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Back to School Anxiety

Lately, I am in such a bad mood because I am so stressed about going back to school. While my parents are trying to do stuff as a family for the last few days of the holidays, I am so anxious and down that, I really don't feel like going out and doing anything. More so I just want to spend my last few days trying to relax at home before I am back to the constant hell that is school. However, my parents get really annoyed whenever I don't want to go anywhere and have to take it personally as me not wanting to spend time with them. I really don't want to act spoilt or anything, I know they really want to try and have some time out together, but at the same time, it is hard to actually enjoy it when I don't want to be there. 

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That last part of your message sounded exactly like how I feel with my family, it kind of freaked me out!! So I'm definately hearing you @Blurryphaced. It's always so hard when family takes things personally, it's like it just adds another layer to your anxiety and makes you feel bad that they feel you don't want to spend time with them. Does your family know about your mental health? And how much school stresses you out? Because if not, it could be worth mentioning this to them so they have a better understanding? They might even be able to come up with better ways to support you through the transition back into school? 

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@MB95 Unfortunately, they do, I have been diagnosed with anxiety and have visited many different psychologists of the last three years, and yet, they still find it hard to understand that my anxiety can make me not want to do things that should be 'fun'. All they can do is get disappointed and angry at me, so any support flies out the window. Thank you for sharing that you've experienced similar things by the way, it's nice to know I'm not alone. 

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Aww that really sucks @Blurryphaced. My parents can often act the same and say really hurtful comments that upset me even more. Often they don't realise or understand how hurtful it can be because they've never had anxiety. My parents have only just found out about my mental health so it'll be interesting to see if they change their words or not. But, as hard as it is for someone with anxiety, I think the most important thing is to try not to take on their dissapointment and anger. When I'm in similar situations I often am left feeling so much worse off because what they have said has then internalized it for me and I also become dissapointed and angry at myself because I can't seem to participate as they'd like me too, or if I do participate I am unable to enjoy myself and crack much of a smile. It absolutely sucks! And I'm not sure about if you suffer from depression too but I often find it starts to trigger my depression so I really need to be careful to not take their emotions on. You know your boundaries so don't let them push you past them, it's not worth it. If they can't understand then that's on them, not you. So try to stick to what you're comfortable with (within reason) and don't take on their emotions too! Anxiety gives you enough to deal with let alone stressing about how they're feeling too! ❤

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On another note, have you got any coping strategies in place to help deal with your anxiety around going back to school? I'd be interested in hearing them if you do because I'm starting to freak about uni big time! 

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Hi @MB95, I ended up going out today and am going to go kayaking tomorrow. Since they are hosting a party on Monday and I'm going to probably try to avoid it completely apart from just saying hi to people when they arrive, I figure I should at least try spend some time with them. I'm worried they won't respect that though and still make me come out and have lunch with everyone, which is something I find stressful since I get self conscious about how I look when I eat around people I'm not close to, and there is also plenty of conversion to have to deal with as well. As for coping mechanisms for going back to school, I usually like to organize the term ahead and do an entire clean out of my room. I feel like it gives me a bit of control and allows me to relieve some anxiety by getting my hands moving and becoming invested in something. Usually I also see my counselor as soon as possible on my first day as well because she has helped me so much and I feel I can trust her Smiley Happy

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I'm so glad to hear you have the support of a good counselor because that can really make a world of difference 😊 Is she a school counselor or do you see her outside of school? 

 

Cleaning out your room is such a great strategy!! Do you know when you might plan to do this? 

 

As for the lunch party - is it for any special occasion? Or just because they feel like it? I can totally understand the anxiety around it. I too struggle eating in front of people. Will it be more of a sit down thing or more casual like a BBQ or something? Cause you might be able to avoid the whole eating thing altogether? I know I should probs be encouraging you more to join in rather than avoid it, but I know exactly how it can feel so I just want to make sure you don't feel you have to do it! Sometimes I fake being sick lol Like I tell my family I'm not feeling well so that when people come round they are prepared for me to bail. I'll often say hi and force myself to try and be social for a bit before escaping into my room for a break. If it's more of a casual BBQ maybe you could just pick at a few things? Or if anyone notices you not eating you just say you're not feeling well? Because in a round about way it is the truth right? 

 

Who is going to be at the lunch? Like do you know the people? And random question but do you have siblings? Idk, sometimes I find staying really close to my sister helps to calm me in situations? Like she doesn't even realise what's going on but it's like I ghost her (or my mum) everywhere to feel safe and help reduce my anxiety.. that way if people try talk to me I'm at least with them so I usually just wait for them to talk 😂

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I just realised I forgot to acknowledge that you went out today! When I read that part of your message it put a huge smile on my face 😊 

 

Also.. I am soooo jealous you're going kayaking!!! That's one of my favourite things to do!!! What an awesome family activity 😊 Do you enjoy kayaking?

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@MB95  she is my school's counselor, but I still sometimes contact her during the holidays, and she is usually ok with seeing me then as well if she isn't busy and I need it. 

 

I've already started 😊 I did my cupboards yesterday and am planning dusting and disinfecting tomorrow at some point 

 

It isn't a special occasion really...just a street party to celebrate our houses surviving the fires that came through our area on New Years Eve. I think that fact will sort of help me get out of it since it isn't a birthday or anything, plus I don't know half the people going and barely talk to the ones I do. I think it is going to be more of a sit down thing, so idk how successful I'll be in avoiding it. Unfortunately, I already asked my parents if I could just say I was sick and come out of my room, so I can't really use that excuse 😂 I do have a sis and can relate, it is helpful that she is a lot more social than I am. She sometimes tries to get me engaged in conversations though, apparently she has decided it is 'for my own good' despite being three years younger 😆

 

And thank u 😊 I do enjoy kayaking, it is nice to be out in nature and I always take my dog and he loves it, today he actually jumped out and tried to go for a swim 😂 the only issue I had was when we were trying to stop for a break next to a Bush and I saw a spider in it, I think my parents wanted to throw me out of the kayak after all my screaming 

 

 

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Your counselor sounds very caring and supportive @Blurryphaced. I think it's amazing she is able to see you during holidays if you feel the need. Do you think it might be worthwhile trying to see her maybe a few days before school starts? That way you could let her know how anxious you are about being back and she might be able to give you some strategies to help try reduce the anxiety leading up to your first day?

 

The cleaning of your room is such a great idea though and I am LOVING that you have been so productive with it already!! Keep it up!! 😊 Do you like to play some tunes while you're cleaning too? 

 

Oh god, I love it when little sisters think they know best! Mine is 2yrs younger and does the exact same to me!! I guess their hearts are in the right place lol It sounds as though your sister is aware of your anxiety? What if you have a chat to her before everyone arrives and tell her you want to sit next to her at lunch and that if you're struggling for conversation that you'd really appreciate it if she stepped in? Cause it might help her realise how anxious you really are about it? I don't know, sometimes (and it doesn't always work) giving them a heads up helps them to understand a little better when it does happen. You will have to let me know how you get on with it. Just try and be confident in yourself and not over think it - you've got this 💪

 

Ahaha so you're not a fan of spiders hey? Me either! 😂 I do love that you go kayaking as a family though, I think that is so special and it sounds as though you have a decent relationship with your parents too which is also very special. Does your dog always jump out and try swim? That's soooo cute!! What kind of dog do you have?