Intense Anxiety at Work


Kinda feeling on the edge where my job is concerned at the moment. So, mostly I'm not very busy at work (which I'm doing from home). Tasks come in batches, so I can go for hours with nothing to do. I'm actually totally ok with that, and management is aware (they don't care, either, as long as I'm available to do the work that does come through). This has really helped me manage my frustration and upset where work is concerned because I don't have to always be "on."

We've been extraordinarily (and unusually) busy this past two weeks. When I started this job, the department was in transition to a couple of different systems, so it was chaotic. It really hasn't improved much. Everyone does everything differently, so when things come to me (I am a final reviewer of things), I'm never sure if what I'm looking at is correct or not.

So, this week and last, I've had a lot of work reviewing stuff I've not reviewed before. I had LOTS of questions, which folks were gracious in answering. But I tell myself that people are or will be mad at all the questions and that I should know all of this already or at least be able to figure it out.

And...people are telling me one thing now, then change everything in a half hour. And it somehow is my fault because I'm not paying attention, or I'm not seeing things their way.

I've been in tears off and on much of the week. And I feel really tense all over, with a lot of pain.
Totally get that.

But I tell myself that people are or will be mad at all the questions and that I should know all of this already or at least be able to figure it out.

Most of my work history involves life or death type stuff… but I’ve also been cooking since I was 14, and kitchens all over the world are thrilled to pay illegal workers cash in hand out the back door, which means that if I wanna stick around somewhere? I usually just find somewhere I like to eat & offer up my knives.

MOST of the time? It’s no problem keeping those 2 worlds seperate, and they’re both relaxing in different ways. But when I’m stressed/sick/injured? Bwaaahahahha…no. Past consequences attach to current realities. I KNOW it’s ridiculous. But my interior monologue that feeds the anxiety monster clawing at my chest? Tells me if I f*ck up? People are going to die, or I’m going to die, or go to prison, or… a whole bunch of nonsense that is NEVER going to happen at a freaking brew pub or vineyard or whatever. Noooooo one is going to track me down and yank me up outta bed by my hair and hold a knife to my throat as they burn the people I love alive. They’re just not. But try telling that to my feeeeeeelings.

Brick wall. Bang head.

Stupid feelings.


When I’m sick/injured I don’t really have the ability to go blow off stress and kick the anxiety to the curb… and am stuck with the whole “emotions don’t logic so hot” bit of having to speak to myself very firmly on the subject.

Because the fear I’m feeling? Is a warning that something IS possible.

But my brain is the one who determines that the odds of what I fear are in the snowflake’s chance in bell range, and not matter of course.
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I was in an extremely stressful work situation at the time of my breakdown. Our job - it doesn't matter if we're doing brain surgery or serving fries at McD - is just another facet to that PTSD prism. When those stressors cut through it, we feel like the bottom is falling out, we reach to grab on to something, and then realize this ride doesn't come with safety handles. I worked in a CHURCH! No stress there! Tell that to the crazy lady curled up in the fetal position on the floor. Looking back on that situation with a good bit of healing and a whole lot of perspective, I urge you not to doubt yourself. Allow yourself the luxury of a mistake...maybe even a few. From the heart of a perfectionist: being perfect isn't all it's cracked up to be. This is coming from someone who used to be asked. "What's it like to live a charmed life?" If they only knew! Most of all, give yourself some grace. You deserve it. 💜