Would you care for caviar with your anxiety, miss?

I don't know why it's taken me this long to realize it, but:

I'm moving to school. In three weeks.

Three weeks.

The ominous approach of August has finally driven it home, and I spent last night shaking with anxiety, curled up in my bed. Literally shaking. I can't explain it. I don't know what I'm so afraid of, really. I don't think it's anything.

I'm afraid of relapsing, but I don't know if that fear is stronger than my fear of gaining weight. Or of eating too much, eating the wrong things, not eating "healthy." It makes no sense, and I'm quite aware of that fact. I'm also taking action to make sure that I plug all possible holes against relapse.

I've printed out a little list of all the restaurants near campus and my apartment (except the really gourmet one a block away. When I need a meal in a hurry, I don't think foie gras is going to cut it. Besides...fattened duck liver? I don't think so). I have a meal book, which has different menu ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack. Kind of like Richard Simmons' Deal-a-Meal, only without the curly hair and spangly shorts. Then, when I'm short on ideas, I can whip out the cards and have several days meals ready to make.

I have a campus debit card which I can use at on-campus restaurants and those right around the university. My bday present was money to put on that card.

Then I start thinking about teaching my class. I'm supposed to teach things like how to critically read an essay. How do you critically read an essay? I don't know. I've never taught anything before, I've never formally learned writing skills past high school. I know they wouldn't have me do it if they didn't think I was capable, but I don't know if they're quite aware of my lack of qualifications.

"Hi, kids. Welcome to all of our first day of college English."

I can hear the flushing sounds as my credibility goes down the toilet.

I've finally picked out all of my readings. I decided to do the lazy ass thing and have them buy a book rather than photocopy 2-3 chapters. But it's $15 and I don't feel bad. Everything else is prepared for them in a coursepack. I have to find background research, etc, but that's together.

It's the details that are freaking me out. What if I get mugged? (Kick the little f*cker in the balls, that's what) What if I run out of time to do things? (Can I get someone at the med school to start a Starbucks IV?) What if questions arise as to my checkered history? (I don't think lying to potential friends is a good way to start the relationship) What if everyone decides to go on a diet? Together? And compete? (I'll smear myself in chocolate and drive them all nutters)

Blah blah blah.

These worries are ridiculous. Maybe not the mugged part, because I do live next to the ghetto. Seriously. But why are they making me freak out so bad? I can hardly sit still because it helps me to DO SOMETHING. Dust. Vacuum. Weed the garden. I have all of this pent-up frenetic energy and I'm driving myself completely barking mad. The kind of energy where I used to climb the StairMaster into oblivion or run myself half to death on a treadmill like a gerbil on cocaine. And meth.

But I'm not. My leg is practically tapping itself off, but I'm containing myself. I took a walk to settle down, and that was good.

Now I'm going to go bake cookies. That I shall eat. My mom's rule is "No eatee, no cookee."

Here's to cooking cookies that I will eatee after I cookee.

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Pavlovna said...

i'm going back to school in three weeks too. as a student, which has got to be a lot easier than teaching, but still, school = scary.

it's got to take a whole lot of courage and self-awareness and down-to-earthiness to go into teaching. you have all that, plus, you rock.

college campuses and dieting. GRAGUHUGHHGH. their twisted relationship makes me want to throw large breakable objects from a very high roof. i'll smear myself in chocolate with you if they start dieting on you, how about that?


Jeanne said...

First - Deep breaths. Lots of them.

You wouldn't have been asked to teach if they didn't think you were qualified.

All the students will care about is their grade - so just spell out what they need to do to get that almighty "A" in your class and you'll be fine.

You aren't alone, carrie - keep reaching out both in realtime and here. Keep connecting and you'll get through. Live one moment at a time.

And breathe.

We're here for you. 8-)

Jeanne said...

Oh, and mmmmm... cookies.

Especially enjoy one for me, too.

Jane said...

Hey Carrie,
I live near enough to Baltimore (you know they call it Charm City, right?) to drive up once in a while. The aquarium there is amazing and I love to walk through it. If you'd like to get together sometime it would be great to meet you in real life. You know my email : )

mary said...

