Usually I can manage fears and anxieties.. at least to the point that it doesn’t affect my life too much. That’s probably not even very accurate, because I abstain from activities all the time based on anxiety and needing to be in my comfortable space… but what I mean is that usually I can hide it and people don’t realize how much of a freakin’ mess I am.
I had a chemistry lab class today. I read over the instructions before class twice and the instructor did the demonstration, I thought I was fine, even if I was nervous. We were practicing titration. Best of intentions aside, I got out all the beakers and flasks I needed and I just looked down at them… looked around the class and my brain just stopped. I was so overwhelmed and I couldn’t stop from crying and I could barely breath so I had to run out of the class. Apparently the teacher said it’s “par for the course” for students to be overwhelmed…. I’m not the kind of person that really takes that as a good thing, but I was appreciative of the fact that he stayed out in the hallway for a few moments with me. I have been able to avoid getting anxiety attacks before (at least in public), and I really hate feeling so vulnerable around all of my classmates.. they don’t know me, they aren’t my friends, and I know school is supposed to be a safe space to learn, but I don’t feel comfortable there.
One thing that helped was that another student (had blue hair too!!) had been out of the classroom and I didn’t realize she had left before me, but she came back from the bathroom and had been feeling the same way. As much as I am always told that other people feel anxiety and other things, there’s nothing quite like actually having someone right there having a similar experience. We talked through it a bit and since our stations are right behind each other, when we went back into the class it made the whole thing feel a lot more manageable. I also (barely) finished the experiment on time!
I really hope this doesn’t become a trend in this class… I really want to not just pass, but actually do well.
Realizing I really need to make a plan for self care and trying to recognize when something like this is about to happen. Even just thinking about it is making me remember those feelings and starting to freak out again. 😦