Anxiety: Now With Double Barrel Action!

I quit my job.

In my head that is more ‘FUCKING HELL, I QUIT MY JOB’! 

I fell asleep with that thought and woke up with the same thought. My anxiety is cracking it’s knuckles and putting it’s mouth guard in. I can feel it. It’s been waiting for this moment. It’s been waiting to show me what it can do.

I spent most of the morning this morning trying to not puke. Randy is a champ. He understands my anxiety and he never gets annoyed by it (that is very nearly true) and he is always supportive. Which is always true.

Me: I’m going to puke. Seriously. My face is sweating.

Randy: You puke, he dies.

Randy: What’s that from?

Me: Weird Science. Duh.

I don’t know if that little exchange kept me from vomiting, but I didn’t…so I’m going to go ahead and give the credit to John Hughes. Rest his soul.

This is how I deal with anxiety. I find the worst case scenario and work backward from there. Some of these came from twitter. I love their twisted little hearts.

I will fail horribly at this job and be fired and not be able to get a new job. We will lose our house and be forced to live in a refrigerator box. Only I don’t even have a refrigerator box. I don’t know anyone who just bought a new fridge. See? I’m not even homeless yet and I’m failing. 

I told my mother this fear and she reminded me that it wouldn’t take much to turn their basement into a perfectly acceptable apartment.

Plus, we have other people who love us and would give us shelter. Or maybe buy a new fridge and give us the box.

I will find out my new employers are zombies and they really did hire me for my brains. 

I’ve also succumbed to The Walking Dead and have been on a two week long marathon. This might have something to do with that last one.

I will fail miserably at my new job and and have to return to my old job.

For all that is holy, no. No. I don’t even know how to tuck my tail between my legs.

I will succeed at my new job, but hate it. 

I’ve already proven I can live with this one. Next.

No one there will like me. They’ll think I’m weird and that I smell funny. None of the cool kids will let me sit with them at lunch. They’ll shoot spit balls at me and make fun of my shoes. 

I am kind of weird, but that’s never stopped people from liking me. I don’t think I smell funny on most days. They probably won’t shoot spit balls because that’s gross and there’s nothing wrong with my goddamn shoes.

Today is the first day of my last three weeks at my current job. It’s going to be a long three weeks.

In the mean time, how about some help from you guys? What are your tricks to kicking back your anxiety when it’s going for the knock out punch? Or this! Give me some more ‘worse case scenarios’ I can work back from.

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Add your comments below. Profanity is encouraged, but not required. ;)
  1. Fearless Leader says:

    Becoming a drunk always worked for me in situations like this.

    Reply
  2. Linda says:

    Well first I need to tell you that any place that rents appliances will have a fridge box out by their dumpster. So that is not really a problem.

    Second, these people interviewed you THREE TIMES – they already know they like you and you already know you like them. Granted, that probably didn’t include most of your new coworkers but worker bees are usually better than management so if you liked the people who hired you, then you should love the rest of the crew. And I have no doubt they will love you.

    Worst case scenario – the workplace toilet overflows when you use it for the first time. And THEN you will smell funny.

    Reply
  3. Great to hear!

    I’m home today with an anxiety attack, mainly from my current job. It’s good to know there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel, right?

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Yes..I am looking forward to leaving here…but what if I suck at the new job? What if I can’t figure it out?? What if I’ve just been coasting on charm here?? HAHAHAHHAH

      Reply
  4. Considerer says:

    You know my thoughts on this, disjointed and useless as they are – I think you’ll be fine in the end. Put your own gumshield in, get your *can’t remember the name for those cool ninja whirly sticks* and get ready to kick your anxxiety back to the curb.

    You got this.

    Reply
  5. XANAX. Always. Also, if you truly hate your new job, try to get fired instead of quitting. 8 thousand weeks of unemployment. Can’t beat it.

    Reply
  6. Mary-Anne says:

    Your next three weeks will be like detention in The Breakfast Club. Only not as cool. And everyone there will be older. And no-one will be able to do the lipstick trick like Molly Ringwald. Unless you are the Molly Ringwald character, and then all bets are off.

