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Topic: Struggling to cope with my anxiety

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Emily K
    Emily K avatar
    4 posts
    13 January 2020
    I have had anxiety as long as I can remember, sometimes I can manage it and sometimes it hits me really hard and I can't function and become depressed. I am working as a nanny at the moment and it's a reasonably new job. I am constantly so petrified that I am not doing well enough, no matter how hard I work, and I fear so badly that the parents of the kids don't like me. I feel like every time I interact with them I say something ridiculous or silly and I just see them judging me and 'planning out how to fire me' in their heads. I am totally aware that these thoughts are irrational but I can't stop having them. It's at the point now that every day when I leave work I cry to my partner on the phone about it. I dread going now, even though I love the kids and the work, I am purely just so anxious about being judged by the parents? I even lied to them one day when I was really tired and wasnt as interactive with the kids that day, I made something up about what we did so they wouldnt 'fire' me and realise how "hopeless" and "terrible" I am. It's just so debilitating. I would love to know if anyone else has felt this way and how I can cope with this.
  2. Dockley
    Dockley avatar
    3 posts
    14 January 2020 in reply to Emily K
    Hi Emily,
    This sounds pretty stressful having this fear of being fired for not appearing a certain way with this family. This is something I'm experiencing at work at the moment. Everyone seems so energetic and together and I contrast this with how untogether I'm feeling. One thing that helped was discovering that several of those supposedly together people had also been having anxiety issues. Suddenly I saw that their behaviour differently and felt less like an imposter. The other thing that's helping is learning to accept the anxious feelings with less judgement. When they come up I say hello to them and try not to judge myself for having them. Somehow this takes the edge off and stops the spiral getting worse. I'm still trying to master it though - it takes time. I'm sure you're doing a better job than you think. Hope this helps some..
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Emily K
    Emily K avatar
    4 posts
    14 January 2020 in reply to Dockley
    Thank you so much for your help and tips, that really means a lot! You're right, most people are having their own anxieties as well, and I will try to be more aware that the parents probably feel nervous just like me! It would be tricky having someone you don't know come into your lives and care for your children! Maybe if I keep that perception it will help my anxieties. Part of me knows that I'm good at what I do, and I really do enjoy the job, it's just anxiety that creeps up on me and tells me I'm just not good enough! Thank you so much for responding, even just knowing that other people feel like this makes me feel a bit better. I hope you are doing well with your job and I'm sure you are much better than you perceive yourself as well!
  4. Lady Nova
    Lady Nova avatar
    117 posts
    14 January 2020 in reply to Emily K

    Hi Em
    I have struggled with this my whole life. I always knew someone would realise I am shit at what I am doing and kick me to the curb. I would often freeze, rabbit in the headlights style, terrified of doing anything lest it be the one thing that outs me as rubbish. The day I gave up full time employment to care for my disabled family as a single mum was a day of profound relief and I thought I could set aside this inexplicable lack of confidence and move on, happily ever after.

    I didn't, It follows me to every activity and responsibility. I learned to drive at 46 and 6 years on I am still convinced someone will realise I just shouldnt be driving, will recognise my lack of skill, my anxiety, my danger to others. My partner, a rally driver in his youth, says I am a good, conservative, but good, driver.

    I love to grow food, forage and cook from scratch. I enjoy making up my recipes and cooking by the seat of my pants, but I am constantly terrified of messing it up, poorly seasoning, serving too little/too much, convinced I have missed an ingredient or done something that has made it inedible. My partner, retired French Chef, loves my cooking and often praises me for innovation and perfectly cooked food.

    I have had to live with these fears, because no matter what I do or where I go, they will be there waiting to unman me and make me quake in the face of my own perceptions, but they are only my perceptions of me, I have had to allow that others see me differently, even capable. I have to take each negative thought and shake it out and ask it what evidence it has of it's own right to exist in my head.

    I have also had extensive therapy for trauma and quite a bit of work examining my complete lack of self worth. It is possible to live like this, but now and then I give in and ask for reassurance that I am doing OK. I still measure trips in how many cries it takes to drive somewhere, but that's ok ... that's my normal.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Emily K
    Emily K avatar
    4 posts
    14 January 2020 in reply to Lady Nova
    I relate to this a lot! I am constantly relying on positive reinforcement to know that I'm doing okay in life, but even when I get it, I don't seem to believe it or acknowledge it or I think there is an underlying 'pity' behind the comment. I see my partner who is so unashamed and knows her worth and doesn't get torn down my anything or anyone, and j wish I could just dive into her mind and figure out how to look at myself and life in such a powerful and loving way. I am sorry to hear how much you feel like this, and I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone in that feeling!
  6. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    393 posts
    14 January 2020

    I can relate to this.

    for years I haven't been the kindest to myself and haven't really taken care of myself. Ive had low self esteem for as long as I can remember. I always just dismissed it as a bad day/s and just moved on.

    I had a breakdown the day before new years eve. I have never experienced any thing like it. felt so hopeless, not worthy of anything, not good enough. (although in the grand scheme of things Im actually doing ok in life and I love life)

    trying to keep this short - but pretty much I knew came out and the love and support Ive gotten has been amazing.

    My point is - be open! talk about it! talking works. People care and will listen.

    You are not alone! This is just a blip and you will get through it :)

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Emily K
    Emily K avatar
    4 posts
    15 January 2020 in reply to Gambit87
    You are so right! Talking it out with people helps so much, and I can totally relate to the concept that everything in my life is actually pretty great, it's just this one aspect that makes me feel so horrible and is so debilitating! And you're right, it is just a blip in our journey and we will get through it and one day it will just be a distant memory!
    Thanks for sharing your story with me, it's so good knowing other people can relate to how I feel;
  8. Dockley
    Dockley avatar
    3 posts
    15 January 2020 in reply to Emily K
    Its amazing how easily we believe what anxiety is telling us about ourselves and other people! I'm so envious of anyone who can challenge that little voice.
    In fact it's kind of interesting to imagine what life would be like without it: what would I say? What choices would I make? Even how I would enter a room? I guess that's what I'm trying to do now that I'm more aware
    that i don't have to believe what the anxiety tells me. What would you do differently if you could suspend that voice for a day?

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