I think I have adminphobia. I don’t know if this is even a real thing, as I just googled it and nothing much came up. It’s not on the list of phobias on Wikipedia, even though some quite silly fears are, like a fear of names. I don’t really get that. Is it names in general, specific names, the act of having a name?
I went to see a counsellor yesterday for a preliminary meeting. She lent me a huge enormous book about anxiety and phobias, a workbook to help me with my stress and anxiety while I wait 3 months.
I’m not impressed by the 3 month wait. It’s not fun living with this anxiety and I’m worried about it becoming habitual, so I’m glad to have a big book to work through so that might not happen. Of course, if I can manage to cure myself and not need the appointment, that might reduce the waiting list a smidge.
I may be using it wrong though. I seem to be identifying phobias I never knew I had. I suppose it could be seen as like giving a medical encylopaedia to a hypochondriac!
But no, I’m sure it is helpful to identify the real source of the problems and then try to focus on sorting them out.
It might sound like I’m kidding, but seriously, the symptoms of phobias do actually apply to my dislike of admin. I had thought it was just an extreme dislike, an aversion, but I suppose that can turn into a genuine phobia.
It’s not really all admin, although even the most basic kind does make me uneasy. Mainly it’s the huge nightmare forms and making official scary phone calls about important things. Those would be what sensitised me. If you’ve ever seen forms for disability benefits, you’ll know what I mean. Those horrendous things can make the strong weep.
Honestly. My old OT told me of a woman who had been coping well with her disability for years, but reached a point financially where she had to apply for this benefit, DLA. That form turned her overnight into a quivering wreck.
It asks you to focus in minute detail on what you can’t do, whereas the best thing for coping is to be positive and focus on what you can do. It asks about whether you can wipe your own bottom! That offends me. I’m sure there are other ways to elicit this information than to ask outright! To have to admit in black and white block capitals on an official form that you can’t wipe your own arse is just so humiliating! Even the thought that one day my condition may deteriorate to the point where I have to respond in the negative to the question is utterly depressing.
It is a hugely long form and physically writing the wretched thing takes so long it can’t be done in one sitting, quite apart from the emotional strain.
The phone calls I shall gloss over, but having a worrying life affecting problem you have to explain in detail only to be told ‘I’m putting you through’ so you have just given all those details to the wrong person and have to go through it all again, often more than once, and being put on hold for hours with that irritating muzak…
So with those as my triggers, combined with times when I have had a job to force myself to get the job done only to have it somehow not work and have to be done all over again! There was one year when that seemed to happen constantly. The situation failed to reward doing the job, which reinforces procrastination.
So I developed avoidance. This is so common that my doctor happily wrote me a letter explaining this when I had put off one bit of admin so long it was causing serious problems to my life.
I am such a good ostrich I can avoid a task for months, even years!
And the physical symptoms I get when I even think about such extreme horrible kinds of admin? Heart racing, even palpitations, cold sweat, shaking, hyperventilating. They make the phone issues even worse, if your voice is shaking, you can’t catch your breath, you burst into tears, you sound like a heavy breather! It’s no wonder I choose to not give out my phone number and insist as much as possible is done by email! Thank God for email. And for Tim, who now does most of the admin.
The reaction is not as strong for minor admin, but it is lurking in the subconscious and can rise from the depths like the giant sea monster the moment any admin starts to get difficult. Even only a little bit difficult.
So I didn’t realise it before, but I am convinced that this is actually a full blown phobia now, not merely an aversion.
Well, hopefully identifying it is the first step to a cure!
Do you have any phobias? Have you managed to get over a phobia? Do you think I’m pathetic for having this silly phobia? I do, even though the book tells me I should not let my inner critic tell me so. My inner critic is mean.
Sorry this post got so long again! And a bit whiny. I’ll try to be more cheerful tomorrow 🙂 Actually, I do feel quite cheerful, I think I’m happy to have made a start on getting better!