Mondays, panic attacks, and work


I’ve noticed people look on Monday as the worst day of the week. It’s the usual drag to get back to work after the weekend. I don’t see it that way. Of course, that may be because I don’t work a classic 9-5 job. Then again, when I did, I dreaded work every day and not just on Monday.

Panic attacks before work, on my way to work, once I got to work, or at some point during my work day were not uncommon – especially when I started my stint at the call centers in Boise. I ended up working for DirecTV, WDS, Citi, and Teleperformance – though with Teleperformance I didn’t even make it through three days of training before the panic attacks got so bad I just walked out and didn’t go back.

I lasted the longest at Citi – almost three years – but I was also in the mental hospital the most because of that job. I landed in the mental hospital four of the five times while working there. I was sent to the ER so many times because I passed out and they were concerned I was having a heart attack or something that turned out to just be really bad panic attacks. I’d often take the next day off to recover and then head back to work after that.

I worked collections, and that was part of it. But when I switched to customer service it got worse. Citi has a requirement that you have to sell products when you help customers in customer service. The products suck and I wouldn’t want them if I was a customer, but we were forced to offer them. If we didn’t reach certain sales quotas, we would be fired. I was a horrible sales person and my numbers were constantly bad. I was so stressed that I’d be fired I ended up in the mental hospital. When I got back to work, I escaped back to collections – which was actually less stressful to me than customer service.

I did okay in collections in the beginning. It was all incoming and I could do a lot to help people. Then they took away a lot of my options to help. Then they forced us to go outgoing as well as incoming. Then they changed our computer systems. I had more panic attacks at that point and twice ended up in the mental hospital. After the second time I finally couldn’t take it anymore and ended up on disability through the company. I applied for social security and got it. Then I quit at Citi and haven’t looked back.

Farm life seems to suit me better. I don’t answer to anyone other than the others who live with me, and even then we all work together to make things run. If I have an off day they understand and often will pick up the slack if I ask. I don’t often do this so they don’t have to do my work on top of theirs. Sometimes I feel like I can’t do anything right even though I’m constantly given positive feedback on what I do. But that’s the bipolar and anxiety talking, and I’m learning to ignore those little voices and pushing past them to get on with my work.

Monday can be a hard day to deal with, but only if you make it one. If you look on it as a day that opens a whole week of possibilities then that might help make it better.


2 thoughts on “Mondays, panic attacks, and work

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  1. I’m never quite sure whether to look forward to Monday or not. I guess it depends on if I’m working on something that’s calling my name. I take the weekends off to rejuvenate my mind, so sometimes I’m ready hit the WIP hard, and others, I’m feeling lazy.

    I agree with you – it’s not worth being in a job that puts you in such stress you land in hospital. And I like your partners at the farm. Good people. Say hello for me.


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