My Experience With Anxiety in School

I started school in 1993. Where I live, we go from Kindergarten up through 6th grade before moving over to middle school for 2 years, and then high school for a final 4. As someone who grew up struggling with anxiety, these formidable years were varying levels of traumatic.

I had an extremely rocky start to begin with.

Most kindergartners have issues the first few weeks of school; it’s most likely the first time they’ve been away from their home/family for a pretty long, scheduled period of time. For me, add in to this the fact that my 5 year old brain was trying to compute feelings an emotions that I had little to no way of expressing. I didn’t have the vernacular to say things like “Yes, I know that the structural integrity of this school building is sound and that the people here are nice and that should make me feel safe- but it doesn’t. No, I don’t feel unsafe as if a bad guy or a monster might come and get me, I just haven’t established trust with anyone yet, so I know I’m not alone in the literal sense but I feel very alone. I know Timmy over there felt better when he started playing with the Legos but that would just be a momentary distraction for me- it wouldn’t erase the underlying panic that I don’t really KNOW any of you and I don’t want to be here and I want to go home.”

So I would ask to go to the nurse. The nurse had 3 options for everything- Saltine crackers, ice pack, or lay on a cot for a bit. I didn’t know how to ask for just a little bit of time and space to breathe, that I was just mid-panic attack. I didn’t know what panic attacks were back then. Sometimes I would get so worked up that I would puke. The teachers and nurses would ask me if I was making myself do that. They would roll their eyes when I’d try to explain that something was just wrong. I always just got sent back to the classroom to sit at my desk and white-knuckle through the panic.

That was the worst of it.

Middle and high school were marginally better because I‘d learned through the reactions I got from my elementary school teachers and staff that I was better just dealing with things on my own. I was my own support system by then; I knew I could take a few minutes in the bathroom to breathe if I needed to. I just couldn’t try and explain why. There was no use. No one had the patience for it. The sad coincidence was that I had the least support and empathy from ages 5–11; arguably when I needed it most. I felt like a nuisance and a liar, even though I knew I wasn’t lying. I knew in their eyes I was a liar, which in my mind was even worse.

I didn’t tell this story for sympathy. I told this story because it makes me so sad to think that other kids could be going through what I went through. It tears my heart up to think about. I hope beyond hope that there’s more awareness around anxiety and other mental health issues for kids in school, because I can’t stand to think otherwise.

We all deserve allies, we all deserve to have our voices listened to, and we all deserve to know that even if we’re not understood, we’re believed.

What IS The Husmus Social Circle?

The Husmus Social Circle is, first and foremost, a safe place for people with anxiety and other mental health issues.

Our message is one of hope, and we highlight the stories of people that have used their difficult mental health journeys to create something really special.

Our main hub is over at HusmusSocialCircle.com, (which is where you can sign up), but our blog posts will also be featured right here.

Guest Blogger Spotlight: Tamar Weinberg – From Spiraling Down to Starting Up

Depression and anxiety suck the life out of you.

I know this because I’ve been there.

Early 2018 was particularly tough for me. Trauma and tragedy put me in a downward spiral. I spent my days in a dark room, barely wanting to wake up, let alone face the world.

When you’re in such an emotional state of turmoil and despair, you don’t really care how others look at you. After all, you’re not really even looking at yourself, but when you do, it isn’t good.

One day that changed for me. I don’t really know what motivated me to do something different, something outside of my tried and true “roll out of bed in sweats, pants, and Crocs (with socks!)” behavior. I tried on a little spritz of perfume, something I had worn before, but my perspective was different.When you’re at a low point, remember, you’re not doing things for other people. You’re doing things a little more selfishly.

That day was a turning point for me. I put perfume on as an inward experience and I felt great. Excited. Alive. I put on real clothes. I spent the rest of that day sniffing my wrists, feeling much better than I had in a long time.

It didn’t heal me overnight, but personal fragrance gave me a new perspective on living again.

Over the next few months, all I did was experiment with different scents, learn more, study more.

