Facing Failure

When your fears become a reality it’s scary. My stomach drops and I want to crawl under my desk to hide.

I started a new initiative at work that I was excited about. My boss was excited too. I spoke to all of the parties who would be involved with the initiative before the launch so everyone was on the same page.

The day came and everyone was blind sided somehow. I come in to emails that they are confused and frustrated even though I told everyone the launch date and they were to work shit out themselves.

Now it is on pause. I’m still the newbie at work so I feel like an idiot. I feel stupid for trying to do something innovative.

I can only blame myself for my failure. I clearly missed the mark on communication.

Having my worries realized feels like a win for my anxiety. I can already hear it saying, “of course you failed” and “now nobody is going to want to work with you again. They already don’t like you and now they have another reason why the think you’re shit.”

Is it 5 o’clock yet?

Is it ok to walk around the office with a paper bag over my head?

I Dread Returning to Work

On Thursday I go back to work for the first time since Dec. 23. My new job gives everyone the end of the year off, something I very much needed and greatly appreciate. Yes, we are paid.

I have been depressed since this morning thinking about returning to the daily boredom and anxiety that comes with work. I love being in my house and having my time be my own. It’s incredible to be so free!

How do I overcome this dread and be positive about it? I’m a pessimist by nature so seeing the positive side of situations can be difficult for me. Sometimes it’s easy but more often than not I can’t quite find the silver lining.

I hope you all have a lovely New Year!! I will likely post once more before 2020 so keep your eyes open!

Update on Social Anxiety

Hey everyone I hope you’re surviving the holiday season! I know that this can be a very difficult time for people. I am sending you all the positive energy my soul can muster!

Anyway, I’ve been at my new job for exactly 1 month. I have my good days and I have my bad days in regards to my social anxiety and depression.

Yesterday I sat alone in my office for over half the day. I could barely focus on my work so I did a lot of scrolling on my phone to pass the time.

But on the plus side one of my basement dwelling coworkers invited me to join his wife and others for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign! This is something I enjoy playing and am not afraid to share it with you all. If you haven’t judged me yet I think I can share this tidbit about myself.

Being in the basement allows me to hear the muffled conversations happening above me. I kept hearing my one coworker laugh and felt two ways at once: I wanted to be up there laughing too but also I wanted to curl up and hide. It’s challenging to find a balance of sitting alone doing my work and being social with my coworkers.

I wish all of this was easier for me.

We have a holiday party on Friday and I’m getting nervous about it. I’m worried if I’ll have anybody to talk to. At my last two jobs our holiday parties were always outside of the office. The newspaper sent us over to a hotel restaurant (the food is always bad) and my most recent job at the women’s shelter, we went out to dinner as well. We got to bring guests so I always had someone to speak with!

This time around I know it will be awkward. Maybe they’ll let me bring my dog in so then I’ll at least have some company. I can’t bring my two cats, they’re too evil to be out in public, hahaha!

How do you manage holiday work parties if you have social anxiety? Do you have any tricks that help you relax?

Wishing I was Invisible

Do you ever feel like nothing is going your way? The universe wants to fight and it is winning.

Today I majorly fucked up at work. I had done all of the work for this idea I had to start up an Etsy shop as a fundraising effort. I hadn’t received any emails regarding any purchases being made.

Well there was one. That I found out today about an order somebody made a month ago!

I was mortified to see that this customer reached our 5 times, getting no response from me because I put in the wrong email as the contact email. So stupid of me!! She asked for a refund because it was never sent to her and she gave the shop a 1 star.

I can’t blame her for any of her actions, I would have done the same.

I’m mortified that I had this task that I gave to myself and I totally screwed it up. I let down that customer, the organization, the volunteers who made the product and my co-workers. All because I didn’t put the wrong email as the contact!

I feel like a fool.

It doesn’t help that yesterday during a meeting we were all reminded that we could be let go at any time for no reason. I’m already nervous about that so me totally messing up on our only sale makes me worry that I’ll get fired.

In this moment I wish I could be invisible.

A Lull of Positivity

As I’ve written about in my last post, I have been nervous about falling into a deep depression because of severe PMS.

So far I’m doing really well! I have been really careful will myself, like I’m cradling a porcelain doll. I am having a 3-day work week because I took off Friday and yesterday it was snowing and freezing rain all day.

Having a day off yesterday seriously reset me. I had a great balance of self care and getting shit done that I had been putting off for ages. I cleaned out my clothing, cleaned my shower and cleaned up under my bed which I hadn’t done in a very long time.

I am feeling like myself unlike how I was around this time last month. I’m really going to keep trying to enjoy this lull of positivity. To soak up as much of it as I can!

