I have struggled with severe anxiety for as long as I can remember, and for my entire life, I have seen it as an embarrassing and awful weakness. It means that when I hear my alarm go off in the mornings, I have to force myself to get out of bed and live a life, when all I want to do is stay under the doona where I am safe. It means that if I am asked to do something out of the ordinary, I have to fight to keep myself from having a panic attack. It means that if I'm invited to go somewhere, and I have to drive there and haven't been there before, then I will do almost anything to get out of it. It means that I have to leave my house at 7:22am Monday-Friday on the dot, so that I don't get stuck behind a bus on the way to work because I don't want to change lanes, and then I sit in my car, in the car park that I hire so that I don't have to try and find parking along with everyone else, until it's time to walk to the office. It means so many more little things, that represent everything big in my life.
It is literally, difficult for me to get through a day without feeling sick.
I find it so incredibly hard to make even the most simple of decisions. I let anyone and everyone influence my thinking until I don't even know what my own opinions are about my life.
I have found myself in a less than desirable situation.
I am in a job that truly makes me miserable. I love the people that I work with, but that is it. I know that's a huge positive, but hanging out with people is not what I get paid to do. I need to get out of it, but I don't know how. Reid and I have bills to pay, we can't survive on his salary alone. I want to do teaching, which is what I have wanted to do since I was a little girl, but once again, I let myself get talked out of it, in a way that made me think I didn't even want to be a teacher anymore. But I think about the possibility of teaching every day. That has to mean something. I think about the difference I could make, the fact that I will no doubt be sworn at and hated by some, but I could teach kids about the wonders of reading and writing and the amazing effect that Sociology can have in your life. As I sit here, on a Sunday afternoon, dreading Monday morning, I realise that I need to make a change. I could try and apply for new jobs, but it is incredibly likely that I will only end up in the same situation that I'm in now for the rest of my life. Stuck in a job that doesn't mean anything to me in a positive way and that makes me physically and emotionally unwell. That's no way to live a life. I am lucky to have such an incredibly supportive husband, because this means that our plans have been turned upside down - but he is willing to put his dreams on hold so that I can start to achieve some of mine.
My brain constantly thinks about the worst possible scenarios that could happen. The automatic thoughts for me are negative ones, and that is not something that I can control, although I wish I could. What if I start the degree and hate it? What if I finish the degree and can't get a job, or the only job I can get is somewhere awful? What if I really suck as a teacher? What if I do the degree but then never teach? But the other side is, what if I don't do the degree and regret it for the rest of my life? What if I look back in twenty years time and realise that I have been unhappy in my entire working life? What if I don't ever figure out what I want to do, and just have a mediocre job that doesn't challenge me, and doesn't push me to be all that I can be and more?
Teaching is a risk I need to take.
I am going back to do two more years of study. Reid and I are going to move somewhere cheaper and try and figure out where we want to be heading together as a married couple. I am going to successfully complete my Masters of Teaching and work somewhere part time so that I can help Reid financially. I am going to struggle, but I am going to succeed, and after that, at least I won't have to worry about living with the regret of not following a dream I have had since Kindergarten.