For the last year now, I have been doing some volunteer work.
Not in a charity shop or anything like that but actually volunteering as a behind the scenes paperwork girl for a drama group.
Now, I hear you… ‘If you can do volunteer work then you can do paid work.’
I thought this was true as well but have you ever heard of reassurance?
Let me try to explain where I am coming from…
With volunteer work, it is your choice, you are free to choose your hours, free to decide what you want to do and how you want to do it.
Paid work is totally different.
For instance, say I was with the drama group doing some volunteer work when suddenly I started to feel unwell and anxious, with panic attack symptoms creeping in and negative automatic thoughts starting to work their magic…
What could I do?
Well, I could simply leave.
It is having that reassurance that makes me feel comfortable enough to volunteer.
If at any time I don’t feel well or I don’t feel I can cope with going in that day, I can simply call and say no.
There is no pressure.
It’s not paid work, I don’t have a contract with them, I don’t have to be there, I can pick and choose the amount of time I give to them, it’s voluntary and I am simply donating my time to them.
So there is a difference you see.
Reassurance is a major factor which causes havoc on anyone suffering with anxiety.
It doesn’t matter whether it is something ranging from a walk, to shopping or to working.
To have some element of reassurance can make all the difference.
Knowing where the toilets are, knowing the route you are taking, knowing where items are in the shop, knowing where the exits are.
Just these little reassuring facts can have such a positive impact.
But take these reassuring facts away, and leave the questions in place…
Where are the toilets? How do I get there? Where is that item in the shop? Where is the exit?
And well, they can have such a negative affect that they leave you panicking.
Reassurance can work both ways and I am someone that has come to rely on reassurance.