Exams are fast approaching and as a teacher, I have been busy revising lessons and helping students with their difficulties that don’t seem to end.  This time everything has been different – the teaching-learning process.  It has been difficult for me as a teacher to understand the technicalities that I need to know to help me teach better and for the students, it has been a new learning experience to listen from a distance.
There have been days of anxiety for me when I had to stare into the computer and explain things without eye contact.  Would I goof up?!  What if I did press the wrong key, my lesson would go haywire ( it happened once and it was a nightmare for me).  So much anxiety before each lesson.  Our training sessions, in the beginning, didn’t go down well.  I was skeptical. I didn’t want it to work because I was afraid to learn.  I was not too keen on computers.  Just typing out question papers and googling information was ok but doing more than that gave me the jitters.   There were times when I laid awake at night dreaming about my computer crashing because of clicking the wrong option or worse still not being heard and understood.  Soon I decided to ask for help whenever I floundered while doing a task.  It embarrassed me to ask silly questions in the beginning but as my teaching depended on the task at hand, I needed to ask. The computer phobia that I had, slowly started receding and as time passed I started gaining confidence and today I can reach out to my students without anxiety. 

The other day my student called me because she was getting panic attacks with the soon approaching exams. And I couldn’t help but empathize with her because a few months back I was in a similar state.  I managed to quell her fears over the phone.  And it got me thinking about the anxiety attacks that so many of us go through. Some of us succumb to it while others manage to ask for help.

This lockdown some of us have successfully passed is probably because of the fighting spirit.  However, some were unable to get help and sadly succumbed to their weakness and circumstance.  There were so many who were stranded in strange lands owing to the lockdown.  Some got through it and some couldn’t.  They all must’ve had panic attacks.  They may have been extremely anxious and afraid.  Those stranded alone may have been feeling worse.  But kudos to those who have overcome their anxiety without falling deep into it, without it having affected their mental health.

Being anxious is natural but sometimes it can get you down if it overpowers you.  The only solution is to communicate…..get information….ask for help….get heard. Friends, please ask for help when you have such recurring panic attacks or anxieties.  Cry out for help without feeling ashamed because that could be the only rope to hold on to lift you to sanity.  Remember, it’s not the end of the world or you!

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