You’d think that the first day in a new job would be the hardest… somehow today is feeling harder. I am rather anxious, pre-work; I’m not sure why it’s worse today vice yesterday. I mean, I know the people are all really nice, I think it’s a decent job that I know I can do… so why this level of anxiety over day two?
In part, perhaps it’s a level of sensitivity to being around people again. After all, I’ve only really spoken to Luke and family in the last four months. So that old thicker skin has softened and I find myself over analysing every tiny thing I do. That’s pretty common with social anxiety I believe… that acute awareness of when you do something “wrong”; even if it’s not really that wrong by normal standards. You make a little joking comment and it falls short: “ah crap now they hate me and I look like an idiot!”
I want to work, I really do. I just need to learn some patience with myself to allow myself time to get back into the swing of things.
My brain – although rebellious at times – works pretty damn well. I’m intelligent, I am articulate (generally; I admit to getting somewhat flustered on occasion!), and I am creative. My mind is sharp and all the sharper since the meds have been changed and moods have stabilised.
Two things need to happen for my life to feel ‘normal’. One is the thing I’ve been semi-ranting about over the last few days here; workload! But that’s in hand and I have a meeting with my supervisor tomorrow to discuss what value-add tasks I can take on. When that’s sorted I hope to be able to get through a work-day without stressing out about being idle. Without endless hours staring at a computer screen waiting for emails to filter in or the clock to tick round.
The other thing I hope will help me greatly is this referral to the Personality Disorders team. Much as I really don’t want another label/diagnosis, I can almost bring myself to acknowledge that this referral can only be a good thing. If I am being honest with myself, there are still things that aren’t-quite-right in the ol’ noggin. Things like my reaction to criticisms (sheer panic), my catastrophizing (frequent) and the need to be loved (constantly). They’re not unusual in their scope, but in their reach. They are extreme. They cause problems.
I need to learn to love my life; I want to know how to be content with what I’ve got. I know, intellectually, that I am lucky. I have a wonderful husband, a nice flat, great family and a good income. Maybe it’s because I didn’t do university; maybe because I’ve not gone off on wild backpacking adventures. Whatever the reason, I still feel this unease in my gut when I am on the treadmill of life. And I want to stop wanting more, more, more. I don’t know how that would come about but it needs to. I need it to.
Most of all, I need stimulation for my brain. I need more mind-food – my appetite appears to be insatiable.
The stay-cation is over; I am back at my desk and it already feels like a distant memory. The week off was a wonderful and much-needed rest. It was appreciated. But I forgot just how tedious this job really is.
The problem lies with my supervisor – a really good guy – and his ‘concern’ for me. About 6 weeks ago we had a conversation in which I requested more responsibility and a heavier workload; his reply was that he is nervous of over-loading me and losing me to sickness. Read: he thinks I’ll have a mental breakdown if I get stressed.
What I can’t get him to understand is that the long, quiet days cause me more stress than my time spend working at break-neck pace ever did. I crave excitement, pressure; I am unashamedly a fantastic corporate firefighter! The hours I spend here are, by contrast, routine and unchallenging. I rarely talk to anyone (colleagues included because of my desk position). I miss the variety. I miss making connections with customers. Most of all, I miss being mentally stimulated.
The issue is that having a secondary psyche is that idleness is a trigger. Filling my life with activity gives me the best chances of Eve keeping her head down. At home it isn’t such a problem, but when 10:30am rolls around and I’ve completed my tasks; well then there’s an issue! We are good at co-habiting in this body but the longer I let my mind wander, the more she takes over. Lately things have been so wonderfully stable; I don’t want what is basically boredom to be the deal-breaker.
I am unsure what to do about this situation; I don’t know how to broach the subject with my supervisor. Our head of department has scheduled in 1-to-1 meetings with each team member – mine isn’t until July 15th. I need to get this sorted long before then; that, or find an alternative.