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I need a hero

Crippling Anxiety Caused By A New Job

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(Repost.  I Accidentally Posted This In The Wrong Forum) I’m not very active here.  Maybe I should post more to help others, or maybe I’m just selfish and only look for answers here.

I just don’t know what to do.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a fear of failure.  I remember on the high school football team every once in awhile having crying fits and being pissed off at myself for not performing up to my preconceived standards.  I was bullied a lot.  This continued throughout high school and sometimes I also would occasionally pick on those I deemed who were easy targets.  
 

I remember I punched myself in the face for losing in a video game once.

Some people saw my weaknesses and would target them.  I was young and made some mistakes in my youth and I don’t know.  Maybe I could have done something different.  Being on the football team I feel was a big mistake.  I did not fit in.  I stayed all 4 yrs.

Today I’ve been feeling nostalgic in a bad way.  I’m trying to pin point what mistake I made in the past and how I can fix it to the situation I’m in now.

I came out of college with a degree in Law Enforcement.  Big mistake.  I was already on anti depressants when I was 14 yrs old. I went on and off of them.  My mother cried when I was put on them.  I still remember.

College was fine and everything.  I guess it was easy to forget about life for a little bit when I was away from home.  In a lot of ways, it was a vacation from the real world.  Fast forward to when I did my internship, and I was having mental breakdowns.  I was an intern.  I wasn’t even supposed to do anything.  I had no tasks but to observe officers actions.  I felt crippling anxiety and I had panic attacks at the police station.  I even got a warning from the training officer about getting proper rest and showing up on time.

Fast-forward a few months and I got a job as a surveillance officer.  I was not good at it at all.  I was okay in spots, but putting everything together was terrible.  I was given the option to leave after my trainer said he doesn’t think I’m cut out for this.  I cried right in front of him.  My first job after college was a fail.  I cried, but I was relieved because I really hated the training for that job.

I got my first job.  It was my favorite still.  I consider that my peak and I don’t think I can top it.  It was extremely laid back and for what we did, even then, I got very hard on myself when I did mess up.  I kind of freaked out for something minor that I thought of was a big deal.  We were paid decent.  And I knew.  I knew that was going to be the top for me.  I told myself I’ll never see another one like that again.  And I haven’t.
 

I had good marks on my record, so they placed me at a better account.  Big mistake.  I went from cruise control to panicked most days.  It was a new account they just acquired and I guess they wanted the officer with the nice marks to come onto this new account.  It was a nightmare.   Everything was different and uptight.  It was awful.  I never felt comfortable after 9 months and I hated it.  Everyone and everything was negative.  Too many responsibilities for me to handle.  And I tried.  I did.  Until one day we committed a grave error.  A mistake that was so bad.  That I had knots all in my stomach the rest of the shift.  Because we committed a security breach on overnights.  Another officer and me.

At this time, I got a phone call that I was suspended pending further investigation.  I still have the voice mail and I play it over and over again as a reminder of my mistake and I hate it.  I don’t know why I do that to myself.  I consider that the worst day of my life.  The area manager tore me apart.  He didn’t understand that I was suffering from extreme anxiety.  My goal was to make him as uncomfortable as he was making me.  I gave him a death stare.  I stared into his soul and I know I made him uncomfortable.  I’m sure I looked mean as all hell.  He questioned everything about my character.  Like he knew who I was.

When I got to my car, all I could do was scream and I hit myself in the face, hard, twice.  I gave myself a black eye and drove home sobbing.  Then a week later I got a call that based on a technicality, I could come back to work with a final written warning.  I was walking on eggshells.  I wanted out.  I knew that history repeats itself and it did.  I was thrown under the bus for a mistake.  Another anxiety ridden officer moved it up the chain.  I was removed and transferred.  It was easier to handle this time.

They placed me at another account that was very uncomfortable.  Standing post all day.  I couldn’t take it.  I applied for a trades job and it was better, but still bad.  I did not mind the hard work even if it was very difficult, but it was hard to learn.  Not only that, but they’re mean nosed guys.  I have cried several times at work. They have no sympathy.  I felt awful.  I did not feel like I was learning the job at a good pace and felt inadequate next to another apprentice of the same yr as me.