    How do I deal with anxiety? Swim, Sleep, Eat pasta…..not necessarily in that order, and not usually at the same time.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Swimming while eating pasta would be a sight to see, now wouldn’t it? hahaha

      Once, back in the 80s, some old guy asked me if I was Molly Ringwald..so maybe I could do the lipstick trick.

      Reply
      • katie metzroth says:

        practicing the lipstick trick is sure to distract you.
        don’t forget to vlog that once you’ve perfected it. : )

        Reply
  7. In 2012 I had a great programming job in the defense industry in a really inexpensive part of the country that featured a bountiful supply of the world’s most excellent green chilis. My wife’s mental condition was deteriorating and I was having trouble controlling the situation. Money was, by my standards, an issue. I got a call from my former employer offering an exciting opportunity to work on a project in Africa – lucrative too.

    I called a bunch of my siblings asking for advice (I’m the youngest of 7, and although in my 40’s at the time, still relied on them for advice). God, I was uptight about this decision. My one sister described me as “perambulating.” It was as though I knew something bad was going to happen no matter what.

    I ended up taking the job on contract. That was a risk in and of itself. Six months later I got picked up full time. That was good, but my wife’s situation worsened around that time. My full time status allowed me to go to the project site in Africa. It was a two week trip. I came home to my wife’s corpse and a suicide note.

    The Africa site part of the job did not go well from there on out. I was pretty nuts, but there were political issues too. I got kicked off the site, banned as it were. Fortunately, I kept my job Stateside.

    As far as worst case scenario goes, I think this qualifies. Lessons:

    1) it doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not, we don’t control sh*t.

    2) at some point you have to make a decision one way or the other. A bunch of my friends from the defense contractor got laid off. Some relocated and started over elsewhere. My one programming mentor is now in San Francisco and quite happy there.

    Hope this provides some perspective. Sorry to dump. CBT

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Oh Carl…I am so sorry. How horrific for you. I guess if nothing else, I can say that my worst case scenario isn’t anything like THAT scenario.

      And you are right..we don’t get to control anything. I think that is where a lot of my anxiety lives..in the things I want to control and can’t. And feel free to dump anytime you want.

      Reply
  8. Kristine says:

    What’s the worst? They give you some sort of manual to read and you fall asleep at your desk the first day? I ended up there for 5 years and I’m pretty sure they forgave me for the nap.

    Reply
  9. Vanessa D. says:

    There’s nothing worse than working out your notice. I did it twice this year and hated every second of it. Hopefully your new job is perfect in every way that counts, but if the worst should happen I’ll go beg up a refrigerator box for you.

    Reply
  10. You’ve already done the two hardest things: You got a new job and you gave your notice. Well, then there’s showing up for Day 1 at the new job. That’s pretty rough. But you don’t have to worry about that for three weeks! And in the meantime there’s pretty much nothing you can do wrong at the old place, assuming you don’t actually set anyone on fire. Also, just look at how many faceless strangers on the Internet are supporting you. You have a virtual zombie army behind you. You got this, baby.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Hahahaha..Yes! It is wonderful to have my virtual friends.

      The first day will be hard..I suspect the first month will be. But, I’m trying very hard to not create problems where there are none. Not yet at least.

      Reply
  11. It looks to me like we have the same anxiety disorder haha! I’m glad you quit your job because even though I have no idea what it is I could tell that you hated it by just your writing and they didn’t deserve you. Besides you are going to be a famous author and tell all those people to suck it! You are going to do great at your new job and if not it won’t matter because you are going to be a famous author and then tell those people to suck it as well. I would tell you how I relieve anxiety but it’s still illegal in most states hahahahaha! Seriously (for just a minute and then my head will explode) you will be fabulous because you are fabulous oh and you’re also going to be a famous author did I mention that?

    Reply
  12. Cheryl Porter says:

    Red wine. Lots of it.

    Reply
  13. Heather says:

    I still wake up most mornings ready to puke. You probably shouldn’t consider any of my advice as worth using. But I have to have tunnel vision to get through it. I can’t think about anything but the next 30 minutes or so. Get dressed, pack lunch, get out the door. Worry about the rest after that.

