I have to tell you something

You guys I have to tell you something. I have crippling anxiety in my life. Specifically about one thing, math. It’s not just the “Oh, I suck at math and get nervous” type of anxiety, it is the I get so worried and anxious about math that I genuinely think that 2+2=6. I can’t explain this paralyzing fear, I have panic attacks from it. I will plug numbers into equations exactly like teachers do and they come out differently. I’ve had this issue since I was a teenager but in college it’s become a monster. If I make it through 3 homework math problems without crying it is a victory. In fact it’s such a victory that Andrew gives me a high fives and gets genuinely excited for me.

 I’ve had counseling about this issue, I’ve met with math department leaders so see what they can do. They are all stumped. I’ve considered changing my major to one that I hate just so I could get out of math. I’m not talking about hard math here either, I’m talking about math I should have known back in 8th grade but it hasn’t stuck. It’s embarrassing and truly even hard for me to talk about. Even simple math like figuring out what 40% off a price is makes me panic and I will spend 5 minutes in an aisle trying to keep it together and just guess what the price will be. I hide my math homework from my boyfriend (finance and accounting major) so he doesn’t see how much I struggle. I genuinely mean it when I say that 2+2=6 at that moment I am so panicked that I think it’s true.

 I am a junior in college and still stuck on concepts my nieces and nephews already have memorized. Part of what is making this worse is how badly I have tried to hide this from people. I never want people to know I’ve struggled this badly and am this ashamed plus who wants to admit they think 2+2=6? I’m saying all this because I have to go through steps to becoming better about this and not being ashamed of my issues with math need to go. I did the same problem 14 times today and never got the right answer. This made me start a chain of self defeating talk and worst cast scenario’s played in my mind. This is what every day when any type of math comes up, this is what happens. My brain shuts down, I get sweaty, I shake a little and I try and come up with an answer really quickly, even if it’s wrong. 

Today I have taken a large step in acknowledging where I am and can now try and move forward. I’m a pretty happy person but this is a large, dark cloud in my life. It makes me lie awake at night wondering if I am good enough, will I pass this class, etc. I can only pull myself up and take it one day at a time.