September 17, 2013 by Vicki
As I have mentioned before on this blog, I suffer from Anxiety. This month I discovered that my anxiety went far beyond a difficulty making friends and trusting people. How did I discover this fact? I received a job at Tim Horton’s and was unable to keep it due to recurrent anxiety attacks. My first day on the job, my uvula swelled to such size that I literally couldn’t help gagging upon it and losing what little breakfast I had eaten. From then on, I suffered from stomach cramps, light-headedness, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, and an overwhelming sense of panic. How can you work or function when your own body rebels against you? On the day that I was fired, I literally ran home after being sick in a public washroom. In total, I called in three times during my first full week. Understandably, my manager felt that I was not a good fit for her extremely busy storefront.
The worst part, for me, is that I had no idea my anxiety was such a problem. I believed that I had left my previous employment due to work-related stress not my own mental health. My fiancé tried to tell me but I refused to believe him. I could not believe that work would reduce me to such straights. I was so happy and excited when I got the job at Tim Horton’s. I thought it would be perfect; a real dream job. Instead, my own fears and anxiety turned it into a nightmare.
The nightmare didn’t stop when I arrived home either. I couldn’t stop thinking and worrying about work and how much time I had left before I had to go in again. I would worry myself into an attack even before I had to leave for work. Consequently, my stress and anxiety levels just continued to escalate right out of my control. My counsellor had given me tools such as “controlled breathing” and recommended that I “challenge my thinking” or practise “realistic thinking”.Even when using these tools, I could not bring down my anxiety to a manageable level where I could function. The anxiety would simply escalate until I removed myself from the situation.
Now I am left unemployed with the knowledge that I have a full-blown anxiety disorder. I need to find ways to counter and cope with my anxiety. Fortunately, I have a supportive fiancé and family behind me. I can only hope that all who suffer from this disorder also have some type of support structure in place. Anxiety is overwhelming and it is not something once can deal with alone.
If you do suffer from Anxiety, there are resources that I have discovered. Both AnxietyBC and the Anxiety Help Guide has a wealth of information and useful tools to help control and understand anxiety. (Click on the blue and it will link you with the mentioned websites.) Please share any other resources in the comment section below. It is hard for those of us afraid of people to reach out for assistance. Perhaps we can help each other here.