Anxious about teaching jobs and sleep problem
I’ve been a primary teacher for about 10 years (in different locations) and I’ve got to the point now where I feel too anxious to take another teaching job. I was always anxious about teaching and all the observations and judgement from everyone- parents, other teachers, principals etc. I used to work long hours and tried my best to prepare good activities etc and then over time I started to get anxiety and sleep problems. Then I keep going to work without sleeping Which eventually makes you ill and then you need time off quite regularly. In the end I would resign for the end of the school year and sometimes I’d only last a term in some schools. Now I’m at the stage where I know my anxiety and sleep problem is so bad that I can’t take another teaching job. I know it’s a big responsibility looking after kids and I don’t want to let them down in their education. Now I’ve been without work for almost a year. I feel guilty, anxious and stressed about not working. I’ve even applied for teaching jobs and been offered them but then I’ve turned them down because of anxiety. I feel such a failure and I beat myself up because I can’t get up in the morning - because I can’t sleep often till about 4am. My family discuss with each other how unsuccessful I am. My husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year (he’s not been working since the start of the VIC lockdown) and that’s only added to the anxiety. I must work and I can’t afford counselling. I really don’t know what to do.
I'm really sorry you are struggling! I cant even begin to imagine what you are going through - especially with your husbands diagnosis.
I've experienced similar anxiety and sleep issues because of work. I've been in the same job and pretty much the same position for almost 11 years now. It is the very definition of a dead end job, no opportunities for growth or advancement. I used to beat myself up as I thought I was a failure, I was constantly comparing myself to others, it was my fault I was worthless I wasn't going to achieve anything because im in this job etc etc. All this made me sink deeper into depression and it was affecting my sleep. I was constantly tired, I would wake up 5/6 times a night and still go to work the next day. For years I felt like an empty robot with constant headaches and stomach cramps every time I walked into the building where my work was it.
Fortunately I had a breakdown - I say fortunately because it forced me to accept I needed help. I started seeing a psychologist and after a year of working with her my anxiety over work is almost non existant. I've accepted where Im at - at work and in life. I can now go to work and do what I need to do and just leave without worry. My sleeping has greatly improved and I have a more positive outlook on life, where as before all I could see was darkness.
You are important.
Have you had a chance to talk to friends/family?
Do you practice any self care? Self care is so important and it really helps with anxiety.
I encourage you to reach out to a GP, they will be able to point you in the right direction for support. Also talk to your GP about a mental health care plan - that way you will be able to access low cost or even free psychology sessions with a psychologist. I cannot recommend seeing a psychologist enough. They will be able to help you develop strategies to help you through this.
I know how hard it can be!
we're here for you! you are not alone!