I’m really scared and need advice 😩 - Anxiety and Depre...

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I’m really scared and need advice 😩

hunter4ransom
hunter4ransom

So, a few of you already know I’m a special education Paraeducator. I’ve been at my current school for 7 years. I’m comfortable and feel “safe” in my routines there, but I’m very unhappy. It’s a very toxic environment and I just hide out in my classroom with a teacher who uses me and expects me to do her job too. However, I love my students, know my job and do it well, have bonded with a few teachers, and have my own space (classroom, desk, laptop, and all needed supplies).

I took a leap and interviewed for same job I do now (same hours/pay) at a new school with an excellent reputation and great staff. My assistant principal, who I adore and have worked with for past 3 years, has transferred there and recommended me. My friend, a teacher who was a long term substitute in my classroom when regular teacher had knee surgery, is the teacher I will be working with. This sounds good so far, right? Anxiety tells me NO NO NO..... you can’t handle this change Eileen. Why are you giving up something you are comfortable with for the unknown? The unknown is scary and full of miserable outcomes and you will regret leaving what you’ve known for past 7 years. Besides, I (anxiety) need all your attention so you can’t focus on something entirely new and different, I won’t allow it.

This new school does special ed completely different. I won’t have my own classroom, desk, comfy hideout.... I will be “pushing into” classrooms and working with students in small groups in their classroom instead of “pulling out” into my own classroom for small group. I won’t have a place of my own to escape to and will be traveling the school from room to room meeting with students during my work day. I’m not sure I like this. It’s different and scares me.

My phone just rang with the offer from my friend and assistant principal. I froze and didn’t answer it. I know my current school will be upset I’m leaving because they depend on me, but other than that, I blend in. It’s like they have their click and my anxiety and being so introverted keeps me from being let in which, I guess, is fine with me. I do my job, know my way around, my students adore me, and I go home.

I don’t know what to do! Stay or go? I’m so scared. Advice?

18 Replies

Hello there, friend, I say that you should take this opportunity and embrace it. Changes can be super scary but often very rewarding. I went study abroad when I was 15 and I was super scared and nervous at the beginning too but then it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. I think you should go for it and see where this new job leads to :). Best of luck and well wishes to you, friend. Stay strong xoxo.

Thank you Z. Anxiety is such a monster to wrangle with.

Hidden
Hidden

I think your heart wants this change. We have to be true to ourselves. I am terrified of change too. And tomorrow I go into my internship and my anxiety tells me that I am going to fail miserably and publicly, I will wind up as a sad case of someone who just couldn’t make it in the world. I know that I can do this. I want to do this. I need to do this. Life is short, we have this one time here on earth to make a difference.

hunter4ransom
hunter4ransom in reply to Hidden

Thank you Lynn. Your words give me strength.... I need to do this, I want to do this, I can do this! Fear is mighty powerful, but so is the will to succeed.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to hunter4ransom

You can do this! The fear will diminish over time, once you get on a roll there’s no stopping you!

Hidden
Hidden

Hi Mrs Eileen, this actually sounds like a wonderful opportunity for you. You will be working with people that you enjoy being around. You will also be growing as a woman. That’s incredible, & I am so proud of you for even attempting this. I think you should do it if it’s what you want to do. I know it’s scary. I can feel your words & it makes me nervous too. I have social anxiety & I know what that’s like. I think this would be an incredible change for you. I hope that you take the job. Please let me know what you choose. Good luck & stay strong. I am here anytime you need me for a chat. Love you. xo

hunter4ransom
hunter4ransom in reply to Hidden

Thank you Kayla. Knowing your struggles and how much you have grown and become a stronger woman makes me feel empowered. I have faith that I too can endure this scary new life path and may just find out it was the best choice I ever made.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to hunter4ransom

Thank you so much for saying that. It means the world to me. YOU have helped me tremendously on my time on this platform. You’ve kept me hanging on with your words. I just want to extend that same thing to you whenever you need it. You already are an incredibly strong woman. Look at how much you’ve went through. I hope that someday I’m half of a woman as you already are. You’re one of the best women I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with. I’m always here for you. You can do this. <3

Ok.... deep breaths.... I just accepted the job at the new school. I start 8/29. Now, I have to give notice to my old school and pack my stuff up. I’m so so so incredibly nervous.

