Hi, everyone. My name is Mackenzie, and I work at Girl Again. Like all the other trainees, I’m on the Autistic Spectrum. I was only diagnosed when i was 18, (I’m now 21) meaning I had to go throughout most of my life without any help with many of the issues the people on the spectrum face. One of these problems is anxiety.
One of the ways my particular anxiety chooses to pop up was talking on the phone. I couldn’t do it, it was like if you asked me to walk through a wall and if I absolutely had to do it it was one of the most nerve wracking things ever. I just couldn’t pick up the phone and call.
Fast forward a year and half later, l’m now on medication for my anxiety and now working at Girl Again (a feat I’d never thought I’d do), and one of my jobs was to answer the phone. Like always I was nervous, even anxious about this part of my job. But most fears the only way to conquer it is by doing it. Luckily for me, there’s a script for the trainees to follow, which help with the ‘what am I going to say?’ portion of my anxiety.
At first it was very nerve wracking, but I did it so the next time was easier, and the one after that was even easier. Now I am fine with talking on the phone. In fact when my parents were both arguing over who was going to call for pizza one Friday night (they were both very tired and didn’t want to deal with it) I just grabbed the phone from my mom and was like “I’ll order what’s the number?’ You’d think I’d grown two heads by the way they looked at me. I ordered the pizza and it went fine. The pizza was delicious; in case you were wondering.
Now, this might be a night and day difference, but it did not happen overnight. It took me understanding myself better with therapy and medication to get to this point. Now I have the confidence to answer the phone at Girl AGain and to order a pizza. If you have heightened anxiety, do not be ashamed to get help for yourself. How you do that is up to you. Whether it is therapy, medication, or a supportive job program, or whatever you chose to do, there is no shame in getting help. Thank you for reading my story!