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LizualKei Offline
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I have horrible work anxiety - July 14th 2012, 06:21 PM

Okay, well about a year ago, I was hired by a popular restaurant chain in the area as a waitress. It was probably the worst experience in my life. The work was horrible. I was instructed to do things that I wasn't getting paid nearly enough to do($2.63/hour). The management was atrocious, I was forced to go to tables in tears in more than one occasion. The people who came in were brutal. My employees were unreliable and immature. They won't do more work than they need to. Money was taken out of our checks for no reason. Anyway, it was bad. But, needing a job very badly, I put up with it.
Recently, due to a falling out with one of my managers due to her own stupidity, I decided to leave that one store. I transferred to a different building, but the stayed with the same company. And the atmosphere at this new store is probably a million times better. Everything is beautiful. I don't cry at work. The managers listen to you. Anyone is willing to help. The focus is what we can do to make the experience better for everyone: the customer and the workers. Yet, when I have to go into work, I feel very sick. I lose my appetite, my stomach hurts, my heart races. The day the schedule comes out, I will have a panic attack and it takes everything in me to open it, knowing that I will have to come in for yet another week. I do have anxiety problems, and i am on meds for it, but it doesn't seem to be helping.
I just don't get it. I have no reason to be afraid to go into work anymore. I just am. No matter how good of a day I have the day before, I'm s till terrified. I'm afraid I'll cry. I'm afraid I'll mess up. But I have no reason to be! I talked to my psychologist about it and she said stuff I expected. Work anxiety is normal. Everyone has it. Suck it up. Blah blah. But she also told me if it really makes me as crazy as I say, I should find employment elsewhere, somewhere less stressful(retail, receptionist), but I don't want to just give up because I'm afraid to go into work. I'm an adult, and I need to deal with this like one.
My questions are:
Does anyone else have this problem?
How do you deal with it?
Any other tips?
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Re: I have horrible work anxiety - July 17th 2012, 09:25 PM

Hey there! I don't personally suffer from work-related anxiety, but I've struggled with anxiety in other areas of my life. Fortunately, rationalizing things helped me overcome most of the anxiety (not all, but I'm much better now than I was a few years ago). I would say things to myself like, "This situation is not the same as that one really bad situation a few years ago - it's going to be okay." I'm not sure how much of that self-talk you've engaged in, but if you haven't tried it, definitely give it a shot! This job is not the same job. Your manager/co-workers are not the same manager/co-workers. The overall atmosphere is not the same as the previous one. You are not going to be put through Hell in the same way that you were before - not today, not tomorrow, and not on any day you've been scheduled to work.
It is going to be okay.

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Re: I have horrible work anxiety - July 20th 2012, 12:24 AM

Hi there,

I went through something almost *exactly* the same as what you went through, except at a coffee shop. I still have yet to pick up another job; I'm working with a therapist on that.

Sometimes it's a good idea to envision a good day at work...that all of the people you talk to will be nice, and you'll be very productive. I think it's really courageous for you to get out of that other job...it's definitely hard to resign to people that mistreat you.

When you get these panic attacks, where do you go? I used to go to the bathroom, but then I'd never want to come out. Are you allowed to catch a breath of fresh air outside? Sometimes it also helps to keep track of the time, encouraging yourself to make it a few minutes, then a half hour, then an hour. Small steps bring great accomplishments.

Best of luck!

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