I work in retail, which makes managing my anxiety disorder fairly difficult.
It’s not just certain customers that leave me panicked and out of breath, it’s the social side.
It’s often work colleagues who, despite having the best intentions, surprise me with comments and general chit chat that shouldn’t leave me feeling like I’ve said something wrong but does.
It’s booking holidays following protocol and the fear that I’m not doing it right, and that I’m inconveniencing people… It’s being really ill and being unable to phone in sick because phoning up scares me. It’s having to get my mum to phone in sick for me when I wake up with a panic attack in the morning, because phoning in will make me a million times worse.
It’s being unable to talk about it at work because it’s not their place to help me, and I don’t want to be a pain.
It’s customers who complain, who seem really lovely at first but quickly run out of patience when you explain we don’t have that item in stock.Who say things like “work hard in school or you’ll end up here,” with no idea how my life, or my colleagues lives are outside of work. It’s people who ask questions about things that I have no idea, and then I feel like an idiot because I should know what that particular material is but I don’t and I feel like I’m being shamed that I don’t.
It’s the bus that gets me into work only 5 minutes early as opposed to 25 minutes. It’s the three times I’ve been late. It’s my first late night shift and difficulty getting busses home.
It’s things that aren’t a problem to anyone else. It’s unimportant and tiny and I’ll forget them tomorrow, but they consume my whole life until they’re gone.