and wonder, and fear…what was so wrong with me? 

I think of the other people who have come and gone. I worry about the current people who are here and worry what I will do when, and if, they go, too.

It is terrible, really…knowing that I could have better self talk, but allowing these parts to come out, full force, and haunt me.

This is the next part of my journey. To give myself credit, I can recognize some recent situations where I have allowed some things to really eat at me, causing worry and fear. Yet, with some of that self talk, I was able to let it go faster than normal. So…there is some progress.

Progress, not perfection…right?

6 thoughts on “Knowing and Doing

  1. grace to survive July 31, 2017 / 5:32 am

    Progress, yes. All the things that concern you show that you possess character, compassion and diligence. Such rare, cherished and highly respected qualities.

    People, whether on facebook, via email, phone or in person, can breezily say they bought a new home, went on a certain vacation, etc. but because it is a short on the surface conversation, they often leave out the parts where…there was a long delay at the airport, the vacation was rainy, or the terrible argument with the spouse and he slept on the couch, and the list goes on.


  2. jessgoescountry July 31, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    I so relate to what you’ve posted here. Our anxieties have a sneaky way of being both our strength and weakness. Our yin and yang.

    Just know you’re not alone in this. I’m grateful that you’re putting it out there. Sensitivities and vulnerabilities, I believe, are the greatest strengths.

    I hope your little one gets well very soon.


  3. thisismydecade August 1, 2017 / 10:46 am

    I can relate to Facebook scoping and seeing people happy and enjoying life. It killed me inside. It kept gnawing at me. It took therapy, acupuncture treatments, listening to motivational speakers, reading books, and a lot of tears to gain more and more perspective. I had to cut out family members that were toxic for me, and concentrate 100% on what I want for my life. It takes a bit, but keep working at it. You are making progress so keep going. Keep going until you have the life of your dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dealingwithalcoholdependency August 1, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    Hi Erica, I saw that you had looked at one of my posts that briefly touched on anxiety and I just read your post. It’s interesting that we are different ages, genders and nationalities and yet so much of what you say applies to me. In particular what you say about teaching. I was a teacher and eventually was vice principal of a school. Even after 37 successful years I would doubt myself as a teacher and a person. Like you I had to keep pointing out to myself where I had some way that anxiety spurred me on. I was so anxious about failure that I worked extra hard which meant I put on great school productions for example. But always the doubts. Don’t put yourself through what I went through. You know you’re good, believe it. But that’s the crucial point. It’s one thing to know something and something completely different believing and feeling it. Look forward to reading some more of your posts.


    • Erica August 2, 2017 / 7:01 pm

      Thanks for your input, Jim. I really appreciate it. Insecurity is difficult because doubt has such a loud voice! But, it sounds like both of us are beginning to recognize it for what it is. Good luck to you on your own journey– 🙂


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