    Good luck. And keep us updated 🙂

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      I will too listen to your advice.

      And it’s really good advice. I need to focus on the ‘right this minute’ stuff..it’s worrying about shit that hasn’t happened that makes me crazy!

      Reply
  14. The only advice I can offer is to fake it ’till you make it! That has gotten me through ALL SORTS of jobs I’m not the least bit qualified for. I’m so excited for you, though. It’s scary to start something new and to leave behind something that’s familiar– even if it’s miserable. This will be a huge life shift, in the best possible way. You’ll look back at this as a “before and after” moment, I just know it. Good luck!

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Thank you, gorgeous!

      It’s funny..my boss is having me go over the job description so they can advertise to replace me and it’s hilarious. Must be able to support a Supportive and No Fear environment. This place fucking RUNS on bullying.

      Reply
  15. Karen says:

    I was having major panic/ anxiety attacks over the idea of leaving my job to finally pursue a life I enjoyed as opposed to one that kept me comfortable. A friend sent me a photo of a saying he keeps in his wallet-

    P.S. You’re Not Going to Die
    Here’s the white-hot truth: If you go bankrupt, you’ll still be okay. If you lose the gig, the lover, the house, you’ll still be okay. If you sing off-key, get beat by the competition, have your heart shattered, get fired…it’s not going to kill you. Ask anyone who’s been through it.

    I keep the photo on my phone, and sometimes look at it multiple times in a day. For me, it helps. I think those of us who suffer from anxiety are successful in part because of it, not in spite of it.

    Reply
  16. a. play a song that is YOUR JAM and I don’t mean, you kind of like it, I mean, you MUST get up and dance love this song. Playing it should distract you/calm your mind. (I mostly use Yeah! by Usher)
    b. close your eyes and count to 10 3 times whilst breathing deeply. Note: counting to 30 doesn’t work. You have to count to 10 3 times. It’s counting two things at once that takes more brain power than just counting one thing….this is why counting sheep doesn’t work imo. if ppl counted to 27 sheep 5 times or something, I think it would work better. Note: don’t try this one while driving. Closing your eyes while driving is never recommended.
    c. I would expect the John Hughes thing worked bc it distracted your mind. Distraction is a great tool for anxiety.

    The worst thing they can do to you is kill you and eat you. 🙂

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      HAHAHAHHA…That is true..that would be the worst thing. I don’t think that will happen. Nearly positive at least.

      Good advice. I am going to try this tonite when my brain starts acting up.

      Reply
  17. Eleanor says:

    I agree with Karen. It’s possible to crap out in all sorts of ways, and we will still like you. And you will recover.
    Do you drink tea? Hot green tea? It can be soothing, ’cause it’s warm, and you can play with the teabag while you are waiting for it to steep.
    (I guess there is no context where you can use the word “teabag” nowadays, without sounding obscene. Sorry.)

    Reply
  18. katie says:

    If I knew your address, I’d make sure you’d receive a refrigerator box-every day of every week for a month. That way you could have a deluxe dwelling, should it come to that.
    I agree with the nuggets of advice above; especially true that we can’t control everything, and, fake it till you make it. Your sense of humor will be most helpful as well.
    My problem is l open my mouth before thinking when nervous. Sometimes funny comes out, sometimes not. Feel free to tweet cos we all know you’re funny AND that you’ll be fine.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Thank you!

      I have the same issue. I get nervous and my filter gets damaged and I say shit I shouldn’t say. Sometimes people laugh..sometimes they look at me like I have two heads.

      Reply
  19. Marie says:

    Holy shit, here’s a worst case for you: You could be me. I am a not-young woman who is separating from her long-time husband, I haven’t worked a regular job in 18 years, and that freakin’ refrigerator box is MINE! !!!

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      oh man…that’s rough, sister…Maybe we could make a refrigerator castle? With a moat!

      Seriously..sorry you’re going through that. It’s a good thing you’re so fucking awesome.

