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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Firstly, I'm sorry this is so long. I have a tendency to go on and on about things. I'm just really worried...

I'm on centrelink payments. That means I don't work, but I have to do whatever centrelink says if I want to keep getting paid. So since I've been in the system for so long, they've finally made me do Work for the Dole. I did it yesterday and it was fine. Great even. I felt pretty good about overcoming any fears I had and going there (it was at an op shop). I was terrified they were going to put me behind the counter or something. Really terrified. I felt pressured into the whole thing like working there (or I should say volunteering) was the only option so I hadn't said that I was scared about dealing with people like that. I mean, I've never really worked before in my life. Not at a proper job. But I know I wouldn't be able to do a job like that. It was okay in the end because they had me out the back sorting items and putting price tags on them, though one of the ladies was telling me that tomorrow (i.e, today) I would be with the lady from behind the counter, helping her or whatever.. so I felt really scared but I couldn't say anything. For starters, most of them are really old which I know sounds like some sort of judgement, but I honestly can't see any of them understanding if I said I had a social phobia. The woman who I think was 'in charge' pretty much, was really old and sort of hard to understand at times. I liked her, and would've been happy to keep working in that backroom with her and the other ladies, but she gave me no option and said tomorrow I'd be at the counter. She didn't say what I'd do, but I can imagine it'd be terrifying.

So today comes and I take forever to get ready in the morning. Anyone else would think I was being vain, but I feel like people are critical of how I look so I always take a very long time trying to look 'normal.' I had to walk to the op shop. It's anywhere from 20-30 minutes away, so obviously I'd have to leave early-ish. Yesterday I was late and I'd promised myself it wasn't going to happen again. But there I went, making myself incredibly late again. Still at home and feeling **** about my looks, I looked at the time and found it was ten to ten. I was meant to be there at ten. To top things off, I only just noticed I was meant to go to an appointment with my employment service provider today at 11:30. He mustn't have realised I was meant to go to the store though otherwise he probably would've have made the appointment at the same with as when I were to go work for the dole.

Anyway, I immediately grabbed the phone and planned on ring the shop and tell them I'd be late in... but then I started freaking out for some reason. I wondered what I would say. Why would I be late? I struggled to come up with something. It seems so stupid now. I should've just said I was late and that was that. Yesterday when I'd been late, the man in charge (if you'd call him that) simply assumed he'd gotten the time wrong and had left it. As the time ticked by, I continued to panic. Giving up and not going to things is usually the answer for me, though it seems so childish. I considered calling both places and telling them I wouldn't be in because I was sick. But for some reason it sounded incredibily stupid and I didn't. I really think my mental state is just completely f'ed up because for the rest of the day I was twisting my arm/wrist around, hoping to break it. Then I would be able to say I'd had to rush to the emergency room and that's why I'd been absent. Sure, I could've called them from the hospital only I don't use a mobile phone so I couldn't really.

Obviously my attempt to break a bone didn't work. All I'm left with is a sore arm and feeling of stupidity. It just seems so ridiculous. I should've just called them both but now I haven't and it's ten past two. That's four hours gone by. Even if I did call now, what would I say? Or what would I say if they called me? I'm scared because I'm meant to go back to the op shop tomorrow and I'm wondering what the people will say. What if they're angry? And worse yet, what if my payments get cut off because of all this? I feel like my employment service provider guy doesn't like me very much and probably thinks I just like getting out of things. But what exactly have I gotten out of? Sure, I didn't have to go anywhere today, but it wasn't worth it for how panicky I feel. Arghhh! I don't know what to do and I feel really upset and pathetic.

One other thing. Yesterday, when I had to sign a few papers before I could volunteer at the op shop, I paused over the section that asked about me having any health problems that might affect me from working. I'd filled this form out before and hadn't put anything down but they'd lost my form and were having me fill it out again. This was my chance, I thought. But I wasn't sure if a mental problem would fit. There just happened to be one other lady in the room with me. Don't know what her job is but I'd come in to speak to her before. She's young (about 30+) so I felt more at ease talking to her about any problem than the old ladies (I really hope that doesn't sound mean :| ). So I turned in my chair and politely asked her what fit into the health concern category (or whatever it was called), as I had one concern but I wasn't sure if I should put it down or not. I thought she was gonna ask me outward what it was but she treated it like something I might be embarrassed about.. which is right, but I still kinda would've liked to actually say what my problem is. She said it was just for emergencies. She used allergic reactions and asthma as an example. Mine suddenly looked stupid in comparison. So I didn't put it down, though I wonder if she's wondering what my problem was because I never did tell her.

