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Setbacks After an Otherwise Great Summer

Camden

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Hi all, I’m back. June and July were really great for me with two encouraging and positive counselors appointments in June and July. I took my first international trip in a few years to Poland last June to visit my distant family and do sightseeing. I did amazing on this trip! I was so pleased with myself that I only needed my lorazepam once the entire 1.5 week trip! I really feel that the 20 mg of Lexapro daily and the 1mg of lorazepam as needed is ideal for me and helped me manage the stressors of flying in an airplane, navigating unfamiliar towns, etc. Even after coming back home from Poland in July, I had a really stable few weeks. My counselor did an objective survey on me in July, indicating significant drops in my anxiety and depression tendencies from last year at this time. Lots of good to report with improved surveys, managing a long international vacation, and finally hitting a sweet spot with my medication dosage.

However, August has been a different story. It’s a lot of the same garbage with work and some OCD flare ups. Long story short, my boss has been dealing with a lot of personal problems and is taking it out on me, my colleagues and some of his colleagues via rude emails and confrontational meetings and interactions. It’s completely derailed my control of my anxiety and panic. I’ve had 3 panic attacks in the past 3 weeks, I’m physically sick in the mornings again, crying in my car before work, and completely on edge while I’m in the office. I don’t feel safe going into the office when I know my boss is having such rapid mood swings and is even more prone to be vindictive to us all.

I’ve challenged myself to open up about this to my parents and they have really been supportive now that they know the whole story of what I’m dealing with. My Mom has anxiety problems too, so she can really relate and help me to feel heard, validated, and encouraged. My Dad is always happy to listen too, and offer his wisdom about dealing with difficult colleagues.

I hope and pray that I continue to have the strength to power through this latest rough road and not hesitate to reach out to my loved ones for help.
 

MATD

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Getting a break away from stress is necessary, but we do eventually have to return to the old grind. Your boss is having a hard time and you are reacting to his issues/behavior. There comes a time when you have to realize that his behavior doesn’t have to affect you. You are in control of you only. And the grass isn’t greener in another job, folks are the same everywhere. You can’t run from this job to another one and expect things to be better. It’s your reaction to these circumstances that is the issue. Your lack of confidence is at the core of it all. I know, I’m there too, but I know I have to fix me, not everyone or everything around me. That’s why practicing acceptance is so beneficial, as the anxiety lessens, our cognitive abilities start to kick in again and help us see the reality of what we are doing to ourselves. Then we can start building that much needed confidence. And set backs are normal, they are necessary because we still have work to do.
 

Camden

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I came back from Poland feeling so refreshed and renewed. Seeing the world, visiting distant family who were all lovely hosts, and just having a fun and enjoying a different adventure was just what I needed. My anxiety was low on this vacation, and it even carried over for a few weeks when I returned home. I admit I have some serious wanderlust to go back to Poland and other parts of Europe someday.

My recent surge in anxiety tells me that it’s obvious what its source is. On a really positive note, I listened to a pastor’s talk tonight at church about finding freedom by following Jesus. That is, finding freedom from being enslaved to being so worried about what others (i.e. my boss and coworkers) think of me and afraid of their next moves. The punchline of my pastor’s talk is that you are not defined by what others think or say about you, rather you are defined as being a child of God, saved and set free by Jesus’ sacrifice. It was so timely to hear this talk tonight after what’s been a really rough past two weeks.
 

MATD

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It’s funny how sometimes we get something we need at just the right time. I’ve noticed how I have received the answer to these needs myself. It is not a coincidence. Our Father knows what we need and points us in the right direction. It’s up to us to follow that direction. I’ve found that the more I let go, the better I get. Fear is only an emotion, but it is a powerful emotion that has many side effects. Once that fear starts to subside, it’s like beginning to live in a whole different world. What we once thought was impossible suddenly seems within reach. Keep on going, you are making progress even when you don’t think you are.
 
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