I've been keen to write about this subject for some time now. Not because I want to show the world, but I think I need to put words to my feelings.
I've been suffering from performance anxiety for some time now. I'm not sure when it all started. In school, there was no problem. I loved performing and was a member of the drama club. So, being on stage was not a hard thing to do. Class presentations was no big deal either. Usually, I just came up with what I was supposed to say the day before, our even the hour before the presentation. I even looked forward to doing them. Only once did it go bad. We were supposed to do a debate in 9th grade. I fell ill that spring, really ill, and was gone for almost a month. I lost almost all my muscles and was severely underweight. I had little to no time to prepare and the other ones I was supposed to doing the debate with did nothing at all. I was kind of up against this other team which was well prepared and, well, a team. My team mates sat there, quietly, and I did it all by myself. It was so frustrating, I used to be good at stuff like this and now, I was terrified. i almost started crying, my head felt dizzy and I just wanted to get out of there.
I guess the teacher put me in that group to help the other two. Sadly, her plan backfired. She even talked to me afterwards because I was so broken down. I felt absolutely terrible and still get stomach ache when I think about it... During upper high school, it was better and I was able to perform presentations with less to no anxiety. Although, I was not as confident as before. Luckily, we practice presentations A LOT so I grew to handle them. I even kind of liked it again.
I also started to work in the stable as a sub-instructor. And how I loved teaching! It is such and amazing feeling, especially when you reach a breakthrough and your students actually succeed. And people apparently like the way I teach. We had a lot of fun and the main focus was always to reach that "a-ha" experience. Not to brag, but my students were so amazing! And learned everything so quickly and well, I still feel pride when I think about it.
This is one of the reasons I decided to be a teacher, I love teaching and I know that I'm quite good at it. I thought that presentations would be ok again. But lately, I have experienced some of the worst performance anxiety I could ever imagine. First time, it struck me right before presentation, but I think that I manage to pull through. My right leg starts shaking, my face turns red and it feels like I mumble and the words coming out of my mouth is just a mish-mash... I hate it! I don't want to feel this way. It has even started to effect my everyday conversations. I loose words, talks too fast, my heart is pounding really hard and people look at me funny. So, I feel like it might be best if I just stay silent.
It feels like it is just getting worse and I have no idea how to stop it. i try to google how to treat it, but no matter how many times I tell myself that I'm good enough and can do this. But I still shiver, get nauseous, and it kind of feels like I'm sliding down a hill and nothing is there to help or stop me from falling in. Still, I love teaching. But i need to get the presentations under control or they'll never let me pass. We are to present a lesson next week, I've been nervous for weeks. I need to pull this off, it really needs to bee good. I will really do my best to prepare and give it my best. But it is hard when you constantly fighting a battle against your own mind, which tells you that it will never be good enough and that you suck at this.