This week it is mental health awareness week. A subject very close to my heart. I thought I’d step outside my comfort zone and talk about my battle with mental illness.
I have suffered with anxiety for as long as I can remember. I think I had a less severe form of it as a young child. It’s certainly something that has been with me for as long as I can remember. It got to the point several years ago, where I would rarely leave the house because I was worried something bad would happen.
I’ve only been teaching for 4 years because my anxiety held me back. Don’t get me wrong, I still have massive anxiety issues when it comes to my teaching. I doubt myself constantly and I can be physically sick when under huge pressure (parents evening is a massive trigger for me!) I decided that my anxiety wouldn’t win. Teaching was a dream for me and I think I’m born to teach. It’s a job that has to be loved. I truly believe it’s my purpose.
So how did I tackle my anxiety? I finally realised I couldn’t deal with it myself. I’ve become more open to talking about it to my family, friends and colleagues. I started medication to help me deal with it. It doesn’t always work, but it takes the edge off and I’ve only had 2 major panic attacks since teaching (and that’s huge for me!) I’m trying to deal with my negative thoughts about my capabilities as a teacher and to be honest, my personal post documenting my week as a teacher (Sunday post) is a fabulous outlet for me. I find it incredibly therapeutic. The support I’ve had from others on this post blows my mind.
I also love reaching into mental health representation in books whenever I can. I keep a log of my favourites, easily accessible on my blog for recommendations for others. Representation and discussion is key in my eyes.
I won’t let anxiety win. There’s no shame in having a mental illness. There’s no shame in taking medication to help you. It needs to be spoken about so people know they’re not alone. People with anxiety can achieve their dreams. You need to find that inner strength.