I felt desperate enough to post something like this on yahoo answers but I only got a couple of replies. One of them said to just tell them the truth about having anxiety, ect, as I had nothing to lose. I'm not so sure though... for one thing, it's now 2:20 PM and I was meant to be at the store at 10:00... though I'm more worried about my employment service provider appointment, though I'm not sure why because I have trouble believing either of them will be understanding though they might be. I just have no idea. If I were to ring now, what on earth would I say? I flipped out and yeah, didn't ring for hours... for no good reason? I don't know if I could say phones intimidate me. They might find that to be unbelievable as well.

Ugh. I HATE myself for getting myself into these situations. :mum

I hope this is in the right section btw. Sorry if it's not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After looking on this site for awhile, I decided that when contacted I would just tell them the truth. A few minutes ago a lady from the employment place rang me (not my actual consultant or whatever you'd call them). She had a friendly voice even as she said about how I hadn't gone to work for the dole today. She asked why and for a moment I struggled to think of how to word it. For some reason I said, "I had a problem earlier" and I could tell she was confused as to what I meant, so I said I'd been panicky, or something to that effect. She seemed to understand right away, amazingly enough, and asked if I'd had a panic attack. I said yes. She seemed to process this information with a lot of "okaaayy"s (thankfully not in a patronizing way or anything like that). I said I suffer with anxiety. I thought calling it that made it seem more straightforward. She asked if my consultant knew I suffered from it and I said I wasn't sure, because the first time I spoke to him, before I started thinking he didn't like me, he looked in my file and noted that I had depression and was even suggesting counselling and that I ought to work 'behind the scenes' rather than at a job where I need to constantly deal with people (makes him sound understanding but since then I feel like he's been impatient with me..).

Anyway, the lady said she'd tell him, and the people at the shop what had happened. Actually no, she said she'd tell the shop people I was sick, if that was okay with me. I said it was, and she said I could still talk to him about my anxiety if I wanted to.

It felt good to be honest about things rather than trying to cover everything up with a bunch of stupid lies. I was surprised by how understanding the lady seemed to be, though she reminded me I needed to call whenever something like this happened. I still have to go in tomorrow so I hope I'm okay.
 

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People are generally a lot more understanding than we give them credit for so it's good that you were finally able to discuss this with that lady.

Try to remember that social anxiety, depression, panic attacks...they aren't something you've chosen to have so don't feel guilty for how those things are causing you to feel. It isn't your fault.

And try to put more value into what you know instead of what other people might think. What I mean by that is, you know why you do certain things, like avoid the phone, work, etc. So, even if someone else thinks you're just lazy or trying to get out of things...it shouldn't matter because you know it isn't true.

Try to accept yourself before worrying about acceptance from anybody else because it won't work that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice. The thing is, I know it's not my fault for having these problems but I always think that others might view it differently and think you know, it's my fault somehow or whatever else. I wish me knowing deep down that I'm right would be enough but I'm always thinking of the impression I leave on others. They'd see me as someone who's been on payments for a few years now, and most likely just assume it's because I'm just lazy. I actually could get some sort of allowance or whatever for depression, ect but the thing is, I don't want to have to get something like that because my mum will think I'm just using my depression to get out of things-- and this I know for sure because my dad dramatizes his health problems to get payments and every now and then my mum makes comments about me becoming like him. :| Anyway, thanks for your response.
 

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I could have written this a couple of years ago. I'm doing full-time uni now so Centrelink leave me alone but for a while they were on my back and I was signed up for Work For The Dole. The thing that I wish a lot of people with SA would realise is that most times, people are understanding or they try to be. I am open about my SA now, I didn't used to be, and I can tell you that I've only encountered a very small percentage of people who don't get it. It really is much safer to share than a lot of people think, and it often helps people understand and take some of the pressure off. Anxiety and depression are so common that most people know someone with one of them and are thus more open-minded than you may think. Hell, they may even suffer from it themselves, you really can't tell.

Good luck, I know exactly where you're coming from but please, there is nothing shameful in speaking up and asking for a bit of help.
 
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