One of the things they kept telling us in my Generalized Anxiety Disorder group was that we worried about the wrong things.
Our obsession with worrying about everything actually CAUSED problems because we’d be so busy worrying that we would let problems build and build until they became HUGE problems.
Which was exactly what we were worried about.
Something else we learned was that our worries always tended to end up at the same place. Heather Armstrong says that when her daughter makes a mistake in her piano practice, she visualizes a series of catastrophes that end in her living in a cardboard box.
Well, that’s fairly typical, I have learned.
For some people, that ultimate fear is ending up homeless.
For others, it’s ending up dead.
For me, it’s displeasing people and making bad choices.
Doctor sends you for blood tests because your sore throat could be a sign of a serious problem? Pfft. Not worried. Maybe it’s cancer, but it is almost definitely not. Certainly nothing I can control if it is cancer (which it isn’t).
Need to make a serious decision that will end up disappointing someone? BIG PROBLEM.
I hate making decisions. What if I make the wrong one? What if this single decision alters the whole course of my future life? What if this decision turns out to piss someone off? What if this decision makes me a bad person?!
So now I’m here, waiting for a phone call, worrying that I’ll be OFFERED A JOB.
You read that right. Not worrying that I WON’T be offered a job. Worrying that I WILL.
Last Friday, you see, was a big day for me. I landed a big job on Elance, and a national dog charity put up a part time job posting in my area. Suddenly I had a plan – I would train dogs, work part time for a charity doing something I KNEW I could do well, and make extra money on the side as a writer.
It was like ALL MY DREAMS COMING TRUE.
Then I got another call. From a vet clinic.
This clinic is a sort of rival to my previous employer. She was his employee, and when she left to start her own business, three quarters of his staff decided they’d rather go work for her.
So when she asked me to come in for an interview, I could be really honest.
…I told her exactly why I was no longer working there.
…I told her that I have severe anxiety around anesthesia now, thanks to Mean Vet, who she used to work with.
…I warned her that if she was looking for a surgical tech, I might not be a good choice.
She said she liked me a lot. She thought I would be a good fit at her clinic. She appreciated my openness and my candor. She always made decisions like this jointly with her staff, though, so she would talk it over with them and get back to me on Friday. Would I be available to start next week?
So now I’m scared.
If I get this job, I should definitely take it. A bird in the hand, right?
She seems nice. She and her employee vet introduced themselves by their first names, which is a nice change from the old place where I had to call them “Dr So-and-So” all the time.
But I don’t want it.
Because then what if I also get the job at the charity?
WHAT IF I HAVE TO CHOOSE?
I SHOULD be worried that I WON’T get this job.
I SHOULD be worried that I won’t get ANY job.
But instead, I’m terrified that I may have to make a choice. I may have to let someone down – someone who took a chance on me.
It doesn’t help that I have so much anxiety about working in a clinic that just the THOUGHT sends my heart racing.
So… to sum up…
I’m waiting for a call, scared that I will be offered a job.
When I should really be scared that I won’t.