      Reply
  20. Doug in Oakland says:

    As they say here in Oakland: Girl, you be trippin’.
    You’ve done this right, Michelle. As scary as it may seem now, you are perfectly capable of making your new job a better situation than the one you’re in. AND if anyone in your new company has two working neurons to rub together, it won’t take them long to figure out how lucky they are to have you as an employee.
    I suggest gravitating toward music rather than intoxication.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Thank you, Doug..I am going to gravitate toward music and go spend a little time with my musician friends in TN at the end of the week..it’s just what we need.

      Reply
  21. Bon says:

    I told my mother this fear and she reminded me that it wouldn’t take much to turn their basement into a perfectly acceptable apartment.

    See this? This right here is one of my own biggest fears. Having to move back in with the remaining ‘rent. My maternal unit, while lovely and sweet and all the goodness, is also someone that I cannot live with for more than say….48 hours. We’re just too different.

    I DO want to say all major conga-rats on Teh New Job. Also, on the waiting to get one before not having the old one anymore.
    I really must write that down.
    a.) Find new job.
    b.) Then lose old one.
    c.) ….???….
    d.) PROFIT!!

    Keep us posted on the anxiety battle. Some of us are out here taking notes.
    <3

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Oh, I will keep you posted for sure. I think I’d lose my shit if I couldn’t write this stuff down. I have no idea how I survived before blogging. I DID drink a lot more then.

      Reply
  22. Me says:

    Hey – we have two spare bedrooms and the whole side of a house not being used – you can always come and live with us !!!!
    You’ll be absolutely fantastic in your new job – you’ll be the cool new person that everyone wants to be friends with – and you’ll do a great job and wonder why you didn’t leave earlier !!!
    But, back to scenarios for you – they are mass murderers who keep hiring new people so they have fresh meat to kill. They make you wear a Where’s Waldo outfit for your first week – no washing allowed – then you will have smell funny. They don’t let you have coffee in the morning. They say they will control who you can and can’t be friends with.
    OK – best I get back to work before they dress me up as Where’s Waldo and not let me change my clothing for a week !
    Me xox

    Reply
  23. Friends that would buy a refrigerator just so they can give you the box? That’s TRUE friendship, right there! I ease my anxiety with yoga. Just last night, I was clenching and grinding my teeth…ugh. Everything will work out and you know what? In a month from now you’ll be so happy your last job will be but a distant memory.

    Reply
  24. Belinda says:

    1.Remember you have a skill that they are hiring you for.
    2.They like you or they would not have hired you.
    3.You have people that believe in you.
    4. You are not alone.
    5. You are brave because you took the step to change!

    Hold on girl you will be fine there are good and bad days. You have many good days coming, look forward to them and don’t focus on what bad might happen.

    Reply
  25. I find when I have a lot of anxiety, talking it through with loved ones helps, as does something to let the stress out, like going for a run.

    Reply
  26. Jo-Anne says:

    I don’t drink much and it has been years since I have been drunk

    Reply
  27. Pattie says:

    Everyone else has already said of the cool things but I will add a thought any way. You are awesome and way too good for box living, therefore everything is going to be fine. Congratulations on a new opportunity to kick ass.

    Reply
  28. kdcol says:

    Michelle, it’s so obvious to your virtual friends, I wish it was as obvious to you, you are a smart (and awesome!) cookie and (obviously!) have a good head on your shoulders. You didn’t make this decision lightly, you put a lot of thought into it. You is smart, you is kind, and you is important. (yeah, I stole that from The Help)

    That’s the thing my husband can’t seem to understand about anxiety, it’s not rational, it doesn’t make sense. Luckily, I haven’t had a full on anxiety attack in quite a while, but you know, I’m not sure what’s prevented it. I don’t want to think about it too much though, b/c that just might bring one on! You will be okay! 😉

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Thank you! It’s been a while since I’ve had a panic attack. I had a mild one a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t bad and that was the first one in a LONG time.

      I haven’t read The Help yet. I think I’m the only one, right?

