(Previous Anxiety in my Mind post: Change )
This post is actually really fitting after my previous one. So I started my new job this week. (Kindergarten teaching kids aged 3 to 5.) Stress and anxiety levels were naturally high.
Panic attack came on Day Three. (I had panicky moments before but here I’m talking about a full-blown attack.)
It started at home and I was so scared I wasn’t able to go to work. What would they say if I took off sick just days after starting? What would they say if I had to leave? What if I can’t go to work EVER AGAIN?!! Familiar what-if-thoughts getting just a bit out of hand.
I was able to get myself to work. (I should add that it’s just a few minutes walk. But with a panic attack it feels endless.) I thought that I can always go back home after I’ve gone to work.
I stood in the changing room and was going through an intense battle in my mind. I was literally stuck in the middle: trying to get my feet moving and go to my classroom when on the other hand watching my sneakers and thinking about leaving for home.
I was able to go to my classroom by thinking that I at least will go and see my coworkers. I can leave if I have to. Taking it step by step really helps. First step: walk to work. Second step: go to classroom. Etc.
What helped also was that I immediately told my coworker that I had a panic attack in the morning and still felt a bit weird. So if I had to leave she would know why. Telling about panic is scary because you don’t know how people react but I’ve had only positive responses after I started talking about it.