Congratulations Eileen❣ Change is scary, but you are leaving a toxic situation. Plus you have 2 friends at the new school. So proud of you Sweetheart, I know the school & kids will be lucky to have you. 💛🙂 Hugs❣❣

Oh well done! I was just about to reply, n say "go for it". I spent a lot of my working life as Special needs TA and I know some schools can be "clicky" and unwelcoming. Others not so. I'm sure your New position will be so much better, for you. Your job can be very difficult but rewarding. Good luck.😊🌻✌️

All of you are such awesome support. I’m so glad to call all of you friends. I don’t know that I would have been brave enough to take this leap of faith without you guys cheering me on and comforting me while my self doubt and anxiety try to take over. Thank you so much for being such a great support system. ❤️ Eileen

Hidden
Hidden

I think you really given this some serious thought and have given good reasons for both staying and leaving. Does the fact that the old principal who recommended you make you feel obligated to take the new offer? Like she put her neck out for you and you don’t want to let her down? That said. I am probably the only one who might say this but I think you might want to stay. You know yourself and your limits. Admiting you have limits is part of overcoming anxiety. It doesn’t make you weak or that you are giving in to anxiety by staying put. My father used to say you go in to work, eat three meals a day, and take one good sh*t is the best we can expect from life.

Hi, I'm the other paraeducator that's from San Diego. Hello again. I would accept the other job. I wish I could get myself to figure out how I can transfer to another school as well. I've been at my school for 18 years, and I'm not happy there anymore. I think you have a great opportunity. Yes, it is hard to take a leap out of our comfort zone. Let us know what you plan to do. I wish you the best!!

I so needed to read your post this morning. I’m so full of anxiety right now (isn’t morning anxiety great?). I did accept the job and I start 8/29. I go to my old school today and pack up my 7 years of supplies I have purchased with my own money and say goodbye to the few people who will truly miss me.

Without the encouragement and support of my friends here who totally understand how anxiety can sabotage the brightest moments and shun opportunities, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.

I’m super scared and filled with self doubt as this is a HUGE change out of my comfort zone, but knew this was the right decision. I’ve had opportunities in the past, but turned them down out of fear. I’m super proud of myself for finally taking the leap.

Can you transfer to another school? I work for Kent School District in WA which is huge and there are always tons of openings, but I was never brave enough to try something new. We are having trouble finding enough SPED teachers and paras to fill all our open positions. Our school district is a hot mess right now with teachers ready to go on strike if they don’t get their fair cost of living raise.

Keep me updated on how you are doing. I wish we could work together. We would be great support for each other, but San Diego is a long drive. Lol! I was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA (yuck!) and my middle sister lived in San Diego (beautiful place) for many years.

😊Eileen

I have anxiety starting back on the 27th. I need to win the lottery. ha. What's worse is my Celexa is giving me shakes and makes me feel like I can't concentrate. Forgetful and paranoid. I wish I could find a pill that works. I'm going to talk to my psychiatrist Thursday.

Oh I hear you! Zoloft has ALWAYS worked for me in the past. It isn’t quite working as well as I hoped this time around. I really messed myself up trying to wean off because I knew from past experience the pit I fall into once weaned gets worse each time I do it. I just felt so good for so long, I figured I was ready.... well I was but my body chemistry wasn’t. Let’s add the fact that I’m 48 next month and my body’s hormones are shifting and I’m sure I’m starting the very beginning stages of menopause. My mom started menopause at 47.

My doctor recently added a low dose of benzodiazepine twice a day along with my Zoloft 100mg. It seemed to work well the first week, but I’m back to having the shakes/trembling hands, pounding heart, tight chest, inability to feel calm or relaxed, and feelings of utter dread. I know most of this is triggered by starting a new job next week so I’m going to wait until I’m settled into my new routine before making any more changes.

Winning the lottery would be awesome. Money is a huge stress between my boyfriend and I as we are stretched paper thin and come June, the last portion ($900) of my child support ends. I lost first portion this past June because my son is 18. This was another reason my anxiety hit an all time high. My boyfriend makes decent money but is horrible at managing it and has a lot of expensive toys and hobbies he feel he shouldn’t have to give up just because my child support is ending. That’s another big anxiety issue that has to sit on back burner for now.

Take care of you first. Everything else can wait.

I'm going to be 54 so I'm pretty sure this pre menopause thing is part of the issue. Unfortunately my doctor won't prescribe any kind of benzos for me. :( They always worked well.

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