My Biggest Challenge

So this is more of a personal post than a strictly homeschooling post, just a fair warning!

There are, of course, many challenges that come with homeschooling.  There is trying to find the way you “want” to teach, finding time for yourself, finding what works for each of your kids, dealing with public reactions, etc.  None of these is that difficult for me, at least not yet.

My biggest challenge is being social.

I am an introvert by nature.  This isn’t to say I am anti-social, I love people and I like being around people, it just drains all my energy to do so.  Even worse still is I am officially diagnosed as having panic disorder with agoraphobia, not many people know this (until now of course).  What this means is that when I get somewhere that I am uncomfortable, generally outside of my “bubble”, I panic.  I get sweats, feel dizzy, have trouble breathing, feel nauseous  and generally feel as though I might explode.  It sucks.

What this means it that each trip away from the house is very difficult for me.  I hide it pretty well (I think?) but it affects me daily.

Where this comes into play for homeschooling is that it FORCES me to deal with it.  Big Kid has basketball practice once a week (and soon practice *and* a game each week).  He also has music class, piano lessons, and we do other outings.  For a normal person this wouldn’t be an issue at all, they wouldn’t give it a second thought.  For me it means making a conscious effort to calm myself down and to tell myself, as many times as it takes, that I will not die or explode if I sit near the gym for an hour while BK has practice.  It means trying not to turn to panic while I drive to the next play group.  It also means that situations in which I need to be out of my bubble *and* be social are extremely difficult and very draining leading me to want to just sleep in a cave for a few days.

I had all these same issues when BK was in public school.  The difference now is that I *have* to deal with it. Exposure is supposed to be the best treatment so I am hoping with time, lots of time, and effort it will get easier.  Until then I am going to do my best to find as many coping mechanisms as possible all while knowing I will do anything for my kids, even push myself past where I am comfortable.

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