It felt amazing.

This much is true: Fragrance brought me out of my depression. I decided to commit my life to spread this message of self care for self worth. In an industry where fragrance is marketed as an element for sex appeal, do I go out to a brand and tell them to focus on wellness instead?

Nah.

So I decided to create my own.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working tirelessly on TAMAR, a high end artisan personal fragrance line — for everyone: TAMAR is fragrance for who you are. It’s aroma therapy, not aromatherapy.

Everyone deserves happiness and I truly believe that making fragrance an inward journey of self discovery has the ability to transform you.

If you’d like to learn more about the brand, sign up to the mailing list at TAMAR and stay tuned for the product launch.

Tamar Weinberg

Social Media Links:
Twitter: twitter.com/tamaressences
Instagram: instagram.com/tamaressences
Facebook: facebook.com/tamaressences
Linkedin: linkedin.com/company/tamar


The Guest Blogger Spotlight is for shining the light on people that have used their mental health journeys as fuel to get them to where they are today. If you’d like to be featured, send an e-mail to Nicole@Husmus.co!

Guest Blogger Spotlight: Kori Linn – How to Have Anxiety Without Getting Completely Derailed

Anxiety is a feeling I’m deeply familiar with.

I used to feel a whole lot of it. I used to spend a lot of time and energy resisting it. I also used to try to use anxiety to get me to do things I thought I should be doing. 

In some ways, my whole life used to basically be me doing this big, elaborate dance with anxiety. I would tell it to leave me alone and then I would ask it to help me hurry up and get some stuff done because a deadline was coming up. I wanted to get rid of it, but I was also afraid that if I did get rid of it, then I’d never do anything productive ever again.

Because I thought that my anxiety, and my high-achieving perfectionist tendencies, were the key to my success. 

Here’s the thing, though. Anxiety does not make good fuel. 

Yes, you can use it as fuel, but there are side effects. Burnout is one of them. Another one is that your achievements will feel like anxiety, because the destination feels like the journey, and when you use anxiety to get there, then that’s what being there will feel like. I’ve gone through this cycle many times, and I’ve seen my clients go through it as well. The lie anxiety tells is that we’ll feel much better once we x, y, z. But then we do x, y, z, and we still feel anxious. Sometimes we even feel more anxious.

This makes it seem like anxiety is the enemy, but it’s not. On its own, anxiety is a set of thoughts and feelings we have about things we see as potential threats. The human brain evolved to scan for threats, and anxiety is part of that. And the anxiety itself is harmless. 

But when we think anxiety is a problem, like I used to, then we compound the anxiety with our thoughts and feelings about it. When we become anxious about our anxiety, then we’re dealing with exponential anxiety, and that can be difficult to handle, because left unchecked it will just keep going.

Interestingly, the solution that I find to work the best is to accept and allow the initial anxiety. When we’re used to either pushing anxiety away or trying to burn it like fuel, this approach can feel weird at first, but it works. It’s like the old self help book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways, but instead it’s allow the anxiety and carry on. 

This is kind of like exposure therapy. If you have anxiety about public speaking, you expect the anxiety to show up when you’re going to do a talk. You don’t fight it. You don’t suppress it. You just allow it to be there without allowing it to take over. When you expect anxiety to show up and it does, nothing has gone wrong. You don’t need to be anxious about the anxiety. You can just see it as your brain trying to keep you alive in the ways it evolved to, even if those ways don’t make the most sense in a corporate presentation. 

As a coach who started out as a coaching client, I’ve done this work myself, and I continue to do it. The things I do in my business now are possible because I’ve learned to allow my anxiety and keep going. And when anxiety showing up isn’t a problem, then you can try doing all kinds of things. You can start the business of your dreams and speak in front of people and have difficult conversations. Not because your anxiety is gone, but because you know how to handle it when it arises.

