Friday, December 7, 2012

And the Bottom Fell Out...

I arrived at work yesterday morning in a "I can conquer the world" mood. I was ready to work, I was smiling and I knew that I was going to knock out some claims that day. I had just sat down in my seat and our supervision/trainer comes bursting into the room. She had guns blazing and they were aimed at all 4 of us! She was pissed and she was handing us our asses. The yelling and condescending tones were flying and I suddenly found myself in the throes of an anxiety attack. Not the way I pictured my Thursday morning starting but ready or not it was happening.

It started with tears. Tears of feeling not good enough, tears of anger for allowing the proverbial ball to be dropped on a super important and huge account (it didn't get processed correctly and needed to be restarted so the second half of the process could run, it was due that day). My tears were flowing and I couldn't get them to stop. All those years of my mother telling me how I wasn't ever going to amount to anything because I was too stupid to know how came rushing back to me. I felt like a scolded child who had tried their best to impress their elder and it went completely wrong and blew up in their face. I bit my lips trying to control the tears but that didn't help. Withing a few moments I lost control of my breathing. It is very similar to having an asthma attack, you can't get a deep breath in and you feel like an elephant has taken up residence in your chest. I started shaking because of the stress of the breathing and crying. Yet through all this, I wasn't making a sound. It is a silent suffering and other than a couple of sniffles due to my nose running I didn't make a peep. My supervisor was only in the room for a few moments then she stormed out and I have to say that I was left feeling defeated and seriously thinking about packing up my stuff and walking off the job.

The co-worker that sits right next to me noticed what was going on and went to talk to the supervisor about it. She came back to our room and apologized for her outburst but it was business and if she was going to get her butt chewed for this account not being done properly you can best assure so were we. I didn't hear her words. I was already in shut down mode. She told me to go wash my face and collect myself. I don't remember walking to the bathroom and washing my face, I don't remember returning to my desk looking like I had spent too much time in the sun because I was red. I started itching and scratched my arms out of habit. The tears started again even though she was talking calmly and telling us it wasn't personal at all it was business and sometimes she had to be the hard-ass even though she hated to do it. "Why do you make me do these things to you? It's your fault" was all I was hearing even though that was never once said. I tried to focus on getting stuff going because work had to be done. The emotion spike had lead to what I call an anxiety dump. When all the emotions and physical effects of the anxiety bottom out and end up in the pit of your stomach as a wave of illness. The nausea hit me and I had to fight the urge to vomit. I was already fighting the urge to quit. My vision blurred and I felt like I was no longer in reality. I tried to breathe normally and it hurt. My head began to ache and I suddenly grew very very sleepy.

I didn't let my body pass out, I simply started working and focused everything I had left on doing my job. After I was able to not look like a crazed homicidal maniac (because my pupils dilated and I looked almost animal-like in the face), I went into the cafe and got some hot water for my tea. The warmth of it helped bring me down to normal again or at least what was going to pass for normal that day. I did my work and didn't say much at all. I knew I was still subconsciously fighting the effects of the anxiety dump because my handwriting changed and became very small which is not my usual penmanship at all. I did my paperwork and moved on with my day. I smiled when the conversation needed it and I occasionally answered questions, trying to let my co-workers know that I was fine.

I worked two hours of overtime last night because we were so swamped with requests. I didn't get through near enough of them despite the fact that we had been working our butts off that day. I'm not sure what my coworkers think of me at this point. Honestly, I'm not sure I care. I have a condition, a condition that has not flared up in over a year at this point and one that I weaned myself off medications for. I didn't have a pill that would help at all yesterday I did it myself. I remembered my breathing, I focused on something to take my mind off of belittling myself, I drank tea to connect to reality and when I could I sent a text to my husband and told him what had happened. I needed to reach out and talk about it with someone while it was still fresh in my mind and I could convey how I was feeling. He listened, he was concerned for my health and told me if I needed to quit the job to just do so and come home. I decided to stay the course and work through the problems and be the employee that everyone knows I can be.

Anxiety won yesterday, no doubt about it. I'm still feeling the effects of the anxiety dump today as well. I slept ok but I woke up feeling heavy and with my stomach not feeling so well. I know the side effects of my condition can last a few days so I'm going to try to take it easy today and take it slow. I have to go to work, I'll probably have to work some overtime but if I approach this with a positive calm attitude the anxiety won't win today.It will know I'm back in control and it will return to it's cave where it will wait for the next moment to spring up on me unaware. Anxiety and depression never go away, they are conditions that will always be there, but you can control them and take back your life. It just takes the willpower to not be the loser and the focus to use the strength you have. Today is a new day and I will be part of it instead of just going through the motions of it.

1 comment:

Lissa @ Pass Go and Be Below said...

please know that anxiety didn't win - if i had won you wouldn't of been able to make it through the day. YOU WON, you used the tools, you worked the made it through. you should be so proud of you because I am proud of you for doing it.