I feel like a failure. : I have not... - Anxiety and Depre...

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I feel like a failure.

KathKMit profile image

I have not posted here before, but I am hopeful this will be a place where I might find a bit of calm during my storm.

I have been a teacher for 18 (+) yrs. I have worked in/taught every grade level K-5th during this time. I stepped out of the regular classroom three years ago to become a kindergarten reading specialist. During my time in this position, I have not had any “formal” training and I have been in four different schools with four drastically different mindsets as to what my position should “look like” from four different principals and two assistant principals (I had good evaluations from my last two years.) This year has been especially tough as I have been learning my fourth school in three years and thus far I have not seemed to please my principal with the work I’m doing. I have bent over backwards to try and do everything she has asked me to do and it is just never enough. I am so frustrated and I feel like a complete failure as a teacher. My spirit is completely shattered and I have lost all my self confidence/esteem now. All I want to do is sob all day every day and jump out of my skin when anyone comes near me (at work, home, and out and about). I know this is unhealthy and I have tried desperately to counter my anxiety in positive ways, but my efforts have been for nought. What can I do to help convince my mind that my world is not coming to an end and this storm will eventually pass? I’m sooooooo tired of fighting what I feel is a losing battle. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Thanks for any words of encouragement/advice.

15 Replies

Hang in there..go make an appointment with therapist and make plan with goals..see a Dr for meds and know you're not a failure...people put pressure on others when they have pressure on themselves

Thank you. I have the number for a counselor, I just need to make the dreaded first phone call. The first time I went to counseling helped, but I feel I reached the end of my time with the psychologist I was seeing.

Hi KathKMit, I do believe that with your background and experience you have put forth every effort to please your principal. You need to know that it's not about you or the quality of your work. Sometimes there just isn't the right fit between 2 people for whatever reason. Don't allow this to destroy your self esteem. Have confidence in yourself and truly believe that you are the best you can be. Reacting to how frustrating this situation is, is causing you to think negatively about everything you do.

Make a list of all your accomplishments in the last 18 years as a teacher. Concentrate on those positive points. Go to Youtube and type in Positive Affirmations on Self Esteem/Confidence. Listen to some videos that can give you the positive re-enforcement you need right now. As I see it, you have 2 choices. Leave the position you are in before you start getting physical symptoms along with the emotional distress you are under OR learn a different way of accepting the situation you work in. You cannot control the principal's actions but you can control how you react to it.

I wish you well Kath, you are never alone. We are here to support you. xx

KathKMit profile image
KathKMit in reply to Agora1

Thank you for the kind words and advice. 🙂

I agree with Agora1. It appears that you are beating yourself up and doubting yourself over what looks like a personality conflict, and not poor work performance. If you simply cannot please your superior, the obvious decision is to find another teaching position before this impacts your physical health. That's only my opinion - the decision is yours to make.

KathKMit profile image
KathKMit in reply to jkl5500

Thank you. 🙂

Hello! I am also a teacher with anxiety. I was just formally diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder. It is such a difficult thing to deal with while trying to teach! I understand how you are feeling with the anxiety. I spend pretty much every prep period and planning time I have locked in my classroom with the lights off trying to take deep breaths and calm myself down.

Let me just say, KUDOS to you for having that long of a career!! You must truly love what you do to stick with it for so long!

Please make an appointment to go talk to your doctor. Just talking to mine and getting a formal diagnosis made all the difference in the world to me. I knew this was something out of my control and I could now take the steps to help myself get back to stability.

As for your principal, remember that you cannot please everyone. Have you have your formal observation yet this year? If so, how did it go? She might just be a difficult person to get along with.

Please keep us updated. Best wishes!

Thank you so much for your kind words. I was diagnosed with Generalize Anxiety Disorder several years ago and have been taking anxiety medications since my diagnosis. At my last appt, I was put on a beta blocker to help with my heart rate/blood pressure and it supposedly helps with anxiety as well. I also have Hashimoto’s Disease (autoimmune thyroid condition) which also causes anxiety. My battle with anxiety has been the hardest fight I have ever fought and it is really tough when others don’t understand what you are experiencing. I have tried counseling and I am currently seeking a new one as I feel that I accomplished all I could with my first psychologist. I just need to make the dreaded first phone call to one who has been recommended to me.

That’s great that you are able to get some help with it! I haven’t tried having therapy yet. I have 3 kids and also work 2 (very) part time jobs outside of teaching. So literally every single afternoon is completely taken up with work, or dance class, or music lessons, or lesson planning, and so on. I really don’t know when I would possible be able to go, and it actually gives me anxiety attacks to think about it. Maybe this summer I can really dive in to therapy since my schedule will be pretty clear then.

And, yeah, I know how hard that first phone call is.

The beta blacker thing is interesting to me. I know a LOT of musicians who use them to get over stage fright and ease “stutters” that happen with musicians. I am just getting started with taking medication. I’m one week in, so this is all VERY new to me. I’m SO ready for some relief. My dr told me it could take up to 8 weeks. So I’m playing. He waiting game.

I have been told the same thing about musicians taking the dosage I’m on right now. As a singer, I found that tidbit of info rather interesting. I am not certain it has helped me much though as I’m still having pretty regular (if not more frequent) panic attacks. I am just so frustrated that I have fallen back in this panic/anxiety cycle. I was hopeful I had overcome my attacks or at least found ways to cope and handle them. Those “remedies”are no longer working for me and I am left feeling lost and shattered. I know I will survive, but DANG right now it seems totally impossible.

I wish you the best with finding the best dosage(s) of your medication.

Thank you!

Hey, I hope you are doing well today.

I wanted to share a few suggestions with you that my therapist has given me over the past year or so and you can take from it what you will.

The items you discussed having trouble with are based in an Individual's core belief system (goals, self-esteem, believing what others do about them, etc). Therefore, I urge you to search for a few different items on YouTube or in a browser. They are core belief system, core belief balance (balancing), negative core beliefs, positive core beliefs, or any item that comes up with these ideas in them.

It helped me to realize the fact that I was overreacting to situations that I, especially, had no control over, and I needed to reevaluate my inner values and beliefs about myself. This made me understand what was important to me and no matter what another person said about my performance, I knew that I trying my best and there was nothing I could do to change that. If they had suggestions for me, that's one thing, but not just complaints.

Anyways, I hope this helps a bit.

Thank you for your post. I often find myself sinking down and then, by the Grace of God, I am helped up out of my depression. Talking things over with friendly people and focusing on your great achievements could help. Don't let yourself be sidelined and keep your head held high.

Best wishes for you.

So much encouragement possible!! You are such a caring teacher with so much experience. From your message alone i know you re excellent! You re just on the receiving end of unhelpful management. Please be reminded of all your qualities as a teacher and all beyond as a human being. Remember there is more to life than work. Ask yourself why this is affecting you so much. Is there something in your past? Do you feel you can only be good enough if you perform as a teacher? You re an amazing and caring individual. Sending you love.

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