I’m beginning college again tonight – Media Communications major – but I’m a little nervous about it.
I have some anxiety problems. I get nervous then I start shaking before I ever face the terror.
Then I try to talk myself out of fear. Then I get a tummy ache. Then I have intestinal issues. Then I realize what I’ve done, making it worse.
Then I feel so stressed that I made it worse, am still scared, and can’t stop the cycle that I get a headache.
It’s exhausting being me, for real.
So today, I have a new plan: Stop fighting the fear. It should have been obvious before but I’ve always felt that fear was bad and I shouldn’t feel it; I should fight to get rid of it. (my therapist actually is the one to suggest this, but his thoughts are that I already knew it, and he might be right)
I already know I can’t rationalize it away, I don’t want to get out of the thing I’m afraid of, and I don’t want to compound the issue by fighting and failing and feeling like a failure. So I’m going to just feel the fear. Then all I have to deal with is fear of the thing, not fear of the fear of the thing.
I tried this just being scared technique this weekend when I went with a group to an out-of-town freethinker meetup. The feel-fear technique is not a very sophisticated plan but i guess it worked out okay. I was social when I could be and shaking in my hightops when it got to be too much. Mostly I wound up just being my neurotic but somewhat friendly and intelligent self.
I think this is what people refer to as ‘leaning in’. I’ve never really known what it means to do that, but I’m going to give it a shot.
I think for tonight ‘leaning in’ goes something like this: I’m in a writing class that starts tonight. there will be new people and new homework and I am scared. but i’m going anyways. I am scared, and that’s okay. I’m going to just be myself, fear and all, instead of pretending not to be scared — it might be the bravest thing I’ve ever done.
Wish me luck!
p.s. I’ve got the syllabus and it looks like a great class. i just haven’t been to college in years (dropped out and got my associates) and new experiences are always scary to me. Along with the fear, I’m also excited. It feels complicated inside my head.