Update: Anxiety and a 5th day of Sobriety

Today, I’m bombarded with typical Monday craziness. There are so many things that have to be done at work and when I’m asked by bosses for an update on activities, I am instantly concerned about my level of work output. I know I’m meeting expectations, but I’m not meeting my expectations. I find myself struggling with doing my best performance at work versus doing my best performance at finding a different career/job. I still can’t come to terms with where I want to be, nor what I want to be doing.

Last week, for example, I had a phone interview for a position that would be a field engineer position. It would be an entry-level position and paying less than I make now. Obviously, the potential employer is concerned that I would bother with the position, but I explained that it would be in an industry I haven’t worked and I would be happy to learn the position, industry and company before expecting anything I “deserve” (I have issues with that word – maybe, someday I’ll explain why). It’s a typical thing I hear a lot – that I am used to higher level positions and they can’t imagine I would be happy doing something less. Truthfully, I’m at a point in my life where I don’t give a shit about proving myself anymore. I just want to enjoy life and those higher level positions involve so much responsibility I don’t feel like it anymore. I’d rather get paid to write, I’d rather get paid to do mundane things. I’ve come to a point in my life, where all the things I learned in college – the things I was really good at doing – don’t actually matter to anyone or anything, so my knowledge has become irrelevant. It’s not that I don’t want to work, but I want to work and then leave it at work instead of taking it with me.

Today, I’m probably going to be working late and when I made that realization a thought came to me. It’s the thought, as an “alcoholic”, I’m supposed to be aware: Would anyone even care, if I sat here doing my work while drinking a beer? Actually, part of my job can be done in my hotel room where no one will even know… It are these kinds of thoughts that I dread, because it makes me feel less than normal – like I really am something less than. I hate being honest with myself, and I hate the way it makes me feel when I am honest with myself. Sometimes I wonder if I can be normal, if I can ever enjoy a beer without worry that it will destroy me.

I sent to an AA meeting yesterday, before leaving town to come back to work. It was with the group I first began going to AA meetings – almost a year ago – when I first began thinking I had a problem. I was somewhat ashamed to see the faces of people that had such high hopes for me – like they were personally invested in me succeeding – and knowing I didn’t meet their expectations. Or did I? On some level, I find the encouragement and fellowship to be something missing in my life; but on another level, the whole conversations about Higher Power, or God, are frustrating to me. I don’t know why this is.

I feel anxious today and with that anxiousness, I feel like a failure and with that feeling of failing, I feel like drinking. I feel like I always have to perform at my best, I have to succeed, I have to perform and strive, or else nothing makes sense. I ponder my emotional state, I ponder what I take comfort in doing, I ponder what it is that would truly make me happy. And I feel sorry for all of those people that I don’t make happy.

I’m in a constant state of discontent…

And I don’t know how to escape…

But I am on my 5th day of sobriety.

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24 thoughts on “Update: Anxiety and a 5th day of Sobriety”

  1. Have you ever considered that you might be feeling discontent continuously, because you are actually a perfectionist? They are their own harshest critics and if something doesn’t go their way, they tend to get really frustrated with themselves. Sometimes to the point of wanting to go: “oh sod it!” *Whilst throwing whatever their trying to do down on the ground, and storming out of the room with tears in their eyes*. And they do not respond well to making mistakes. Once they make one (of whatever nature) they really internalize it and tend to overthink it, massively. I do not pretend to know everything about you, but from what I have read, you really seem to be a perfectionist.

    And although I can imagine you not wanting to take a lot of responsibility, you would definitely get really bored at an entree level job (taken you are a perfectionist). It might seem like a the best thing ever right now: mindless work that you can just to without having to bother with anything. But that feeling will pass and you will be bored within a matter of weeks (if not days).

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      1. Well, it takes one to know one in this case I guess. I’m a perfectionist myself lol. However, if you know that you are a perfectionist, perhaps you can use the knowledge to teach yourself to be less frustrated with yourself and to be less critical of yourself? It’s a really, damn slow process (I still tend to come down on myself like a ton of bricks), but it might help you cope with your depression as well. I have learned to let things go more easily and to not ask the impossible of myself (ok well, to not ALWAYS do that… I sometimes still think I’m wonder woman or something lol). But it is really nice to be able to think: Ok, so I made a mistake. Did the world end? No. Did someone die? No. Can I learn from it? Yes. So next time I won’t make the mistake again. Moving on.

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        1. You make completely valid points. I won’t claim these to be irrational…lol…they make perfect sense – it’s putting them into action that baffles me. πŸ™‚ I’ll try though, for sure.

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          1. Try to look up tips online. There should be some guides on there that might be able to help. I was fortunate enough to have a mother that recognized the signs pretty early on and who has been able to mitigate it somewhat :).

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  2. I think you should allow yourself more time to heal before jumping into another job. I know you feel discontent where you are, but take baby steps. And congrats on your sobriety πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So, here’s the thing…the job I’m at is 4 hours away from home. I am being required to move and I don’t want to. I want a job back home. Granted, this entire thing has been stressful, but I am trying to make it.
      And thank you for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh that sucks hun. I have dealt with similar commutes and it isn’t fun. Keep looking then, but don’t push yourself or get frustrated if it doesn’t happen quickly. As a former self medicator, I sort of know how it is. But you’ll get something, just try to keep positive and remind yourself what you’ve achieved already

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  3. Excellent comments above. That all makes a lot of sense. Are you feeling a little better physically without drinking? Look for positives to keep you on track. Middle age kicks a lot of our asses I think. Look how many of us take to WP to reinvent ourselves! It’s epidemic! πŸ€”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. WP Attention Whores! πŸ˜› J/K
      I am feeling a little better, that’s for sure, but I really do need to adopt some more positive ways of handling things…but I’m trying not to overwhelm myself by making major changes fast. I’m doing it slow, one thing at a time…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay Day 5! The rest seems to be working itself out of you in every post you make. You are facing shit head on and that’s more than most do in this lifetime. I’m glad to be your friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A lot of the things you worry about sound completely normal to me. I think, I am actually sure, you put too much pressure on yourself to meet the expectations you set yourself for what you consider normal.
    I am in a middle management job now. I work 8:30 to 5 weekdays and that’s it. I could go for a higher up position like I had before, but I can live without the stress. I prefer to. If writing would pay my bills I would drop the job and do it full time. Maybe one day…
    There are still stressful days when I say I need a drink and it’s still mid-morning. If that’s not normal then I am not normal either. xx

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