I have been searching for another job for a long time and I found one.  A Public Safety Officer at a college and it is very difficult to deal with.  They told me everything is slow now with the virus, but that things that we do now will change.  Much more activities. Plus, non union, but, good benefits.

It sounds like a nice job, but in crippled with pain inducing anxiety so bad, I felt like driving off the road.  I have not slept in 2 nights.  I don’t know what to do.  My supervisor tells me I’m doing good with training, but I’m so nervous with everything.  He knows it too.  I want to quit now and it’s 3 weeks in.  I’m torn up inside if I were to ever get fired from this job.  I don’t know.  I would probably just sit in a corner outside and sob silently.

I have a terrible fear of failure.  The time I got removed, was heartbreaking for me.  I don’t want to mess up, but history repeats itself and it’s a horrible cycle.  I can’t stand it.  I’m almost 30.  I still live with my parents because I’m afraid of moving out and if I can’t get past this uncomfortable phase in this new job and I get fired, or get deemed unfit to work and seen by a work psychologist, I really don’t know what I would do.  I think I would just sit quietly somewhere outside and just cry until one of the other officers came to talk to me.  I’m at the point where it’s hard to function and I need to train for a sensitive position such as public safety and act like I’m fine.

Edited by I need a hero
Posted this in the wrong thread

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You are doing the best you can with the anxiety you are facing. Give yourself grace. You accomplished a college degree with crippling anxiety, that is something to be truly proud of. There is no shame in living with your parents at thirty while you search for stability. You are doing a good job. I would encourage you to set time aside to create a positive mantra for yourself as a soothing and encouragement tool. You are not alone friend, and the world is a better place with you in it. 

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2 hours ago, NitNat said:

You are doing the best you can with the anxiety you are facing. Give yourself grace. You accomplished a college degree with crippling anxiety, that is something to be truly proud of. There is no shame in living with your parents at thirty while you search for stability. You are doing a good job. I would encourage you to set time aside to create a positive mantra for yourself as a soothing and encouragement tool. You are not alone friend, and the world is a better place with you in it. 

Well the thing is that it has not become crippling before all of this.  I just think that the biggest “fails” in my life have started at a professional level and now as recent as last week, they’re just building up now 1 after the other.  I keep on thinking about the past fails in this area in my life and how it’s changing.

I have only felt truly comfortable at work, at one location in my life.  That’s the only time I’ve felt comfortable and competent.  That was back from 2014 - 2018.  I want to recreate that feeling of competency.  Right now I’m still training. My trainer said that I’m doing well so far he can tell that I’m nervous about everything.  A lot of it is policy and procedures and it’s getting everything right.  I’m just learning the layouts of everything.  It’s a lot of information to take in.  I never had to work in an institution before.  And I jumped around from place to place.  I’m just really tired and everything.  And the lack of sleep is getting to me.  I do have a therapist and we have been doing talk therapy.  I have not felt this bad in the longest time.  

I last hurt myself last January when I lost my phone.  I blamed myself and I punched myself.  The other time that I punched myself was when I got removed from the account and it was so devastating completely my fault, there was an issue that was taking place and I was too scared to take action.  It was a situation where I froze and I did not do anything because I was so scared.  And the partner with me did not know what to do either.  The fear of failure froze me instead of figuring out the situation and taking steps to fix it or taking the right steps to prevent it.  I consider it the biggest failure of my life and now it’s those same fears that are coming back to me.  And I’m thinking about the past fails again.

I’m not on any medication right now.  I used to be on Paxil awhile ago.  This is back in college.  I was on Seroquel and that was used off label for sleep.  I think Paxil and Seroquel were the last one I was really on.  I don’t like taking medication like that.  It makes me feel weaker than I really am.  I was so upset with myself last night that I was just breaking out into tears and explaining to my parents how I felt.  I feel weak when I talk about my problems.  I try not to mention that to my friends and I pretend that everything’s okay with them.  Last night there was no hiding this from my parents I was so emotionally upset.  I can’t be this way in front of my supervisor.  It’ll make him nervous.  The fact that I’m nervous is making him nervous.  And it’s creating a bad working situation.  And this is just training.  It’s a lot to take in for me that’s all.

