The social anxiety of starting a new job

I feel really low at the moment and I don’t know why I am letting things get to me. Each day I am challenging myself by coming into a new place and trying to make a place for myself at this job but in the mornings I have no desire to get out of bed and do it. These aren’t good thoughts to be having but I am acknowledging them as just thoughts and then getting on with things. My desire to stay at home in bed is my desire for control as I still feel uncomfortable at work and so I desire to stay somewhere where I feel safe and secure. This is similar to what happened when I started at Monotype except in that case, I was also coming off my medication, and just going back on the bcp. I also didn’t know about Thrive then and didn’t understand how my brain works. I just remember feeling uncomfortable at work (as I hadn’t forged my place yet) and feeling sick because of it. Now I understand that my stomach hurts due to my feelings and I am feeling low because I am feeling uncomfortable which I don’t like.

I know I can make friends as I am a nice person but I really struggle with the Locus of Control question ‘I believe I can make any body be my friend’. I don’t believe that. There are just going to be some people who find me annoying (like my habit of joining in every conversation) just like there are some people that I simply don’t like. So I am putting thoughts into other people’s heads that they find me annoying because I find some of my habits annoying. I am taking every little remarks as something bad, or taking to heart the jokes that one of my colleagues makes that seem quite mean (though she makes them towards everyone). It is my self-esteem being knocked as I am putting myself down which I should not be doing. But I know how to handle this. I know that I just have to start writing down my positives again to boost my self-esteem and my social anxiety will disappear with it.

On the plus side, I still feel like I am getting over my emet. A couple of times I have felt worried about going into my new work place with a stomach ache but I haven’t panicked about it and I don’t think I have been anymore worried than the next person. When I first started here I was good at not antibac’ing my hands all the time but slowly I have started doing it more. I don’t want them all to know that I have an issue with germs as I am ashamed of it (I know I shouldn’t be). Plus I  want to stop those safety seeking behaviours as it is what is making me hold onto the emet but I guess there is another small part of my that believes if I don’t do those things, I will feel uncomfortable and will get sick. Yes I proved to myself that I might not necessarily get sick by touching the door handles etc. at work but 1. the warehouse is all dusty so I feel like that means I have to wash my hands when I touch the door, and 2. it just makes me feel so uncomfortable.

I know I need to make myself feel uncomfortable to make myself get better, but I struggle to do that as I hate it so much. That is why I am still not 100% thriving!

That familiar feeling

Right now I am having that familiar feeling from a few years ago when I just don’t feel comfortable during the day and can’t concentrate. It has crossed my mind (only briefly) that I am going to end up going down the same road as 2014 but I am thriving now and I won’t. I don’t feel like doing anything because I want to go on holiday! I want it to be holiday time right now, not in a few weeks time!

The other thing is that by the time I left my last job I knew what I could get away with. I knew that I could have a quick look on the internet if I needed to or go and talk to one of my friends. Well this is only my third week and I don’t really have that rapport with anyone here yet. I am having a laugh with them now and again but no one I can call a friend yet.

I actually have to do some work here as well! In my last job I probably spent at least an hour in total talking to people. Well at the very end I did!

I am going to thrive this time. I will settle in and get along with people quickly as I am a nice person. I will process this internally and will not let any social anxiety get in my way.

It’s not just the worry about whether the people will like me as a person, but also whether they think I am suitable for the job like I sold myself in the interview. My old boss used to tell me that I should be more confident in making decisions and just do them without having to ask all the time. Well yesterday I came up against a situation where I asked one of my new bosses a question that I should really have made the decision myself and I even pulled her out of a meeting to do so. I sent a message apologising saying that as it is only my third week I wasn’t sure if they want me to make decisions or not and didn’t know the protocol but it was obviously on my mind going by the dream I had last night. It was my old boss from my previous company calling my into a probation meeting and telling me that they feel I am not right for the job because I am not confident to make decisions, I am not performing how they want me to be, and I am not proving I can do what I said I could in my interview or what I did at my previous job. She said to me that I have to step up as she recommended me for the job (not true in real life) and I am making her look bad! To which I started writing down all the reasons I haven’t been able to get things done yet to try to prove myself. After that it went into some other weird dream but it is obviously playing on my mind. I have a six month probation here and I need to prove that they made the right choice in hiring me. Instead I appear to be catastrophising in my sleep about what could happen and ruminating over something small that happened in my third week on the job. I know I can do this job with my eyes closed so why am I letting myself think I am not good enough. Why am I even worrying that they will think that? I know I can do it and I should have faith in myself!

Day 5 and they still don’t know I’m pretending….

that my stomach isn’t in knots and I feel perfectly fine!

Here I am on day 5 of my new job and so far things are going really well. I feel like I am settling in well and everyone seems really nice. But my stomach has been in a knot the whole time and I have had an upset stomach twice. Part of me feels like I am failing at thriving because of it but first of all, I shouldn’t be telling myself off, and 2, I am thriving because carrying on like nothing is wrong and “pretending” is part of the process of learning to thrive. Calling it “pretending” is not the best term. It is more about mind over matter and getting on with things despite felling rubbish.

I also mustn’t worry that I have gone backwards because I have felt a bit of panic from my tummy being in knots or that I have worried about being sick a few times. I’m not even sure it was a blip completely. The other night I woke up because my stomach hurt so much and I got a bit panicky. I did manage to stop a panic attack and actually fell back asleep. But the panic wasn’t that I was going to be sick because I was scared, it was that I was going to be sick and would then have to be off sick on my first week at work. I think that is quite a normal thought really.

I have felt a bit worried about my stomach being bad at work (will they be able to tell and make fun of the smell if I go to the loo), or will I be sick? So that is a bit of a blip but I am handling it and just feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I even just managed to use the bathroom for a ‘cough-cough number 2’ despite being worried what people will say.

I am challenging myself by changing jobs and I am processing it in an internal way. It is a good thing that I have exposed myself to this. I can tolerate it. The more I do, the quicker the churning stomach will go away!

Out of my comfort zone

I’ve been comfortable in my job for three years now and was putting up with going to London but it became to much when I found out I would have to go to London five days a week in the near future. I knew I needed to change jobs but was thinking I would probably start looking in six months to a year as I knew they wouldn’t close my office until at least the autumn 2018 (although my job was already based in London really). The perfect opportunity came up so I took it. 
I started yesterday and everyone seems really nice so far. But of course my stomach is playing up as I am out of my comfort zone and I can feel my social anxiety showing its ugly head. But I am going to process this in an internal way. I decided to make the move to make my home life better so I wasn’t spending all my time on a train home from London. I am going to make this job my own and make this my new comfort zone. I can also handle the nervous stomach and feeling out of sorts for a while because I can cope I will be myself and I will thrive. I can cope with the acid reflux. 

On another note, I have also let myself touch door handles and cold taps in the kitchen without washing or antibac’ing my hands after. I am not going to let the monster scare me!