Workplace anxiety is a big problem for a portion of the population, yet talking about it makes people fearful of their hiring potential by discussing their issue publicly. I've personally experienced this fear, and sometimes still do, but have always wanted to have someone to relate to since it can be such a complex emotion.
The following was written amidst an anxiety attack after walking into my current place of work. Nothing has been edited, everything is raw. It took me a few weeks to get the courage to even read what I'd written, let alone post it. But having this discussion, in my opinion, has the potential to open peoples minds to their peers' mentality and help develop and increased tolerance for those with anxiety not only in the workplace, but in life in general.
Holding a job with anxiety is no simple task - especially a new one. But when you're trying to build yourself a career, anxiety is the last thing that should be getting in your way.
I hyperventilate a lot of times when I'm on my way to work; whether it's leaving my room, walking to my parking spot, driving to work or even just walking in. I've been in this position for 2 months but for some reason still can't shake the nerves.
When I wake up on mornings I know I have to work, the thought of throwing away my career to stay snuggled up under my covers and avoid the world isn't uncommon for me. As I'm getting myself ready for the day, a list of potential excuses roll through my head - anything to make the the anxiety go away.
How could I ever tell anyone about this and not come off as crazy? How could I tell people when its hard to know if anyone could even fathom how anyone could have deep-seeded anxiety attacks before going to do the job that they love? It doesn't sound realistic. No one will believe me if I tell them the truth. It just sounds like an excuse.
I know my anxiety is unwarranted, but its something I can't control. Time and time again I've been reminded, "There's no need for you to worry." And while I whole-heartedly agree with folks on the former, it's the stigma left by the latter that I can't ever seem to shake that bothers me more than my anxiety itself at times.
At the end of the day, I end up producing a lot of impressive, comprehensive work for someone of my experience level. It's something I'm proud of, but in some ways for all the wrong reasons.
It's not that I could care less that I'm producing work that could ultimately launch a healthy career - in fact at times it's the only thing that keeps me going - but I'm more proud of myself for reaching the finish line without having a meltdown in front of any co-workers.
I've wondered when or if the day would come where I would finally reach my breaking point, whatever it may be. I guess I should be impressed that I've learned to suppress my nerves so well, but it's only a result of a lifetime of anxiety management. And when I say a lifetime, I really do mean a lifetime. Perhaps that another excuse in itself in my own mind; I've been able to cope with it before and overcome my nerves, so why not now?
I'm constantly pushing my body to the limit emotionally, and really have been my entire life. So this is something I should be used to by now. There's no excuse now since I've proven that I'm able to overcome these hurdles in life. It's one of the only times in life I ever want to tell myself to pull myself by the bootstraps (as much as I hate that phrase) because I know I'm better than that.
It's hard not to feel broken when you constantly feel this way, even though you know it's not your fault and beyond your control.