Sore Stomach!


I’m a high school classroom teacher (on summer break woohoo!). During the school year, I feel horrible anxiety in the morning before I have to teach. For a long time, I resisted it, which definitely made it worse. And I tried to practice breathing into it, sitting with it, allowing it. The problem I run into is the main way my anxiety manifests is in a sore stomach– like, not to be gross, but urgent diarrhea level sore stomach… that doesn’t always go away even after I’ve used the bathroom.

I’ve been teaching for six years, and it has gotten better– definitely in relation to my overall comfort with teaching. But still I have anxiety about diarrhea on top of the social/performance anxiety of teaching. To deal with this, I basically just use the bathroom before class at all costs (being there to greet the kids, being a little late to class on occasion, embarrassment of people knowing I went to the bathroom in public lol). It’s pretty much only for my morning classes, not as bad for the afternoon ones.

I’ve even practiced taking this to the “worst emotion” place… the worst feeling that could happen is the shame of shitting myself in class. I’ve imagined this and felt the emotion and allowed it. It sucks, but I know I could physically withstand it. In my head though, I think that this is avoidable and I would prefer not to feel shame, so I should avoid this circumstance.

My mantra is “I am confident, like-able, and well-prepared.” This helps some. Anyway, I feel like the struggle is intellectually I can understand how my thoughts about the class/teaching are causing my anxiety (which fuels the urgency of the sore stomach), but it’s not a phantom urge– like if I let it go unfulfilled, I am pretty confident I will shit my pants. I have taken it to the very edge… and the urge does not go away if I “allow” it. So what is advice for thoughts tied to physical phenomenon in the body? Or do I just need to keep doing thought work on teaching? Or do I just need to shit my pants one time and see it’s not the end of the world? (joking.. I think)

Also, sorry (to anyone) for having to read this LOL is there such thing as TMI in scholars?