Social Anxiety and Me

Starting a new job can be challenging for anyone but when mental illness is tossed into the mix, things can be even more difficult.

I am about to start the fourth week at my new job which involves doing marketing for a local charity. Of course during my first week I was nervous, you never know what your coworkers will be like after they aren’t obligated to be polite anymore.

Positive to Anxious

Everybody was very nice during my first week. I got to chat with a lot of people my age which was really great. I didn’t talk to many of my coworkers at my previous job so I had a lot of culture shock which is odd to say about a new work environment.

Week 2 was not as easy as week 1. I had become suffocated by my anxiety, unable to speak to anyone unless they started the conversation. Even then I would try to end the conversation or leave the room entirely to find a space to be by myself which is hard. I used to have my own office but now I share a workspace with 3 other people.

When I did get time alone, I was spinning in my chair, pacing the floors trying to get my head to relax. One day I had to hold my coffee cup with both hands to drink because I was shaking so badly. I asked myself, “Megan, what the hell?! It’s just a new job, how is your anxiety this bad?”

Here Comes the Depression!

That Friday as I walked out the door of the building into the chilly evening, my anxiety plummeted into depression. All weekend I had no interest in anything, I was completely numb. I kept myself busy by constantly cleaning and cooking so I wouldn’t fall pray to my usual answer to depression: laying in bed for hours.

My boyfriend kept thinking I was upset with him or that he had done something wrong. This is the first time he has truly seen my depression first hand since we moved in together. I had to explain that it wasn’t his fault, that it was the new job.

To help I asked if we could watch a “Harry Potter” movie together. I chose the fourth movie, “The Goblet of Fire” which is my favorite one! We got out our toy wands and he put on my special Harry glasses which made the experience so much more fun.

My Therapist Saves the Day

Thankfully I met with my therapist the next day to talk everything out. I explained my fear that nobody would want to talk with me even if I initiated the conversation and that I was too nervous to make the first move.

She reassured me as always that they all just met me and that in time maybe I will make a friend or two. That would be pretty cool to have a new friend!

Her positive words and encouragement helped me get through my 3 days of work last week. I was able to speak to people and even begin conversations with my coworkers!

So progress? We shall see what this week brings, I never seem to know what my future has in store for me.

Have you had a similar experience? How to do deal with social anxiety?

I’m sorry this is so terribly long!!

TLDR: New job makes me anxious so I talked to my therapist. Last week was better than expected.

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8 Replies to “Social Anxiety and Me”

  1. I usually just force myself to talk to people IF I HAVE TO and then worry about whether or not I said the wrong thing later (I know, lol not the best thing to do mentally but it works!)

  2. Let me say, please give yourself kudos for your courage and ability to take action

    It is our judgments that fuel our social anxiety

    For now no matter how dire thoughts and judgments turn, you are living life fully.

    Accept this as a challenge. We all have enormous personal obstacles

    If it was not this it would be something else

    Depression and anxiety are fueled by thoughts

    Judgments about ourself, the past and judgment about how others judge us.

    We are extremely critical, our inner critic has grown

    Kick the inner critic to the curb

    Even if it is anxious and tense, it is life and you are doing the best you can.

    Depression is fueled by your thoughts

  3. You are doing way better than me when I started my current job. I had a panic attack and had to leave early my first day

  4. Dear Megan, Glad to know you are already at the fourth week of your new job. As always, do your best be friendly and responsive, it’s ok to just focus on work and bury your nose in it, after all one is paid to work! And wow a charity org… that means part of your job is to help less fortunate people, so give yourself credit and hang in there! Much love, KM

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