I’m an Expert at Worrying


Social Anxiety 2: The Foreboding Future


Earlier this morning, I had a hard time sleeping., Even with the anti-anxiety meds I’ve been taking (it causes drowsiness. Or at least I feel drowsy). I woke up at 4 a.m. I tried playing games on my phone. Nope that didn’t work. Then I read a book, but that didn’t help either. So what’s the reason? The Teacher Job Fair. That’s the reason.

Yesterday was the teacher job fair at my school and I was hoping I’d actually get hired here, but turns out it was more of a screening, so that when I applied either on their school website or Edjoin, school employers at least know they’ve met me in person and that they’re familiar with me. Anywho, I made cover letters and resumes to the top 11 school districts I wanted to work for that were near where I lived. Whether it was in Los Angeles County or Orange County at least I was familiar with those areas.  Out of 11 schools I applied for 2 of them didn’t show up, 1 of them left early and 3 of them had long lines—mostly because the schools were closer to home and didn’t want to go to the desert areas and Nor Cal (Northern California). And I don’t blame them. I mean most of these places (although still part of California), were far away from the places and people they were familiar with. A good half of employers were from desert areas, Nor Cal and a bit of  Central California. Those areas were empty.  I know about two desert school districts were offering either Stagecoach tickets or Coachella tickets.

It was already hard enough I felt like an idiot not having a few tidbits on 2 or 3  of school districts I wanted to work for, then I felt even more guilty for the schools who basically pulled me over to their table (which were the desert areas and parts of Northern and Central California I did not want to work for) to come work for their district because I was a Special Education teacher. What I hate about anxiety/social anxiety is that I already had set amount of schools I wanted to meet (even though I made four general resume and covers just in case) and that was it. I had an idea what I wanted to say (including some schools I was not too familiar with their district). However, when it was something I was not ready for or people I wasn’t able to meet, it throws me off; I get nervous, I procrastinate, I don’t do anything else, I start freaking out…I hate it. I struggle a lot with “going with the flow” or being open to try new things, or being flexible or meeting new people, because well… it takes me a lot of energy to adjust the situation and people. I mean…I literally get exhausted. Although if you met me in person, you’d probably never know I struggled with an anxiety disorder, because as people say I’m so “bubbly” or I’m so “personable”. Meh.

So here I was, being pulled table to table, with employers offering me either bonuses or again like I mentioned earlier offering “Stagecoach” or “Coachella” tickets just to even come visit their schools (I knew I should have brought my business cards). Although, I did not like how I was kinda chided to come to their tables, I wanted to remain open just in case. You know what made me feel terrible (also explains why I couldn’t sleep through this morning)? Even in spite of the offers and even upon hearing how great some of these schools’ special education departments were, I didn’t want to leave my LA/OC area. I’m not solely objecting their schools because of their extreme weather of hot and cold (for California, chilly is cold for us; especially So Cal.) or because I wasn’t ready to move all the way to those schools or because of my friend, Robert (former boyfriend), but really I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle meeting new places or people. Again as mentioned earlier, it takes a lot of energy for me to adjust and because I’ll be getting use to the school site and their special education department (which I know will be different from the school site I’m student-teaching at), it would even take me more energy.

Currently I live in my childhood hometown with roommates (who smoke weed every now and then. I don’t know how people smoke up that stuff. It’s stinks like crap. I’ll talk about about my roommates later.), so I don’t live my family. While I do have my brother who lives nearby, my mom and sister live in Nor Cal and while I do miss us all being together at least I know the stores we use to grocery shop and I know places I can hang out when I’m stressed. I mean, it’s So Cal, there are lot of things to do even for homebodies like me. I have my church here, the women from my “Celebrate Recovery” class, my friends, my therapists…I have my support system here. While yes, I can call them, it’s different when meeting them in person. I feel like I can talk to them more in person (for some reason) and I can see them and touch them, than calling them on the phone or even using skype or something. My familiars are here, even when I live alone.

Going to a new place scares me, because of the adjustment. Going to a new place scares me, because I will be going to places and meeting people that I’ve never met before and I’m not so comfortable meeting new people. I’ve heard that Nor Cal’s way of life is different from So Cal’s way of life, especially in terms of interacting with one another. So, I know I’ll stick out like a sore thumb. My fear is that people will take advantage for me either because I’m not familiar with the area. It doesn’t help that people my whole life have called me either “naive” or “gullible”, so I’m even more afraid of meeting new people. Then what if I something bad happens to me? What if I get raped/sexually assaulted again? It was already hard enough to deal with my family, even we all lived together and friends. Yes I can call or text them, but it isn’t the same especially when I need a hug. Heck, I miss my mom’s hugs right now even though I live in the same hometown where most of my family use to live. Three years after the sexual assault, I have been very to myself. If I had already struggled talking to people already, well the experience made it worse. I’m too terrified, for example, to tell people about my favorite movies and shows. I’m too terrified to talk about my life, I’m too terrified to get close to people…. So yeah… I’m not too excited. I really, really, really hate how that experience has affected me in all aspects of my life.

But really there are so many opportunities about moving up to Nor Cal….having a $9000 paid bonus that would definitely help for moving, a new life, moving to a possibly great school with a great team of colleagues,  having a great pay for a first year teacher, buying my first house maybe even find a husband and starting a family… I mean…the recruiter was even offering to help me find a church! But the only thing holding me back is my anxiety and fear. I’m really not proud of myself. I’m just not.

