Feeling Anxious and Foolish

Tomorrow I am going back to the office for the first time since mid-March. I told my boss I would come to the office twice this week, something I am now regretting.

Last week I felt confident that I could begin my transition back to the office. I acted on that feeling because if I didn’t, I would never go back. I had promised my boss I would come back a few days a week after she let me stay home for longer than she originally intended me to.

I feel foolish for being so anxious about going back. I will see maybe five people at most and be sitting alone in the basement where my desk has sat vacant.

So what is there to fear, if I won’t be having conversations with my coworkers because of social distancing? What am I so afraid of, if I will be alone in a basement like I am alone at home most days?

The only thing I can think of is the fear of leaving the comfort and safety of my home. My house has always been my safe haven where I can be myself. I can wear my pajamas, eat all the snacks I want and have my pets by my side. At the office, I don’t have any of those things.

Even before COVID and quarantining, I had trouble leaving home. Something I never ever thought I would struggle with! I had to push myself to put on my shoes and get out the door. So COVID happening has only made it more challenging.

In my previous post, I wrote about having an anxiety emergency kit to help me cope. Looking at it now, I feel like nothing could help my anxiety. That it will swallow me whole.

I try to tell myself that it’s not a big deal. I’ve been working in an office full-time for years so I can do it again. Right?

The difficult part about mental illness is that it doesn’t always respond to reason. Sometimes my depression or anxiety can be quelled with reason and facts but this time it’s not cutting it.

Maybe I will get there and I will be fine even though I’ll be shaking all morning during my drive to the office.

This isn’t the biggest challenge of my life but it sure as hell feels like it in this moment.

How are you coping in this climate? Have you had to make any big changes recently? If so, how did you cope?

6 Comments

  1. I’m touched by how you express this feeling. The last I remember being anxious was when I left a well paying job. (Without actually finding a new one). I had no experience of job hunting. So basically, had no experience of rejections. That was hard. Very hard. But I think what helped me through was this constant thought – Everything passes.The clock is ticking. And maybe in future, I might have to face another low, so this might then seem like a cakewalk. 🙂

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    1. Aww that means so much! That does sound like a stressful time! Being rejected can be so difficult especially if it’s from a job you were excited about. Everything does pass, thankfully. Thank you for commenting!

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  2. I always second guess and regret the commitments I’ve made the night before it’s time to actually do them! Anxiety doesn’t always respond to reason, like you say, but with practice it can respond to you proving it wrong. I’ve found that treating something I’m anxious about as a social experiment can help – doing the whole scary thing is just to prove my anxiety wrong, and then afterwards when nothing too bad has happened then hopefully that’s a hint to anxiety that it’s not too much to worry about. It’s okay if you don’t believe the rational straight away, with practice and repetition you will 🙂 Wishing you the best for tomorrow and remember that you can go home any time if it does get too much!

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    1. I do the same thing with regretting commitments the night before. That’s when anxiety loves to pounce. You’re right, I can always go home if I need to! I like your thought process about pretending to do an experiment. Thank you for commenting!

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