Keep venting! Put your fears before you and face them.
You have a plan and you also know that support is here for you. Do not underestimate the value of blog friends. You aren't alone no matter what.
Home is within....try to remember that. You'll have Aria. Bring some of your home smells with you to your new place. Really. Steal a something that you might hold onto when you feel lonely. Take the time to check out the night sky and give mom and dad a call to make sure your looking at the same bright moon.[never too old to stay connected]
Learn to ask for miracles and learn to see them all around you. You CAN do this. You will be safe.
You are human,a student and a teacher, and you'll be meeting some very interesting students who may teach you how to teach and in time it'll all fee natural....if you allow it. So, allow it.
Don't be afraid!
Oh, carry a small wand and perhaps a snack. : )

Faith said...

I agree with previous posts. They wouldn't have asked you if you weren't qualified and no, they're not going to find out you're a big faker because you're not.

Thanks for checking in Carrie. I really appreciate it.


Sarah said...

Hey Carrie --

You are going to ROCK this job. Your future students are lucky. You have an inherent and beautiful talent for writing that cries out to be shared.

It's going to be amazing. Look at all you've accomplished already. You've saved your own life, for goodness sake. Give yourself credit. . . you can do anything. And Aria will be with you. It's going to be GREAT.

carrie said...


I'm going back as both- the teaching is financing most of my degree. If you do smear yourself in chocolate, can we meet and take matching pictures? That would be sweet!


I ended up wearing as much of the batter as I ended up baking. It was awful- on my face, in my hair, all over the kitchen counter, the bottom of the oven, the floor. Actually, in retrospect, it was hilarious, but the cleaning was a pain! But I did enjoy a cookie about an hour ago in your honor. They're yummy- double espresso chocolate.


You're so sweet! I'd love to meet you in person. Maybe we could arrainge something- my mom will be with me the first week to help me get settled in. I loved the Science Center- I love playing with all of the exhibits. So that could be fun. And I will never ever forget your email. ;)


I went to Costco and bought energy bars in bulk. And I have candles galore, as well as stuffed animals. Plus a real live kitty. She hogged my bed last night, but she's so freaking cute I couldn't kick her out.

Have wand, will travel.

Faith and Sarah,

I understand that I'm qualified- it's just the formal learning of writing that I don't have. How do I teach things that I just sort of absorbed my osmosis?

My mom had the brilliant and obvious answer: ask the program director how to do a couple of the things you're unsure of.

::shakes head::

Thank you THANK YOU for all of your support. You keep me sane. Literally. You should have seen me before this blog.

Kirsten said...

I can relate to this--so much of anxiety is worry about the unknown. Once you slip into the new routine, you'll see you can ace it.

As for teaching critical analysis, it seems ephemeral, but then again, you already do much of that here on your blog; you review articles and point out the biases and logic flaws. Your students will appreciate that.

From my own brief teaching experience I also found it helpful to focus at first on the proactive students to get the discussion rolling. Once the energy picks up, other students join in.

And oh, cookies! Always end with cookies.

RioIriri said...

What kind of living quarters/kitchen are you going to have available?

I look to this blog for awesome lunch ideas:

She comes up with the most creative and adorable food for a bento box. If you eat meat and dairy, it's pretty easy to modify things as you like; we're vegetarian here, but not for health reasons.

One of the things I always kept in my office at assorted jobs is a stash of backup meals in case I had no time to grab something on the way out. Progresso soups were a staple, as were snack cakes, a box of Hershey bars (these are great to have on hand when you need to offer comfort to someone, too!), a can of Pringles, and two or three prepackaged drinks (soda can, bottle of juice). The best thing I had on hand, though, was a package of nuts of some kind, usually almonds--they're so filling, and so yummy :)

lauren said...

You will be amazing, trust in yourself darlin!
Hold on to all of your hard work and know that we are always here for you when you feel the pain of anything!!!
I'm so down for the chocolate diet to!!! Damn chocolate peanut butter cups!!!!!
xoxo Lauren

Harriet Brown said...

I am SO not worried about you, Carrie. You're light years ahead of where I was at your age. You rock!

And I'm envious of your potential lunch date with Jane, whose email I will never ever forget, either. :-)

Linds said...

As a student, I never wanted someone with a boatload of credentials as much as I wanted someone who could CONNECT with my mind.

Those people are born, not made. Lucky, lucky you.

And gal darn it, humor will get you places. You may end up dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock, but you know, I think it beats being mopey and on a diet, any day.

Thinkin of ya, babes.

Cheers to the ventures life presents us!~ :)

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

Drop me a line!

Have any questions or comments about this blog? Feel free to email me at carrie@edbites.com

nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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