Welcome to the Panic Room

Where all your darkest fears are gonna come for you, come for you.

I had the hardest time today, mentally. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m still in training at work – a brand new environment in a brand new industry for me, so my nerves are already shot because of this unknown.

My training is slowly coming to an end, with us finally doing on-the-job training next week, and I questioned myself for the first time in my decision to drop something I knew and excelled at for something so new and uncertain. Did I make a mistake? Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Not that I’m that old, I’m only not familiar with this territory and I’m feeling… overwhelmed. I was so comfortable with my skills and knowledge in the airline industry, and now I’m entering the health care industry with an empty slate, with only my decade-long customer service experience to support me.

So why am I this nervous?

So many policies and rules, some involving people’s most intimate information about their health and lifestyles, I’m afraid of slipping up and making mistakes. Sure, mistakes are only normal and human, but how big of a mistake can I make if I’m too nervous or overlook something? That’s terrifying to me.

Hair raising, hell raising. I’m ready for the worst.

Not to mention that, when my mental state is vulnerable like that, my Bipolar attacks and makes things worse. It kept distracting me today, telling me that this is going to be the hardest thing I’ll ever do and that I can’t do it, that I’ll fail, that I’ll forget everything as soon as I sit in my desk next week.

Still waiting, head shaking, maybe the coast will clear. But these voices, these strange noises, they follow me in here.

It’s the first time since starting my combo of medications in which I feel this unwelcomed yet familiar way, and I don’t want to experience this again. It was a considerably shorter depressive state, very muted yet it somehow burned through this barrier. The barrier is getting mended, and the feeling is slowly going away thanks to new and understanding work friends and my ever-so-awesome husband.

So, what exactly is my new job? I realize I haven’t disclosed much. As usual, I won’t disclose the actual company or any major detail (the internet and its lurkers are weird and creepy, man), but I suppose it’ll make it clearer if I explain a bit. I am working for a major health plan carrier for the state of New York as a Customer Service Advocate, over the phone. I’ll be answering calls from members and solving their problems, answering their questions, and assisting them with claims while following certain protocols, procedures, and policies. So, even though it is a customer service job, it’s in a very delicate and different field.

Camila, you’re being overly dramatic about this. Say and think what you will, but remember I’m a flawed human being filled to the brim with responsibilities, fears, worries, and logic. And if I am being a little too worrisome about this, so be it. It only shows I take this seriously and only want to give my best.

Tomorrow, my training class and I will be working from Buffalo, where we will team up and spend our day listening in on calls and seeing how our fellow teammates handle them on a one-to-one ratio. That’s going to be extremely helpful and, hopefully, mind-easing.

The only other stress factor that’s weighing me down is, no pun intended, my weight. I’ve been trying so hard to lose weight by eating better, portioning out my food, not indulging myself in treats, and drinking water – yet nothing is really working. I’m still going to be sticking it out with my current weight loss plan and watching for any and all changes, good or bad. Something’s bound to work out eventually.

That’s literally the only stressors in my life right now – new job worries and weight loss issues. That. Is. Amazing. Not too long ago, I’d be stressing out about spending time with my family and having to work unwanted, long hours, having to depend on things going smoothly at work in order to leave remotely close to on time. But not anymore.

That feels amazing. It’s amazing enough to get me to see past my own panic.

 

P.S.: I was quoting the amazing song “Panic Room” by the super talented Au/Ra.

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