Now having anxiety isn’t something I go shouting from the rooftops about, yeah I’ll reblog or retweet the occasional quote about it, but I don’t tell people unless I’m either close to them or feel that they need to know.
My anxiety is mostly social anxiety, however I do get anxious in general too. It’s a massive drawback, to the point where it was actually half the reason I lost a job. I had been working in a cafe for a couple of months and due to living in a small town there were obviously days when it wasn’t very busy, but it started to reach a point where I was being sent home early most days because my boss just couldn’t justify paying me to stand around doing nothing when we had no customers, which was completely understandable. Now I had told her about my anxiety at my one month review when she mentioned that I didn’t interact with customers as much as she would have liked, she said she understood because her son had been shy when he first started working there, but he was fine after a couple of weeks – this was the first thing that got me, there is a huge difference between being shy and having social anxiety, shyness can be easy to overcome, anxiety on the other hand is definitely not.
When it came to the day I lost my job, her words were “you’ve been here 8 weeks now, you should be talking to the customers more”, and if it wasn’t for my anxiety I’d have shouted at her there and then. It’s not that easy – I can’t just switch my anxiety off. I actually felt that I had got better with it, not much, but to me it felt like a big step. I genuinely feel that as an employer she should have helped me to use my job as a way of improving my ability to talk to strangers rather than criticising me for it.
Luckily my current job doesn’t involve talking to strangers seeing as it’s a factory, I struggled with talking to my colleagues to start with but as I settled in it became easier as I got to know people. There’s a few people I speak to at work everyday but most people there speak little or no English, which for me actually makes things easier because it means they don’t try to talk to me and therefore I don’t get anxious about it.
I’ll leave this here for now, but my anxiety is something I plan to revisit in future posts. Hopefully many people in similar situations to me will be able to relate.