Friday, March 23, 2012

Next Steps


It seems silly, but I've only recently made the connection that my anxiety manifests itself in dreams of staircases and old schools. They're usually open stairs that are spaced really far apart. So much so that I get paralyzed with fear and get stuck on one stair, unable to take the leap to the next step. The staircase that recurs the most looks like one that was in my old middle school that connected three floors.

I also find myself wandering hallways of versions of my former elementary and high schools. Sometimes entire floors are abandoned, or I enter through a secret stairwell. I'm wandering down darkly lit hallways and peering into the windows cut out in doors.

According to some retarded website, "to see a staircase in your dream symbolizes change and transformation." I suppose I'm anxious because I've accepted a new job. After four years and several titles at my current office, I was offered a really good, yet challenging, opportunity. It's very scary leaving something behind that you know you're good at.

Every time I land a new position, I spend the first couple of months crippled with anxiety. I try to mask it while I'm at work, but collapse into a complete basket case the moment I step through the door. I feel bad that R has to put  up with this. I keep stashes of little white pills that make me feel dead inside all over the place. They're tucked away in wallets, drawers, and dashes. Easy access to mute the volume of the shrieking voices of self doubt.

I hope this time can be different. I'm more self aware and have gone through this cycle a few times to know better. I usually end up doing very well, so it would be rational to assume that I'll be able to excel at this new dig, too. I hope I can remember to be stronger this time 'round.

12 comments:

  1. I've had dreams like that, too. Is it because all the grade schools in Massachusetts are creepy and decrepit? Good luck on your new adventure!!!

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  2. tell yourself that it's silly old body chemicals trying to trick your brain into thinking things it doesn't really think. back off, chemicals! you don't know shit about shit.

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  3. you're not alone in the collapsing or the little white pills. I am subject to both!!

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  4. i used to have the wandering-down-the-hall-of-my-old-school-with-no-pants-on dreams quite a bit.


    now i want to look that up.


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  5. But frankly you'll rock whatever comes next.

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  6. Congratulations on the new job. You will rock it because you are awesome. Without sounding too much like a doctor (or worse, a life coach), I think your insight into your own anxiety is one of the important steps in managing it.

    PS don't go all Valley of the Dolls on us please

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  7. I swear, gracie, we are on the same level. srsly.

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  8. Good luck good luck good luck. And deep breaths. Anxiety is a bitch, but even the best bitches are no match for you, I'm guessing.

    (Also, if it makes you feel better, the staircases with no risers, the ones you can see through, scare me in real life and I'm almost 30).

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  9. Thank you guys! You're all so lovely. xoxoxoxo

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  10. Late but still, want to say congrats and good luck! I haven't had enough new-jobs in my life to know the pattern but I do remember that 'collapse with anxiety' feeling around here... now I'm so jaded, I can't believe I ever bothered worrying about perfection, but I can imagine it happening again, perhaps... but hopefully also more mature by now and it could turn out differently? I'm not sure what you do but I feel like I caught a glimpse of it one way or another and I thought, of course, of course she does something awesome like that... you can do it!

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  11. Having worked with you let me just say... you are awesome to work with. Don't underestimate how good at your job you are, and how the older people are intimidated by you.

    I just accepted a new job too! I am most anxious about what to wear at the new place. I mean there won't be people that haven't slept for days wondering the halls at my new digs. Meaning I have step it up!

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  12. eff yeah new job!!!! congrats!! and you will kick ass, because that's what you do. naturally.

    anxiety BLOWS. when I get anxious, I have night terrors. like, full-on, scream-and-run-for-the-door-in-my-sleep kind of night terrors. it's, erm, not pleasant.

    methinks I should pick up some of those fancy little pills for when shit hits the fan. hm.

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The divine PB&J in me, salutes the divine PB&J in you.