I started my new job today.
I’ve been taking the antidepressant for about 5 days now and I was hoping that it’s effects would help me to stay calm, focused, in the moment, etc. But I’ve also noticed that it has made me somewhat lethargic and I’ve had a low appetite since taking it. I decided to switch to taking it at night this week so that my system can continue to adjust to it and it will build up, but I won’t have to worry about being active and alert during the day. In another week or two, I will try taking it in the morning again.
I began to experience alot of anxiety yesterday but I was able to talk myself out of it, spend a calm day running a few errands and making sure I had healthy snacks/lunches, and picked out some outfits so that I would not have any reason to freak out in the morning. I really just talked to myself throughout the day and all was able to counter all of the negative or anxious thoughts I was having by pointing out to myself the more realistic version. For example, the first little voice said, “I won’t know where to refill my water bottle and I’ll be so dehydrated by the end of the day. I can’t ask anyone because that’s so juvenile to worry about water when I have to learn how to do this job.” Then the second little voice began some countering self-talk, “Bring your larger water bottle and then, around lunch time or at a relaxed time, find one person to ask about the fountain. Make a joke about it if you have to, but keep your basic needs met so that you can perform to your best ability.” I realized I was sweating the small stuff because I didn’t know what else to sweat.
So, this position is an experienced position. There’s no guidebook, manual, training session, etc. I am working with someone in a similar position until I learn the ropes, but I was mostly hired for my experience/expertise in this area so I have to be comfortable with the lack of structure. At one point today, I was in a meeting and I looked around and a little voice started talking to me, “This is too much. I’m not qualified to advise these people. They should have hired in-house. I need to talk with my direct supervisor and tell her to find me another position, something a couple of steps down that will suit me better.” Then I started to wonder if there were people in-house who wanted this position and who might be wondering what the hell this chick (me) is doing telling them what to do.
Then, another little voice said, “But they didn’t hire in-house, they chose you. They chose you for very specific reasons. You might not be 100% sure of what those reasons are (I’m 70% sure), but they chose you. You are qualified to do this, you have the skills and knowledge to do this well. Be patient, be cautious at first and it will all work out. They chose you.”
I thought it was interesting that the second little voice kicked in so soon. Usually I have to summon it, intentionally call it up and ask it to help me reason with the first voice. I was grateful that it spoke up because it did reassure me and I was able to proceed with the day, with a quiet and humble confidence, knowing that in a few more weeks I will be much more secure.
And, I did not feel any anxiety at the job today. I felt some uncertainty and some insecurity but, overall, I was comfortable and patient with this new experience. I think that, before medication, I would have appeared fine from the outside but panicking on the inside. Today, I was fine on the outside and on the inside. Thank you little voices…you can join me again tomorrow…but only if the second voice comes too.