I wanted to give you guys an update in case you are struggling yourself right now.

Sometimes are worries never come to fruition, sometimes they never materialize into reality. Not every thought we have is true, they are not all accurate predictions because we with anxiety are clairvoyant.  I would say a good bit of us are not psychic even though we think we are.

If you’re having a difficult time, I really hope that this passes for you soon. You are strong, you are worthy, you are valued and you matter. You are alive for a reason, we are all glad that you exist.

Stay strong everyone!!

Coming Up For Air

Holy hell it has been a whirlwind of the past few days! I’m ready for a vacation from my weekend.

*Random side note: I think if I actually saw a whale I would cry. Like seriously, how beautiful is this photo?!?*

If you read this post and this post, you will know that I have really been struggling with my mental health because of PMS. Throughout last week but specifically this past weekend, everything felt like it was falling apart.

This afternoon I finally felt like I could breathe properly. Like I could finally swim up to the top and take a massive gasp of air.

The morning was total shit. When I’m on my period or PMSing, I get angry so easily which was the definition of my morning. I woke up angry, showered in anger, I was angry working at my side gig and finally when I got home, a sigh of relief.

I had lunch with my mom, took a nap and when I woke up, everything seemed better. I felt like the rocky waves were finally calming down.

I’ve been able to get some work done tonight for my side gig which really shows that I am getting back to my semi-normal self.

The mental strain of severe PMS makes everything in life the absolute worst. Since this past week was so bad, I really want to find out what I can do to help with these intense emotions.

When I was sad this weekend, I was sobbing. When I was sleepy, I laid in bed for 5 hours doing nothing. I barely had the energy to watch anything! You know it’s bad when the thought of looking at a screen for multiple minutes sounds exhausting.

I debated dipping into old habits just because I felt like nothing else would make me feel any better.

I even had a freaking panic attack! Somehow I was able to calm myself down very quickly which I am proud of myself for. I am lucky that I almost never get panic attacks so when they happen randomly, it’s confusing for me.

This isn’t normal at all. I should not be feeling such intense mental pain when I’m already taking an antidepressant. It’s not a wimpy one either!

I’m sure I’m not the only person out there really struggling with their mental health when they are PMSing or on their period. I am going to keep you all updated so that maybe somehow somebody reading this doesn’t feel so alone.

I see my therapist in a few days so hopefully she has some answers for me.

My Boss Made My Mental Health Worse

Working while having a mental illness can be incredibly difficult. I write and design for a non-profit organization which was a choice I made specifically for my mental health (and my bank account).

In my previous job at a local newspaper, I was one of a handle full of reporters covering a wide variety of news stories. My main beat when I left was religion, education, charity, police/fire and general news. Whenever there was a story that needed to be done about those topics, I was the one who was writing them.

I had always dreamed of being a reporter and I loved the actual work of it. I loved getting to meet so many people and tell their stories to the community. I loved seeing how my stories could make a difference in other people’s lives. There are a few stories that I hold close to my heart because of how deeply they meant to others.

I got a card in the mail once from the daughter of a woman that I had wrote about her mom. The mom had passed away and they had the story I wrote about her framed at her funeral. It brings tears to my eyes even now because of how that little story impacted their family and helped them to remember her in a special way.

It wasn’t the stress of doing a million stories at once or meeting deadlines. It was my freaking editor. I’ve never met anybody like this woman, she is absolutely crazy. I know that word can be upsetting for some but there is honestly no other way to describe her.

She has screamed at me, ripped my head off, chewed it up and spit it out onto the unvacuumed floor of the newsroom. I lived in constant fear of her. I worried that I was one story away from getting fired. Especially in the beginning, my stomach was in knots because I was so anxious about getting fired.

During many times when she made me cry, I would usually go into one of the single stall bathrooms or , if it was really bad, out to my car. I would usually be in there feeling like a total failure because of some mistake I made that my editor would intensify.

It was such a battle to love reporting but be terrified to walk into the newsroom.

So when I was asked to work at a local non-profit by my former boss, I jumped at the chance. Not only was I going to get paid more, I was going to be in a less stressful environment. I also believe strongly in the mission and the programs we have to help victims of violence and women and children experiencing homelessness.

Changing jobs really did help my mental health. I got my own office where I could cry in private, the stress was lower and I had a regular schedule instead of one that bounced around.

I still have depressive or anxious episodes that I have to ride out which happened today. I get very distracted when I have a thousand thoughts buzzing around in my brain. I can’t focus on whatever I’m supposed to do so I end up zoning out a bit.

In my next post, I’m going to give some suggestions about what I do to help when my mental health is making work nearly impossible.