Edited by I need a hero

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I use to also feel shame surrounding taking medicine until my counselor explained that antidepressants were to people with depression as insulin is to a diabetic. I realized that the medicine was helping me to cope in the moment and is what I need at the time until I am strong enough to cope without it. Just like for a type 2 diabetic learning healthy eating and exercise habits, I need to learn self care and acceptance before I can start weaning off. 
I know it’s hard to talk to others, but I’m sure your family and friends would rather talk to you about the hard time you are having than know you are bottling it up inside and hurting yourself... You do not deserve to be hurt. When I struggle with thoughts so self loathing I repeat to myself “you are doing the best you can right now, and that is ok”. It reminds me to give myself grace and to accept where I am in life at the moment, knowing that I will not be here forever. I hope I can provide you some encouragement and let you know you are not alone. 

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Hi @I need a hero. You sound a lot like me in my younger days. The fear of failure is a crippling feeling that leaves me in corners and bathrooms and on the streets crying my heart out. I felt useless, unworthy and thoughts of never being able to move forward ever in my life as I keep falling back to my fears even after years of ease in a good place. 

Letting out my fears to others around me helped me a lot instead of hiding and pretending. I had a mum whom I cry to over the phone on the worst days of my job. She is afraid for me but I know she cares. 

It took a lot for me to try to make effort to increase my self confidence, to embrace failures and turn them into lessons and tell myself I’m getting stronger by experiencing failures, to tell myself that I’m human and humans make mistakes, many mistakes do not make me a failure. I had to learn calming strategies such as taking 3 deep stomach breathes to bounce back up. 

It took a long time but it’s possible, your brain is always changing and learning no matter your age. Mistakes are signs that you are working at the edge of your ability, the stretch zone. This is where learning and growth happens. Mistakes are an inevitable part of life, that’s why it feels like history keeps repeating itself. But mistakes tell us what we need to learn, in different kinds of situations. 

Anything that annoys you is teaching you patience. 
Anything you can’t control is teaching you to let go. 
Anything that angers you is teaching you forgiveness and compassion. 
Anything that has power over you is teaching you how to take your power back. 
Anyone who abandons you is teaching you how to stand up on your own two feet. 

In the above post, I read a long post of your learning journey in life, not mistakes, but obstacles and challenges that you overcome. You learned what you can take and what you can’t take. There’s another mountain up ahead for you this week, another one next week, and you are afraid you can’t climb over. But look back, there’s more to life than this job. Blame yourself but where does blaming yourself get you? Find out how to get more rest, find out what nutrient food helps keep u awake. But most important is find that self confidence inside u that can embrace every mistake u will make, but u will also learn from. 

I froze many times in life but people around me forced me to move on towards different jobs, to somewhere where I don’t freeze. Things will turn out ok. Even if you did not freeze, that doesn’t mean the things you do could have helped the situation, freezing could be better than doing something worse in a frightened state, which others could have also done in your shoes. You cannot make no mistakes, no one can, there are many who failed in your situation too. 

In you, I see someone who has succeeded and achieved in being resilient in his struggles and kept going. You are the version you that you need and needed to be in every phase of your journey. Forgive yourself for past, let it be your lessons, then let them go. 

It’s a tough journey but the people here and those around you are here to hear you out. You are strong to talk about your weaknesses and that’s a strength you should celebrate. Take your time. It’s ok to be slow, it’s ok to be weak, as long as you keep going, keep talking and keep learning. We are here for you. 

Sorry for the long post -_-“””

Edited by Depressedgurl007

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I understand the fear of failure feeling.  Please remember that you are more than the sum of your 'successes' and 'failures' (or actions in general).  

I sincerely hope you find a safe outlet (here, anonymous call in phone line, dedicated counselor, friend, pastor, etc.) where you can express your feelings and become comfortable with yourself, the world, and your place in the world.  Lots of people have failed multiple times before finding what they succeed at.  That does not make any of them (or you!) a failure.  Search on the internet for "success after failure stories" for many examples.  (FYI -- I used the search engine DuckDuckGo.)

Best of luck ... sic 'em!  🍀

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