Monday, March 28, 2016

Working with social anxiety AKA the good side of my job


So  a couple of weeks ago I posted a very long and very rant-y blog about how horrible working with social anxiety is, I still kind of hate my job but I thought I should make a post about the good as well.

I also might be feeling more up to this post because my depression finally broke about three days ago and I have some time of not feeling completely horrible at the moment and I figured I should use it while it's available.

So into the goods of working!

The first good thing about having this job is having somewhere to go most days.
When I wasn't working there would be days at a time where I wouldn't leave the house or even just step out side of door and I'm sure you don't need me to tell you how bad that can be for your mental and physical health. Having this jobs kind of kills all chance of me staying in bed and/or the house all day long.
I'm not saying that it was easy to make myself do this and go to a job that I don't particularly like but for me I didn't really have choice unless I wanted to live on the streets, but regardless of my reasoning, having a job forced me to leave the house and get outdoors which helped with my anxiety and depression. Here is an excerpt from an article that explains some of the benefits of going outdoors:
Spending time in nature has been shown to lower stress levels, Seattle-based environmental psychologist Judith Heerwagon tells The Huffington Post. “Just looking at a garden or trees or going for a walk, even if it’s in your own neighborhood, reduces stress,” she says. “I don’t think anyone understands why, but there’s something about being in a natural setting that shows clear evidence of stress reduction, including physiological evidence — like lower heart rate.”
One reason Mother Nature may work as such a great stress-buster is through scent. The smell of many flowers, including jasmine, lilacs and roses, have been proven to decrease stress and increase relaxation. The scent of fresh pine has even been shown to lower depression and anxiety.
The second good thing about having a job is daily social interaction.
When I didn't have a job, someways I wouldn't leave my room at all and would barely speak to my house mates. As you can imagine this is not a very healthy way to live. Humans are social creatures and even if socializing gives me major anxiety it's still healthy.
Do I still get anxious at work when I have to speak with customers? Absolutely! When I see a customer I just repeat "please don't come to me" over and over in my head lol But the truth is that with each day it gets easier and easier to deal with the daily social interactions (the weird thing is that I only get used to interacting socially with the customers at my job behind the counter, it has no effect on how bad my anxiety is in any other type of social situation, but that's a topic for another post).

The third good thing about having a job is making new connections.
This goes hand in hand with the social interactions but on a more persona level I believe. Before working I couldn't really say I had very many friends besides my sister that is one year older than me. I had acquaintances, but no one I really felt I could call a friend or that I would hang out with. I'm not saying I have that now, but I do have work friends that I enjoy talking to. It's nice to have people at work that I can talk to about mundane things and actually feel comfortable talking with (of course there is problem of the uncomfortable questions about when I'm going to get a boyfriend and of my married and sex talk, which honestly makes me very uncomfortable, but I don't feel comfortable telling them about being ace either, so lose lose situation).

So that's all the good things I have noticed about having a job.
Btw, if you notice that this blog is lighter than majority of my previous blogs it's because my depression has decided to break and I'm feeling better at the moment, so yay me!

More post to come soon.

Friday, March 4, 2016

So I have job now AKA My job is killing me.

I know I fell off the face of the planet but I've kind of had a lot going on for a few months.

* For less of my personal life and more of what working with SAD is like for me scroll to "Working with SAD"

First thing that happened is that I lost the job I had working with my sister. I did office work for my older sister (the one I live with) from about April 2015 to November 2015. Now don't get me wrong, I am very grateful that she allowed me to work for her business, I just feel a little taken advantage of. The office part of her business is run from home, so I was able to work from home which was great. The only not so great part is that I was only getting paid $300 a month. And when I say I did all of her office work I really mean all of it, here is a brief list of some of the things I did,( this taken from my resume btw):
      Checked and replied to emails to maintain regular communication with coordinators.
      Maintain regular communication with coordinators via phone.
      Accepted or deny work orders.
      Managed invoices, which included submitting, recording, and reviewing.
      Typed bids and sent to clients.
      Organized and managed folders, receipts, and documents.
      Kept track of inventory and order supplies.
      Recorded company expenses and revenue on Microsoft Excel.
      Managed all employee documents and paperwork.
      Created and maintained comprehensive project documentation.
      HR work- disciplined employees; communicated job expectations; planned, monitored, appraised, and reviewed job contributions; enforced policies and procedures.
      Created handbooks and checklists for specific job related activities.
      Built website using drag and drop style website builder.
      Maintained website and social media outreach.
      Created both digital and print advertisements. 
      Created and ordered marketing tools. 