      Reply
  29. Zaira says:

    You are not alone. I have less than 2 weeks in my current job. I know all the new people and still think I won’t fit in. Although I know it is absolutely the right thing to do, I wonder what I will do without all the drama in my current job. Lol…what the hell is wrong with me?

    You will be just fine. This is just your way of getting to that happy place you will find at your new job. No more bullies. Less drama. You may actually ENJOY your job. Worry about what is wrong with you then. 😉

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Wow…this is it exactly. I don’t think there is anything wrong with you. This is the evil we know. There’s a comfort in that..even when it sucks. Humans are weird.

      We will be fine, won’t we?

      Enjoy my job…wow..that sounds amazing. I hope you enjoy yours as well!

      Reply
      • Zaira says:

        We will be great! I am looking forward to enjoying my job again, hoping there is a fairy to provide balance in the meantime, and wish the same for you. x

        Reply
  30. Marcia says:

    This is coming from a kid who threw up on the merry-go-round, tripped over jump ropes and was a Dodge ball magnet every time. I survived, and so will you. Got it? You will be great.
    Don’t make me come over there.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Are..are we twins?

      I did eventually learn to just walk into the first ball that didn’t look like it would leave a welt and get out as soon as possible. Dodge ball was a sadistic game.

      Reply
  31. Jamie says:

    I’ve always found that the best cure for my anxiety is having my partner give it to me straight:

    “Oh my god I can’t do this job!”

    “Stop being a wimp, yes you can you had to interview for it twice they wouldn’t have given it to you if you hadn’t proven you could do it”

    “Yeah but that just means I’m good at bullshitting”

    “Well I’m not, you’re good at this shit, you’ll be fine at the new job, stop fishing for ego boosts and man up. Love you.”

    This makes me sulk for about 5 minutes before I get all like ‘right, let’s do this’.

    This’ll either help or it’ll make my partner sound like an uncaring hard-ass… 🙂

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      That actually sounds like a familiar conversation. Maybe without the ego boosts part..but still..familiar. 🙂

      All your fears? I said the same things. Nearly verbatim.

      Reply
  32. Go do some yoga! Namaste.

    Reply
  33. A good book, an Ativan, a nap. Snuggle up and you’ll feel better. I’ve had panic attacks all my life and this is a sure way to calm me down.

    And they’re going to love you at your new job!

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Thank you, Sharon. I hope so. I mean, I’ve usually been well accepted where ever I go. I can’t imagine this will be different. I’ve been relaxing with The Walking Dead.

      To each their own, I always say. Haha.

      Reply
  34. Andrea B. says:

    Deep breaths.

    You sound like me when it comes to anxiety. Writing is a great release. And meds help, too, if I’m being honest.

    Congrats on the new job. 😉

    Reply
  35. Laura says:

    Hiring people is expensive. Hiring mistakes are rare. I imagine you are over qualified for the job. So knock ’em dead on that first day!

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Thank you!

      I’m really not overqualified..I think I am just right qualified with a bit of a learning curve. I’m a computer programmer and program in a language that is not widely used anymore. Their code is ANCIENT. I’m going to have to go back 20 years and relearn it. Little nervous about that. But I found a book and I’m consoling myself with the fact that I am also 20 years smarter.

      Errr…also…there’s been 20 years worth of brain cell killing…but I’m trying to not dwell on that. haha.

      Reply
  36. Ice cream and distraction. All new things are freaking scary but then in a minute, they are your new normal. Don’t obsess. Breathe. Eat some ice cream and look forward to your new adventure. It’ll be good.

    Reply
  37. Zaira says:

    Maybe you could distract yourself and leave your current job with a small prank. Perhaps all your files could ‘melt’ when they turn on your computer or passcode everything with your favorite phrase. 😀

    Reply
  38. Yup I am a worst case scenario girl too, never hurts to be prepared. Good luck in the new job though!

