Anxiety and Dread

There’s this weird thing that happens when you have depression, at least with me anyway. I got a job. It’s part-time at a fast food place and, not counting today, I have already worked three days. Each day I enjoyed myself (even during my first ever 8 hour shift!) and learned new things. And yet each night, before work, I have horrible anxiety and dread. Last night was no different. I was going to have to be at work by 6am. Early on in the day I started having really strong anxiety, the kind here I felt like electricity was sparking in my gut and spreading throughout my entire body. I tried very hard to calm myself. I cuddled with my twin, I ate a meal, I tried my best to stay cool, since heat makes my anxiety worse. It worked … somewhat. The intensity of my anxiety lessened and then I had anxiety and dread. I called my therapist and we talked some skills out and I put them into practice. It kind of worked like this:

Flowchart inspired by skills from DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, by Marsha M. Linehan.

I evaluated my high anxiety and realized the intensity was not justified. I was not in danger and my worst case scenario (getting fired) was not likely to happen.

So, what did I do? I did opposite action, all the way. I told myself I was going to go to work, I was going to wake up earlier than originally planned and shower before work. I also told myself that that I was going to be making money and I was going to learn new things.

I’m happy to say that going through the skills and changing my thinking was very helpful and that I did wake up early and go to work this morning.

Yay for skills and yay for work.


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