I wanted to tell you guys what happened in my English class today.
So my class had to write a Gothic short story for English and I really like how mine turned out, everything fit together in the end and it was the first story I wrote.
When we finished writing our stories and my teacher graded all the students’ papers, we had to get into small groups of 4 to read our group members’ stories. From there our group members would pick 1 out of the 4 of us to read our story in front of the class.
So there my anxiety started growing “What if they pick me?”
Well guess what?
They picked me.
Me, to speak in front of the class.
This happened on a Thursday. Which means I had the whole weekend to worry until that very moment.
To say that I spent the whole weekend worrying would be an understatement.
I was panicking, my heart kept having palpitations whenever I thought of it.
So then Monday (which was today) arrived. An even day. English today. I thought maybe I had time, because she already picked who would read for Wednesday and Friday I thought I had a 1 in 7 chance of not getting picked.
We were doing an assignment and it was nearing the end of that assignment. Then my teacher said the cursed words “So, who’s going to read their Gothic story today?”
I pretended that I didn’t hear her.
I looked at the assignment I just did pretending to focus so much on it, pretending I didn’t hear her so she wouldn’t pick me. I looked at my paper with fake consternation. For real. Lol, but it didn’t work. She looked at her paper which had the names of the people that were supposed to read and she said “Rebecca, do you want to read today?”
“Uhm,” looks up, half confused, fully terrified “What?”
“Gothic short story.”
“Uhm, ok.” My heart is ready to physically jump out of my skin at this moment. I have this feeling that she picked me on purpose because during the first few weeks of the semester she told me that she wanted to hear me contribute more in class. That didn’t happen, you know until this moment.
Disregarding my teacher’s scheme let’s go back to the anxiety part of my story.
One of my classmates said “Yeah, Rebecca!” cheering me on but I could barely hear him over the rapid beating of my heart.
I got up in the front of the class.
I looked up at everyone and immediately looked down.
I just wanted it to end.
I just wanted it to be over with.
I could barely catch my breath, my heart was beating so fast which resulted my voice to be shaky.
I literally tried so hard to begin the first sentence in a stable manner but all that came out was the voice of my anxiety.
I barely got through the first sentence when my teacher said…
“Speak louder. Let everyone hear you.”
Yeah, I was expecting that. But I couldn’t, my voice felt like it was going to literally break. My heart felt like it was going to burst from beating so damn fast. I felt like I was just going to faint.
I read and read.
I guess my voice got slightly better as I continued.
I mispronounced and stuttered a lot.
I wrote a 7 page story, so this was going to be long.
I wonder if anyone is even listening?
Can they hear me?
When is this over?
Why did I write such a long story?
My teacher told me to slowdown, sorry I’m a fast reader.
I turned page after page.
Never looking up.
I just looked at the bandage on my right pointer finger and the words on the pages.
It was coming to a close, here comes the big ending.
Not to be egotistical but I’m really proud of myself for the story that I wrote.
I guess everyone liked it too.
I mean the applause felt forced, they were supposed to applaud.
But the teacher asked my classmates if they had any comments about my story.
One girl liked my narration of the character that I wrote.
A guy liked the sarcastic jokes that I put into the story.
The same guy liked the symbolism that I used.
A girl liked the foreshadowing that I had.
A guy liked how I made the antagonist slightly creepy.
These comments just made me feel so empowered and worthy.
Maybe there is a purpose for my life.
My weekend was just so, I don’t even know how to put it into words, it was one of the worst weekends for me.
I cried so many tears.
Everything feels like it’s changing.
I lost some of my hope and my faith.
I’m not fully restored right now.
I’m not sure where I am exactly on my emotional roller coaster.
But to be honest after I read my story, my writing, in front of my class it felt like maybe there is hope for me.
Maybe I can do something bigger.
Maybe I don’t belong to darkness.
Maybe my anxiety doesn’t control me.
I mean it can, after I read my story my heart was still beating like a drum and my breathing was uneven, but I learned how to kind of deal with it today.
I guess I can deal with my anxiety, I mean it’ll always be there but it doesn’t have to take over my life. Maybe it’s time to accept that I’m going to live with it. I mean I still hate it, hate it so much, I just wish it would go away, but it’s not going away. Maybe I can accept that for now.
My anxiety is happy that I got it over with, or I was chosen to get it over with. Either way it’s over.
I don’t know, maybe a palpitating heart beat is my steady rhythm.