    Reply
  39. stef says:

    If it makes you feel better, we’re behind on our house (both mortgages, thank you) and our work truck, and the rental car place where I rent my pathetic car every month just charged me for the month and THEN CHARGED ME AGAIN because everyone has an extra $569.00 in the bank that they can have put on a memo-hold RIGHT?, so this morning when we literally ran OUT of the last crumb of cat food I went to the bank to buy JUST cat food because I’m frugal, but I checked the balance in our account ahead of time because I knew we were low, only to find out that the above car/rental hold overdrafted our account, so there’s NEGATIVE DOLLARS in there, so I thankfully used the cash I had in my wallet for cat food and took the rest to my husband so he can put gas in his truck so he can keep making money for us for tomorrow because the banks are CLOSED BECAUSE HOLIDAY and then when I got home my daughter called from college to say she just was diagnosed with a bad UTI and needs to get a prescription right THIS MINUTE, for $15, but she lost her University-access card so had to pay $25 to replace it or be locked out of her dorm, and then had a magazine subscription that she swears she didn’t agree to, take her last $20 so she has no (as in $0) money in the bank for her Rx, and I couldn’t help her even if I wanted to because *see above bank closure*.

    *inhales*

    Did I just say all that out loud?

    I’m not sure but the way I’m dealing with anxiety today is to lay on my bed reading. eating Skittles and waiting for tomorrow, which will undoubtedly be better. Or at least tonight, when I can drink the rest of that bottle of vodka… Also– blogs!

    Flip side– I bet you’ll be GREAT at your knew job, and think of all the new material it will give you! 🙂

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Oh man…I FUCKING HATE that for you.

      I’ve been there though and it sucks ass. It will pass though..it will. It’s always something though. I hate negative in the bank account. Having less than no money is some bullshit. Trust me there have been times I have checked the account and saw the same goddamn thing.

      Here’s to hoping next month is good to both of us. 🙂

      Reply
  40. Cassandra says:

    Get out of my head.

    You sound exactly like my own self-talk. The only thing that works for me is high-level distraction. When something that big is pressing on me I can’t read, I can barely watch tv. I pretty much need to get out and do something engrossing to make the voices shut up for even a little while. And forget about sleeping.

    Good luck with the new job! I know it will be great.

    Reply
  41. Lisa says:

    I’m proud of you! Hope the new job is better!

    Reply
  42. I’m like you–I think the worst about a situation and then work my way backwards from that. I’m thinking if the last job was that miserable, you can only go up from there, so this next job has GOT to be better, right?

    Reply
  43. KK says:

    I have my own version of the P.S one mentioned earlier, which has pretty much kept me going through hell and back again. ‘If the end result is not likely to be your own death then you will survive this’

    You will, you’ve got this!
    I tell myself that every single day and I’m still here despite everything.
    🙂
    I’m rooting for you on the other side of the pond.

    Reply
  44. Lorien says:

    My biggest fear is that I will quit and it will piss somebody here off so that wherever I wind up going for an interview WON’T hire me because they’ll get a hold of the pissed-off one(s) who will tell them all kinds of horrible (yet true) things like how many hours I spend on the internet and how I made up blog posts about them. I technically can’t sue them for defamation if it’s true…

    Plus I recently confirmed that I am fetched in the head so…. …. there’s THAT.

    Reply
  45. You’re actually doing better than me at dealing with it… I have quit several times with little or no notice, just because I got so overwhelmed in the end… I would just call and leave a message saying, “I have to move suddenly!” or something. (I’ve only actually done this once or twice… usually my job endings are more natural, like the end of the school year or something.) I think going back for the last three weeks would be the hardest part! My biggest fear is that I will never find a full-time job and I will have to live with my parents forever. You have Randy, so at least you have someone as a teammate!
    Also, I’ve been homeless, and it wasn’t that awful really. One of my tricks? Think of the worst case scenarios, and then find the bright side of them. I’ll get you started. If you become homeless, that will make some great blogging material, and maybe even a book deal or a made-for-TV movie!

    Reply
  46. I see tons of good advice here and so I don’t think I can add anything to it. Probably won’t matter anyway since you wrote this forever ago and I’m just getting to it! All I can say is ‘You got this!’

    I have no doubt.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      This is the beginning of my last week at this job. It’s been uncomfortable being here, but not as bad as I thought. Next Monday? Next Monday I start the new job..I’m terrified.

      Reply