Kori Linn is a burnout coach for womxn in tech. She teaches her clients how to crush it at work without work crushing them.  Follow her on social media:

www.korilinn.com
Instagram- @korilinn
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/thekorilinn
Twitter- @korilinn


The Guest Blogger Spotlight is for shining the light on people that have used their mental health journeys as fuel to get them to where they are today. If you’d like to be featured, send an e-mail to Nicole@Husmus.co!

Thankful for CONNECTIONS!

This week, the Husmus Social Circle had its first spotlight guest blogger- Kori Linn! Kori is a life coach who helps badass women crush it at work, without crushing their personal well-being in the process. We originally crossed paths through the F Bomb Breakfast Club Facebook Group, and I’m so happy that she was willing to share her advice on and experience with having anxiety, but not letting it hold you back. I just know it will resonate with so many people struggling, especially this time of the year when it can be extra stressful! Read her blog post here!

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That New Moon Energy…

Remember when “BDE” was a thing? I think “NME” (New Moon Energy) should be a thing, because this new season, new moon energy has me feeling POWERFUL. Capable. Ready! Here are some steps my NME has me taking:

  • Skillcrush. I’ve been obsessed with HTML ever since back in middle school when I realized you could view a site’s page source and peep their code. I loved customizing my Myspace, and my Teen Open Diary (RIP 😫)… but I never knew that any of that fell under the umbrella of “coding”. For me, when I thought of coding, I pictured Girl With a Dragon Tattoo type situations. But then I took Skillcrush’s Coding Bootcamp (and finished it in one night, because that’s just how I am), and it opened my eyes to how much I already know about coding, and how easy it is to learn! This is NOT an ad or endorsed by the Skillcrush team in ANY way, I’m just genuinely excited about how much I’ve learned and how much I’m still learning (cuz you KNOW I went back to enroll in more courses.) Expect this very website to be re-vamped soon!
  • Yellow Co. Again, NOT an ad, just an amazing community I’m super excited about. In my introductory post, I spoke a little about my goal with Husmus: increased access to events for entrepreneurs who can’t physically be there, and the Founder, Joanna Waterfall, seemed genuinely interested in my work and how she could make Yellow Co. more accessible as well. There are a lot of entrepreneurial groups out there, but it’s so refreshing and validating when you find a space where know your words are actually being SEEN!

Okay, onto the work!

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On Your Mark, Get Set, ADVOCATE!

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Advocacy!

Earlier this week I also signed up for two courses on Coursera that I’m really excited about: An Introduction to Accessibility and Inclusive Design ( University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ), & Social Impact Strategy: Tools for Entrepreneurs and Innovators ( University of Pennsylvania ).

One of my main goals in life has always been helping people, and I look forward to what these courses can teach me about how to do just that!

A Lot Of Catching Up To Do!

I’m a bit behind with keeping this updated, so there’s a lot to share!

Firstly, let’s talk about Mental Health Awareness and Elpha!

Elpha is an amazing female-founded and run community of women in all different fields of business. It’s been one of my daily websites to check in on, and there’s always something interesting being discussed there. October 10th was Mental Health Awareness Day, and also the day that Elpha featured ME! And my journey of being an entrepreneur that struggles with anxiety. Check out the article here!

I also can’t address mental health awareness without acknowledging the Husmus Social Circle, and how much we’ve grown! We’re now at 20 amazing members and always ready for more.

audio:

  • Baily Hancock’s Stop Collaborate & Listen Podcast
  • Sara Weinreb’s Medium Well Podcast:
    • Episode 50– My health journey and advice for others navigating theirs (solo series)
    • Episode 51– Navigating stress and anxiety through slow, intentional living (solo series)
    • Episode 52– How convenience culture is impacting our health, our planet, and our loneliness (solo series)

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The Last of September

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  • Sara Weinreb’s Medium Well Podcast Episode 49– Zero waste is a scam (solo series)
  • Episode 29 of Baily Hancock’s Stop Collaborate & Listen Podcast with Curtis Jewell, Manager of Strategic Alliances at Sony Pictures Entertainment

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