Wax Poetic: Work and Anxiety

I think I have possibly grown too fond of my asides and my recent reference to them as “waxing poetic.”  It has always been a been a phrase I like, and seems appropriate to my random tangents.  So perhaps all of my random thoughts will be referred to as such now.  Wax Poetic is also a great band, as illustrated by the song above, Angels.

Yesterday, I started my new job.  It is at a small distribution company that operates mainly on the internet.  At last!  My surfing skills are appreciated!  Kind of.  Anyway…  Seeing Amazon.com from the other side is cool, at least.  It is a general admin position, mostly to do with answering phones (cause apparently I am friendly and have a nice phone voice) and entering and tracking orders so far.  It is doing things I excel at.  It is working with new programs I am picking up fast on already.  It is also doing things that are – at least for the moment, until they become everyday and trite – interesting to me.

But new jobs always start out interesting.

I was understandably nervous beforehand.  Anxious even, but not overly so.  Lately, it seems nothing I engage in is not accompanied by some amount of anxiety – even everyday things, even raiding, even writing.

For now, though, this anxiety is manageable.

It was not until I got home and – of all places, in WoW – had a conversation about a friend’s anxiety problems and how they cannot work anymore.  It struck far too close to home, having left my last three positions in a state of debilitating anxiety.  Each time, it seems it gets a little worse.  Each time, it gets a little harder to even get out of bed in the morning.  Each time, it gets a little harder to pick myself up and start over from scratch again.  It is to the point where I am not even to my second day of work (which is tomorrow), and already I am wondering where and when the anxiety will begin to manifest itself again.

(Oh wait, that is anxiety, eh?  It is so much a part of my thought process anymore, I barely even notice it.)

It is only part time.  This is both a blessing and a curse, it seems.  Part time is not enough to live on for long.  Once again, I am sure to be a disappointment, not good enough.  But at the same time, maybe part time would have saved me from myself in other instances before now.  Maybe part time will keep me from my mid-week blahs, where I have to drag and claw and scramble my way out of bed, fighting myself the whole way.

This is not something I often sit down and ponder.

I have been working hard at keeping my brain engaged to the point where I do not have to think about it.  WoW, reading, blogging…  Yah, I think that is the extent of things at the moment.  <sigh>

One of my biggest fears with going back to work is the inevitability of downtime.  I always finish tasks “too fast.”  That is where I most often get myself into trouble – both with myself (and overthinking) and with my job (and occupying myself with things I should not be doing at work).

This is no recent problem.  Heh.  Even in elementary, I had a habit of finishing my work first and then being “disruptive” to those around me.  What can I say?  I was bored!  Idle hands and all that…  I remember Mom having to hear about it nearly every parent-teacher conference.  “Great student, learns fast.  Disruptive to other students when not engaged.”  Yup.  That’s me.

In my past jobs, I have noticed a recurring theme of taking on more and more and more responsibility upon myself to keep from that dangerous downtime.  Then, I get to a point where I am overly busy in one or more of those areas and stress myself out with impossible deadlines.

I guess the reason I am writing about this now is that I have realized since that conversation that I am not just crazy or, worse yet, lazy.  I am not completely alone in this.  And maybe, just maybe, there is something I can do about it.  Or maybe I am crazy, and I just need to admit it.  Admitting it seems too scary, because admitting it means having to try and do something about it.

I was on an anti-anxiety for a short time.  It just made me completely apathetic.  Not really a fun alternative.

On the other hand, I have come to realize that my best bet without medication is to limit the things that could make me anxious.  So that cuts out a lot of things, and leaves me with… WoW? and sleeping?  Is the only answer to anxiety stagnation?  :/  I suppose that cannot be right, either.

I don’t want to do anything lately.  Heck, I barely want to get out of bed.  I certainly don’t want to go anywhere or see anyone, because that just makes me doubt myself more.  I do not want to face how disappointing I feel I am, and I certainly do not admit it to anyone else or have them possibly say it to my face.  I go back and forth from being anxious about doing anything, to being mad at myself for doing nothing.  I think I am becoming quite intolerable to be around most of the time.

The only thing that is really keeping me doing anything is making small goals for myself in WoW and my writing.  (And my writing has hit a mental block I cannot seem to climb over at the moment.  Haha, even my writing, or lack thereof, is making me anxious lately.)

I am hoping that keeping myself busy with a part time job will help, without being too much right now.

I just cannot sit here and feel like a disappointment to myself and those who count on me.  But on the other hand, that thought makes me angry and I do not want to feel responsible for anyone, when I can barely take care of myself.  And how successful can I really feel at this point?  Being broke and single and feeling like for every step forward, I am knocked two steps back?

Why can’t I just stay in bed?

And so now, of course, I am all anxious about work tomorrow…

~ Effy


10 thoughts on “Wax Poetic: Work and Anxiety

  1. All I can say is big hug, saying I know how you feel doesn’t really help. I remember one job where by the time I got there the first day I had to spend my first hour or so heaving in the restroom, what an entrance. I’m not sure if it was caused by the job or the fact that I had to commute by train. I was worried that I’d miss my stop and be late since the whole train thing was new to me. But no! I got there in time to monopolize their restroom.

    • Thanks, Ancient. Honestly… I might spend the day in the bathroom after riding a commuter train too. I have only used public transportation a few times while in downtown Detroit. Us Michiganders do not really understand that whole public transportation thing!

      I imagine that is part of why you work from home now?

      ~ Effy

      • Yup, I ended up working for a lot of the people I had worked for but it was much easier from home. I could be polite on the phone, hang up and then scream obscenities at the top of my lungs. Worked out much better, lol.

      • Haha, sounds about right. I have actually been looking into the options there, but I think it would take a lot to get started. I guess my faith in myself is still lacking, and it looks like it would take more ambition then I can currently muster. 🙂

        Baby steps.

        ~ Effy

  2. Those ‘small goals’ can be truly impressive life-savers. They were for me, anyway. I just kept making my lists of goals, and if I didn’t manage to reach them (which was most of the time at first), I made new lists with better goals and better timeframes, and eventually I came to the end of that time of anxiety without taking the meds. Life got better for me, and I credit those little bitty goals. Good luck from a fellow ‘Gander.

    • Yah, most of the time it seems my small steps to maintain order in the chaos is all that really keeps me moving forward. Spreadsheets and To-Do Lists! They keep me sane (or at least in some small semblance of it).

      Thanks for the comment! I will keep that in mind next time I am frustrated and my lists and goals seem like a waste of time. I know they are not, and I am glad to hear they helped you too. 🙂

      ~ Effy

  3. I have known you for a while, and would never have guessed the confident, amazing friend I had suffered such difficulty, but knowing that you are trying a variety of things to help is reassuring. There isn’t anything I can say that will make you feel better or help, but I am hoping that all the things you’re doing are helping and hope after a week, your job is feeling like a better fit.

    • Thank you, Navi. 🙂 My various methods are helping some. And the part time schedule is helping too. Baby steps, heh.

      No, no one can do this for me, but believe me, the support is more appreciated than I can express.

      ~ Effy

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