So here I was being pulled from one table to the next, with other public schools and charter schools. I’m kinda skeptical about charter school because 1. I don’t think they offer pensions and 2. I’m not really familiar with charter schools and how they work. From what the recruiters tell me, its for students who schools have  given up on or for families who feel their child will benefit from…something like that. I think they are relatively a new form of education. I remember how they were mentioned in “60 Minutes” in the early 2000s. I also avoided schools that could have given me a shot in the hiring process, but I’m too terrified of moving to those areas! I mean what if they don’t have a therapist in those areas??? What if the nearest “decent” therapist isn’t in the 10 miles??? I don’t want to resort to having a therapist I can either call or text. When I lived with my mom, whenever I feel just a tiny bit sad, I would go in my mom’s bed and lie next to her as she’d watch, “Dancing With the Stars” or something. I really loved my mom’s hugs and the moments we had together and her cooking! I miss her cooking! Depression makes me not take care of myself as well as I should and with her around me she either made me food or pushed me to cook for myself. Though she is not here, at least I have my brother and my friends to comfort me whenever I feel down and out and I could go to them if I feel sad. I wouldn’t have that if I moved into the desert areas or to Nor Cal. Yeah, I’ll make friends eventually, but  I still need a support system I can go to right away, you know? So, yeah…these were the thoughts that plagued me at the event and throughout the night.

Therapy: What To Expect From Your Therapist (Especially On Your First Time)


Source: Anxiety.org

As as of right now, I am attending three therapy sessions: Celebrate Recovery at my church, therapy at my school, and therapy outside of school. The one I am seeing is outside of school is mainly for me to deal with relationship issues and overcome my sexual assault experience and therapy in my school is mostly to deal with my anxiety and depression. Then there’s is my sessions with my psychologist at school, where I can also get more prescription on my meds, but that’s like one a month.

Yeah I have my hands full with all three of those sessions in addition to student-teaching, going to school and work. Whew! But I’m happy, because I’m able to have the help I need to get through the week. And I feel like I’m getting what I need emotionally and spirituality too, because my spirituality has helped me keep me going in spite of my mental illnesses. I’m learning about relationships through the relationships I’m developing in all those sessions, which then is helping me have a better relationship with myself as well.

So how did I happen to get such wonderful people? Well…to be honest…luck and trial and error. I’ve gone through 5 therapists and I’ve been to a previous Celebrate Recovery event at a church I use to attend, so I’ve learned what I’ve wanted and not wanted in my trials of recovery. My…how I shall I put this…last to third therapist (???) was a good at CBT and helped out a lot on that, but what I didn’t like was how he didn’t seem to take in mind how much God meant a lot to me just because he didn’t believe so much in God (even though he came from a Jewish background. Go figure.) Then if I were to bring up my relationships with guys in how they treat me, he’d kinda get offended, like I was offending him, which was weird. Sometimes, I think back on it, I wished I had switched to another therapist or at least got a female therapist instead.

If you’ve been in an awkward situation with a therapist that doesn’t mean you have to stop going to therapy, but rather change your therapist. I know the change is inconvenient because perhaps your current therapist was better than your previous therapist or it took you forever ever to find the most “decent” therapist. So how do you know if a therapist is right for you? How do you know if they are crossing the line (although that’s what  you do in therapy basically)? These are the things I did not like from my previous therapists:

  • Not Being Sensitive to my beliefs or Background
  • Checking the clock too much
  • Imposing religious, spiritual, political or social beliefs—In this case it was more of social beliefs; not believing in monogamous relationships, recommending me to a dating website (that ended up leading me to my assaulter) when perhaps, as much as I wanted, wasn’t ready to be in a relationship yet.
  • Not understanding what I want—When I was an undergrad, I told my therapist I felt something was wrong with me, but he didn’t seem think anything was wrong. Yeah he looked as the DSM 4 (yeah, that was a while ago), but he didn’t give me any tests that suggested I may have had a major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. I didn’t get diagnosed with those by another mental health professional–this time a psychiatrist—several years later. This would have saved me a lot of time.

My two new therapists have really helped me out a lot, perhaps in more ways than my previous therapists have. They are pretty much the opposite of the previous therapists… well maybe my third to last therapist did challenge me and did help me learn as well, but what I did appreciate from my latest therapists is that they showed acceptance and compassion. It helps that they don’t just see me as a patient or a patient that they’re using for their counseling degree (most of the therapists I’ve seen are at schools), but as a person too and it helps me (indirectly) learn how good relationships form. So if you don’t have a good relationship with a therapist, then like any other person in your life, you can always leave.

Below are some links that can give you advice on the good traits and bad traits of a therapist whether you meet them in person, online, over the phone  or through text. I hope these articles will prove most helpful for you! At least it will save you more time. I had to learn the hard and long way!

4 Steps to Finding the Right Therapist for You and Your Anxiety

25 Signs of a Bad Therapist: You Deserve Better

Here’s What Makes a Good Therapist: 17 Signs to Look For

How Do I Know If My Therapist Is Effective?

Social Anxiety

I almost didn’t want to buy my dinner today after student-teaching. Not because I DON’T want to cook, but I don’t want to encounter people. I didn’t want to interact with people. The thought of doing it, exhausts me.

Whenever I have to start my day, I have to prep myself for encountering people: what they do and what they say. It helps me develop the energy and mindset to do so. I have a set amount of people I either want to see a period at a time or for the whole day. Or if I’m going to event, then I know that I have to prepare myself to meet a whole ton of people. It may seem rude, but it’s part of living with a chronic mental disability.

I know this is a bit of an oxymoron, but I’m a pretty chill anxious person and there is nothing I can do about separating those parts of me. I’ve tried. It’s more exhausting trying to separate those parts of me, than the actual cathartic symptoms of anxiety and depression. So I’ve learned to choose my battles wisely and chose being kind to myself instead. I chose giving myself healing when I feel stressed. I chose accepting where I’m at with myself.