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.


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.

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Speaking with ESSENCE’s ‘Yes, Girl!,’ Wright got real about how God guided her through a dark time and right to one of Marvel’s biggest films.Speaking with ESSENCE’s ‘Yes, Girl!,’ Wright got real about how God guided her through a dark time and right to one of Marvel’s biggest films.
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Like Minded Magazine

Back in August, I was interviewed for the online magazine, “Like Minded Magazine” that showcases the many stories of “like minded” individuals who combat their mental illness everyday. In this issue of the magazine, I discuss of course myself, how I live with anxiety and depression,  treatment being an African American living with mental illness and of course my blog. I also provide many national and international sites for those living with mental illness.

What I like about the magazine, was it put a “face” to mental illness. Too often, society thinks that people who live mental illness are “mentally deranged” and use it to account for violence as seen on the news. However, that’s not at all true. Many of us are just as “normal” as the next person…we just happen to live with mental illness.

I was to show this last year, but I had so much things on last August, it slipped my mind. Anyways, here’s a snippet of my interview with “Like Minded Magazine”.

For more on the interview, click on the link below:

Like Minded Magazine-Interview

My Mental Health Progress

I don’t know…one minute I’m doing great! Then in 5 minutes I feel like crap….30 minutes later, I’m able to build up contentment again. Then a “gray cloud” appears, I take a warm shower. I feel fresh and alive! Then…I feel like crap again and don’t get me started about work! I have to ACTUALLY talk to people! Anything, but that! I’m not in the mood. Few passengers later I feel a little better. I see how much I made…yes! Oh, heck yeah! I’m happy! I come home after long drives, my back aches…my head it spins! Anxiety is about me! I don’t know what to do! Will I be able to make enough money throughout the week to pay my bills? What job is there that will grant me flexibility while I pursue my credential??? Serving won’t do me any good, because I herniated my lower back from bussing now 6 years ago. Sitting all day driving already hurts and exhausts me. Student-teaching will begin soon and hopefully so will my time as a tutor. I’m at a loss on what do, once I’m in my mind trying to figure how deal with the struggles in my life…but that’s when unfortunately I lose the struggle to deal with my mental health. I become more withdrawn from associating with my friends, hopeless comes when looking for jobs only to find I’m not qualified even for the most humble ones. I’m OVERqualified, because of my resume caters more toward education. My experience as a hostess doesn’t seem to interest any employer in the restaurant business. Perhaps because it’s been six since I’ve been one??? I don’t know what employers are looking for nowdays? Is going to school for my credential worthwhile, while I struggle to pay my bills??? I only have four more months till I finish… My back begins to tighten which isn’t good for my herniated back. Chest pain envelops…I look for my inhale to help reduce it. The hunger that once embellished my stomach, no longer are there, because well…I lost my appetite.

This is but a sample of what I go through when trying to regain my mental health. It’s hard but it isn’t worth losing to.