Sorry for the long ramble. Sometimes you just have to get stuff out.
Something hush hush is going on at the office and I'm concerned it may involve my near inability to use the telephone. I've held down this job longer than any other - 13 and half years! But lately it's getting harder and harder to make myself pick up the accursed phone when it rings. I'm afraid it's going to be someone pushy and I won't be able to think fast enough to be the cool professional doormat I am expected to be. The phone rings and my palms are instantly dripping with sweat -- lots of it! And the breathing rate way goes up. Whenever I do force myself to answer they often say, "You sound out of breath. Didn't mean to make you run," which only seems to make things worse. Or my voice is very shaky and I think the predatory super-businessmen types pick up on that.
I'm also struggling with the issue of noise in the open office. Quite often I get calls from people of many different cultural backgrounds and often a very lousy connection makes it hard to comprehend the caller, so when there is a lot of office noise on top of that (and there is a LOT), coupled with my fear of being confused by someone's anger and pushiness (of which there is also a lot), I'd rather just let it go to voice mail.
Voice mail doesn't help either because then I'm not just imagining the callers are angry and pushy. I know they are! And calling them back is like this big ritualistic ordeal that takes me forever to prepare for. I'll go so far as to search way back through email archives just to try to find that person's email rather than call. Avoidance behavior I guess.
All of this slows me down, undoubtedly.
Now I feel I've let this go on too long before getting help, and they are ready to either let me go (maybe a blessing, but I am too old to easily find something else) or demote me. Maybe that would be a blessing too.
The thing is, though my doctor had diagnosed me with GAD and for a while I was taking Sertraline, I guess I thought I could handle it, that I was just being silly and would straighten myself out eventually. but I may have waited too long and now my job may be in jeopardy.
How am I ever to convince other people that GAD is very real with very real consequences if I can't even convince myself? And I do wonder if I can ever overcome this telephone terror.