Being unhealthy both physically and mentally is teaching me new things. I have been holding on to control for so long that I don't even know how to take or receive help. It's actually rather pathetic considering I spend most of my time giving to others but there's my pathology in a nutshell. I always have to be able to take care of all my committments and responsibilities alone. It is not ok to bend and it is certainly not ok to break. Yet I find my barriers are now worn to tatters and just a mere acquaintance asking, "How are you?" brings me to tears. I am so vulnerable. I am a tiny, rootless leaf on the wind and I am easily blown into a tumultuous state. I have held on so hard and so long and taken on so much and now I am seeing that I just cannot do this anymore. It doesn't mean that I will never be competent again. It means that I need to accept all the help and offers being made to me without feeling guilty.
I had a complete breakdown at work today. Actually I had two mini-breaks and one big one. I went in late and skipped my plan period because my anxiety was out of control. Everything I eat has been rushing through me and I frequently dry heave in the morning. It feels horrific. I did make it to work but this was one of those days I probably should have just taken the day off.
First, I cried over my lunch to my sister in law. Then, when kids came in I dropped a tear or two when they asked if I was angry. Then, I dropped another tear or two at their compassion. I was a soggy wreck and PMS was not helping.
During the next class the big meltdown came. I caught a student throwing paper and when I tried to send him to the class next door, the rest of the class got out of control. They started making a ton of noise and then giant balls of paper whizzed through the air. They even threw a couple dictionaries. It was like a war zone with me in the center. Rather than assuming control, I just started crying and cleaning up the mess. Two of my students went for adult back up at that point. Security showed up and I sobbed to him about how embarassed I was and how awful the situation had become. He called the assistant principal and the dean and they came in and restored order with sterness and threats. I was mortified. Never in my whole career has it come to this...
Now when I look back, I am not sorry or ashamed that any of this happened because others around me saw I needed help and came to the rescue. The dean said she was going to start coming in to help me here and there. My assistant principal was very understanding and said I need to take care of myself. He got my friend to ask the principal if it's ok for me to start work an hour late when I need to since I have first block plan and feel the worst in the morning. My principal agreed. My friend also helped me solve some other work issues and my department head also asked how she could support me. All the caring and support I got today went a long way. I am glad to know I am not in this alone. Now I just need to learn to manage my anxiety and ask for help when I need it instead of waiting until I have a crisis.