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Need advice! Jobs, cars, and bikes give me panic attacks!

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Need advice! Jobs, cars, and bikes give me panic attacks!

Postby justin43 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:51 am

This might end up being a long post, I will deeply appreciate anyone who reads it all and responds.

So I'm a 21 year old man still living with his parents, no license, no car, and never learned how to ride a bike. Honestly I'm fine with all this but I feel pressured by society to change. And I'm willing to work on it but it's not coming easy. First of all driving freaks me out. Even when I'm not the one driving. Bikes freak me out too. I've tried so many times to learn to ride one but I ALWAYS fall and my anxiety over it gets worse. Just to clarify I don't think I have an actual anxiety disorder, I think I'm just not in the right environment for me. Everything in this world (Califrikkinfornia world) moves too fast, and I just want to take it slow. I walk everywhere and I often wish everyone else around here did too.

But here's the worst part, the part that's given me more severe panic attacks than anything else on earth, often to the point of just crying and feeling dead all night: jobs. Let me tell you about my job history.

My first job was at an Alzheimer's home down the street from my house. It started out ok, but slowly got worse. All I do here pretty much is wash dishes and serve meals, but the residents all have dementia so it can get really interesting. I've been left alone before watching a whole dining room of them, freaking out that someone is gonna fall and I'm not gonna know what to do. And then there's the dishes, which I NEVER finished on time. I have very good work ethic but I just can't get up to speed. So I feel really bad, even though my first boss was very understanding I'd always feel horrible about it. Eventually, residents started dropping like flies when a respiratory infection went around, which was too much so I quit.

I couldn't find another job for the longest time and eventually settled for Taco Bell. Terrible idea. Extremely fast paced. My boss there was nice too, always gave me compliments, but I always felt like I was going mad. That was when I realized I was having legit panic attacks, because they became severe. I'd have so much trouble making change at the register, hearing people at the drive thru, just dealing with all of these frikkin people, but I somehow kept a smile on until my break, at which point I'd go outside and just shake and cry and freak out and smoke cigarettes and overthink my entire life and act like everything was related, I wouldn't be able to stop thinking about everything, every little memory I had was somehow something to panic over. It's very hard to describe. This never happened to me while unemployed, ever. It's not about general social interaction, I'm usually pretty extroverted, it's just these jobs. So after just a few weeks of working there, I simply stopped showing up. Even the thought of picking up my last paycheck freaked me out too much and I just couldn't do it, and this was months ago.

So then I got a dishwashing job at Whole Foods. I thought I could relate to their philosophy enough for it to be a really good fit. But it only got worse. Whenever I didn't finish on time (LITERALLY every night) the entire prepared foods staff had to stay late. They would all be so disappointed and it was always my fault and suddenly I couldn't wait for afterward to panic. In the final hour of every single day I would start crying, just turning my face away from everyone and working very hard while severely panicking. I don't think they ever saw it, but the thought that they might would just make it worse. So eventually I quit and came back to the Alzheimer's home. Now I've been witnessing elder neglect and I also suspect abuse, so many of us have made anonymous complaints to administration, corporate, and even (according to a caregiver) a government agency that is supposed to regulate us. Some even didn't bother with anonymity. But nothing ever changes. And i'm still here so late at night that I work off tge clock to make sure I don't get yelled at for leaving a mess, but after an hour each night of working off the clock I still can't get the place clean!!

I don't know what to do. My mom keeps telling me to go to college, but for what? Debt? All I want to do is play music. Not teach music. Not produce music. PLAY music. Every day. I could do it until the end of time and never regret it for a moment. But I spend 40 hours a week working jobs I hate for minimum wage so I can blow all the money on food and save what I can for music equipment. I'm a vegan (let's not talk about the alternatives or why, just know that I'm a vegan and ALWAYS will be) and healthy food for me is more expensive, and when I eat cheap and unhealthy food I feel like crap and the panicking gets worse. And when I can't support my music the panicking reaches such a peak that it is simply not an option. But at this rate I will never be able to afford moving out, and i'm starting to wonder what the point of all this is! I mean is my life's purpose just to work? Am I always going to put up with 40 hours a week of complete hell? If I have to spend most of my time either unhappy or asleep, what is the point of this life? I feel incredibly strongly that somehow I was put on this earth for the sole reason of making music, but I don't have the time or money to do that! It's like a cruel joke!

So there's my rant...I'm just looking for advice from anyone who can understand. Any reply at all would be so deeply appreciated, thank you for reading.
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Re: Need advice! Jobs, cars, and bikes give me panic attacks!

Postby girlanachronism93 » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:02 pm

Hi Justin,

Firstly, I totally get that cars and traffic etc. makes you feel anxious. I sometimes get a bit on edge around fast traffic or even if I'm a passenger in a vehicle, I start thinking about how we might crash and stuff. I live in England and, correct me if I'm wrong but, it's always appeared to me that people have to drive more in America because things are more spread out?

The job stuff sounds pretty lame too man. :( I'm not the best at giving advice but all I can suggest is that you look for a job in a more relaxed or quiet environment like a library maybe. And hopefully if it's quite and calm place you can focus your mind on other stuff like music while you work. I know it's easier said than done but it's worth a shot I guess. I also think you should pursue your complaints about the Alzheimer's home if you series suspect there may have been some form of abuse.

I know it can be hard to do a job that you have no interest in. It's soul destroying. Is there no way you could find a job that compliments your passion for music? Again, much easier said then done but if you don't try, you don't know!

It's great that you have such a strong passion for something. I really admire that in people.

Anyway, I hope this helped in some way and feel free to message me if you need to talk. :)
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