Now I understand that I live with her so I shouldn't be getting paid full wage but I'm pretty sure I deserved more than that, and to make matters worse "rock-for-brains" (her boyfriend, that's what I call him) had his brother living here as well and he worked for them too doing field work and he got paid normal wage even though he lived in the house too. 

In early November I decided I was done with feeling like I wasn't valued and I decided I wanted to move to another state just to get away and start over. I had big dreams of moving south to be in the warm and to make a new beginning. I told my sister my plan and like two days later she comes to me while I'm working and just says "So this your last day working". And I was confused because at this point she new my plans to leave were on hold because I didn't have enough money because she was paying me dirt cheap. 

So here I am like WTF, now what am I supposed to do? I had bills to pay (cellphone, vet, student loans) and now I didn't even have the little bit of money she was giving me on top of all of this I was expected to pay $250 the next month for rent, which was even more of surprise because when rock-for-brains brother was living with us (he left/got kicked out by this point for other reasons) he didn't have to pay not a cent of rent. 

So I was left desperate for a job but obviously to afraid to get one, besides my sister I had never worked anywhere before. But I guess I have to just get over all of that because I can't change anything about it now. I guess i've just been feeling a lot like this lately:

Working With SAD

Okay, so once I found out I had to get a job I started applying to places online using the site. Not one person gave me a call back and I was sad and broke and starting to backed up on bills. Finally my mother said she would see if she could talk to her boss at the retail place she works to see if I could get an interview and a couple of days later I had one ( an interview, not a job).

I was terrified, the actual interview process was a complete nightmare. I obviously didn't show it, I have perfected the art of acting normal while slowly dying on the inside years ago. But I felt it in my body, the fear and dread, while still portraying an outward clam. After I got home my interview I was so drained I just fell asleep. 

Fortunately or unfortunately (however you want look at it) I did get the job. And guess what the job was, a freaking cashier! I couldn't have picked a worse position for someone with SAD if I tried. I was terrified during my week of training, there was so much information to retain, not to mention the daily interactions I would have to have with customers. But somehow I gt through it, even when I though I wouldn't. 

My first day working as a cashier wasn't so bad (relatively speaking of course) they put me on a register that didn't have a lot of activity, so it wasn't the worst, and of course I put on my "normal happy girl" facade for the whole day and I actually felt kind of okay. That is until I went home and had a literal breakdown.

I don't know what caused it but when  got home I felt horrible, like working so hard all day and pretending to be normal had finally too it's toll and I just couldn't handle it anymore. But somehow I managed to get up the next morning and do it all over again. 

As i've stated in a previous post, my way of getting through living SAD is to fake it. So that's basically what I do while I'm at work, I pretend like I'm okay, and I pretend like i'm happy. But when I get home I feel broken and like everyday at this job is sucking out a little bit more of soul. Sometime I wonder what my co workers and customers would think if the knew the girl they called "smiley" went home and Googled "quickest was to kill your self" (don't worry, I'm not going to, I just wanted the information in case). 

Don't get me wrong, I did kind of get used to working there, and some of the people I really like. but it's just not where I want to be, and it's started to take it's toll mentally(plus there's a bunch more going on at home that is just wearing me down, and I just can't). Since January I have been horribly depressed and I've felt numb, and empty, and everything all at once. I haven't liked doing much of anything for a while now, I don't paint or draw which are two of my biggest outlets, I don't do yoga, I barely eat (which has more to with my home life than my work life tbh). All I do is read to escape life, and got to work. 

These past few days have been a bit better, I'm at least up for somethings (like finally updating this diary blog) I even started a new painting last night.  

I'm only part time and I don't get paid much but it's better than what I was making. At least I can pay my bills, I'm hoping to be able to move out of my sisters house soon too, becasue I'm pretty sure half of my problems are coming from living here.

Hopefully with the summer coming up I can get more hours at work so I can afford to leave. I don't like working there but I like it a whole lot better than living here. I think that will immensely improve my mental state.  

So, fingers crossed.