anxiety · job anxiety · life · social anxiety

Not Without Struggles

I have no idea how to reflect on my first day of work now that I’m on the bus on my way home. It’s very true that being around people I don’t know and being with them for five hours today felt somewhat uncomfortable and awkward. I had to learn how to scan documents and input certain information on them into the computer. For some things I was confused by, I did ask for help, albeit very awkwardly. Not gonna lie, I did feel a little bit dumb sometimes if I wasn’t able to find the required info on the documents and had to get help. There were a couple times I felt self-conscious and decided to just spend a few minutes longer searching for the info rather than ask. Everyone is super busy in the office so my mentality was that I would be distracting them if I asked too many questions. But it’s not only that. I feel like I’m using my anxiety and my lack of confidence in myself as an excuse to not reach out to people. A couple of times I went as far as to wonder if I even deserved help and felt so stuck in my fear that I considered the possibility that maybe I would get ignored if I called someone by name. I know these fears make little to no sense. Especially since the times I did take the initiative to call out to people, they responded to me. Like when I took a call and put the caller on hold since he was looking for my female co-worker but she was busy. Then I actually started feeling anxious about notifying said co-worker of this by calling her name out loud. But I did and she turned to me right away. That didn’t stop me from feeling afraid the next time I had the urge to get her attention.

Overall, the day did not go as expected. I assumed I would be answering calls all day but instead they started me out with the scanning and inputting document info, and I only answered the phone once when everyone else was occupied. For the most part, the atmosphere was interesting. I noticed there was not much chit chat in-between work since the two girls I was sitting near were almost always in the middle of printing something, taking calls, making calls, or composing emails to clients. I admit I did feel a little left out since the two were working on similar tasks so they bounced off each other a lot with questions or prompts.

And then it came for me to leave. Gosh, I hated this part. I suck at goodbyes, and if I do give them, I feel as if I’m being overly formal or stiff because I don’t know what else to say besides letting people know that I am going now. Both girls said bye to me as I replied in turn. Alan had his back turned away from me as I passed his desk and I hesitated to call him by name. I got anxious. Again. One of the girls noticed me standing there and I quietly said I was waiting for Chris. I should’ve just gotten his attention instead of remaining silent, ugh. I felt entirely lame as hell telling to him, “Uh, I am heading out.” I thought it would be impolite if I didn’t say something to him before I left. There was a part of this brief conversation where it was like I didn’t know how to respond except with nodding even though I wanted to add more to the discussion but I was too nervous and tongue tied. Finally, there was a beat of like two seconds where I struggled to utter my question and then forced it out. My goodness, already my mind is replaying all the events from today and my perceived stupidity. Someone help me move on from this.

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22 thoughts on “Not Without Struggles

      1. I’ve blogged some about mine, and I have a callus on each of my knees from prayer. It’s still a daily struggle, but it’s getting better, or maybe I’m just learning to deal with it better. It sounds to me like you have coping mechanisms in place. God bless you. Keep writing and sharing your experience.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have some coping mechanisms but I’m certain some of them are not healthy. Everyday is a struggle. Sometimes more so than others like in a work environment because I feel pressure to be both professional and socially open. I feel like a failure in both aspects.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I believe you when you say this, but it’s like I just don’t believe in myself and continually feel like I am barely dodging a bullet when I get out of an anxiety episode. I honestly don’t know if I will last one month at my current job. It’s not that I am already in the mindset of “I want to quit”, but I feel kinda like, “Will I ever get better? Will I ever feel any less anxious two, three weeks from now? Does it even get better?”

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I can tell you from personal experience, it can get better. It’s a combination of spirit and flesh. Keep reaching out to God on the spiritual front, and medicine, therapy etc. on the physical. Whatever the plan, one need not come at the expense of the other. It just sucks getting there.

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    1. Thank you! I don’t think I would have survived last night without your comment replies in real time, in addition to giving myself more time to take deep breaths in and out before I went to bed.

      I survived today but I worry about tomorrow (as always!!). The only thing I can say is gone is the sick apprehension I felt about having to go in for work for the first time and actually stay there for several hours. I am still scared I can’t act normally around them, like casually talk to them about non work related stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I can empathize with all of this, I tend to feel similar things. I started my new job in April and I’m still asking questions about things and I still hate doing so. I feel stupid, particularly if I’ve already been told the answer and I can’t remember it.

    I hate goodbyes too, always awkward, although I think I’m getting better at them.

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    1. The only way to learn is to ask questions!
      Have you tried writing down the questions and when you get the answer write that one down too? It might help in the process 🙂

      My previous temp job I felt the same way, but the problem wasn’t necessarily me and my questions – it was all in the response as if I was to know the answer before I even raised the question. It didn’t work out for me.

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  2. Try to remember you are there to learn, so asking questions are normal.

    How did they respond when you asked questions and for help? (Don’t over analyze when answering that question!)

    You did great, you showed up and got to do something!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am both scared to ask questions, often with the thought process that I feel fearful about the person’s response. Even when one of the girls told me straight up I could ask her anything, once I saw that she wae busy nonstop at her desk (which is normal in the office, I later found out), I started to feel critical of myself and wondered why I couldn’t just understand everything in my work so I wouldn’t have to bug anyone. The other portion of this anxiety is kinda dumb. I actually feel very self conscious about talking when other people are within earshot and can hear me, even if I don’t know for sure if people are listening in or not. One guy kept the radio on all day. And I know it’s impossible for everyone in the office to have nothing more to do than listen in everytime I speak up. But my fears get the best of me everytime and I am concerned that if I continue this way, I will start dreading going into work because I don’t want to ask questions.

      When I did ask for help, they were helpful about it. It’s just I feel so awkward. I feel very unnatural having to get someone’s attention by calling them from two tables down, which everyone else in the office does too. Idk what to do with myself.

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      1. Think about the positive, they accept your request for help and questions in a positive manor!

        That is why you will repeat to yourself that this is OK! Say it out loud if you have to.

        Work on it! I believe in you.

        Are you currently seeing psychologist?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No, unfortunately I am not currently seeing a psychologist. For some weeks I was in group therapy, but I opted out after I missed two sessions in a row and I panicked bc I was so behind from everyone else in the group.

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      3. Therapy in general is hard for me to commit to. When you say single appointments, you mean just going to talk to a therapist once? Realistically, I do think one on one appointments may be best for me right now as they might be easier to book than group therapy sessions. I need have someone to talk to.

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      4. I am currently trying to get a referral from my former group therapy moderator for one on one therapy. Idk how soon she can respond to me.

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      5. I know logically there are positives from asking for help. But in the moment it’s like the fear becomes so engrained ib me that it literally feels like my brain believes speaking up is the wrong thing to do and will result in very bad things. For example, I would compare it to someone who logically knows it would ease their suffering to see a doctor for a check up but their fear of having a health exam is so intense that they are so sure if they go, it’ll be terrible and there will be a bad outcome no matter what.

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      6. Well, I’m not saying you are able to do it in the very moment. But the point is to do it after and to stop analyzing, just repeat it to yourself that they are OK with you asking. If you continue to tell yourself the same thing over and over again, it might actually help. It’s all about tricking the mind into the right direction again.

        So find the positive and focus on it, instead of trying to drag out all the negatives. It takes practise and it’s hard – but it’s worth it.

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