Dear SQL DBA: I Thought I Was An Introvert. Turns Out I Was Anxious as #@*(

In this week’s episode, I’m not answering a reader’s question. Instead, I’m talking about my personal experience with anxiety.

This episode touches on on healthcare, religion, and squishy emotions — and there’s at least one curse word. I don’t talk tech in this episode. (Don’t worry, there’s more of that coming in future weeks.)

Oh, and there’s a drawing below, if you want the super-short version.

Audio version

No time to watch right now? Listen on the go! This is available in podcast format on iTunes , on Google Play, or plug this RSS feed into your favorite podcast app:

Video version

Poster version

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23 Responses to Dear SQL DBA: I Thought I Was An Introvert. Turns Out I Was Anxious as #@*(

  1. Tony November 8, 2017 at 10:10 am #

    Thanks Kendra! I appreciate your transparency on this subject. Personally, I take meds but for depression, not anxiety and it was tough to start as you said. I’m super active physically (which helps tremendously with the depression) and I also attend church ~ which for me is the primary “fix” for all that ails me. I also have a job (not a career) and I am way down the line in that respect so I have it WAY easier than you. Being self-employed would cause me great anxiety. Enjoyed seeing you at PASS and hearing you teach in person.

    • Kendra Little November 9, 2017 at 8:45 am #

      Hi Tony, and thanks very much for your comment! We have a lot in common, I think 🙂 Today I have quite a few aches from yesterday’s workout, but I’m so happy to have built the habit of exercising enough that it feels like a good, positive thing, because I know I’m getting stronger. I never would have imagined that in the past.

  2. Cesar Lemus November 8, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    Hi Kendra, I identified completely with you. I had a very similar situation some time ago, thank you about sharing your experience.

    • Kendra Little November 9, 2017 at 8:44 am #

      Thanks very much for your comment! Glad the episode makes sense.

  3. Midwest DBA November 8, 2017 at 10:25 am #

    What an incredibly brave and open talk. I really struggled with anxiety in my twenties and thirties (my kids called me “Momk” for Monk because I, too, checked the stove. Several times. You can’t be too sure.). I found once I hit my forties, a lot of it eased for me. I wish I would not have been afraid to look for help; it would have spared me twenty years of unnecessary self-torment. I really admire you for reaching out to help others going through the same silent struggle. Kudos.

    • Kendra Little November 9, 2017 at 8:43 am #

      It’s not just me with the stove! I am happy to say that I do still check it after using it (because I have forgotten and left it on before – esp when heating up a cast iron pan with a bit of oil for a few minutes after cleaning it), but checking only once is good enough now. Thanks so much for your kind words and for sharing your experience.

  4. Francesco Mantovani November 8, 2017 at 10:08 pm #

    My big Anxiety Monster is SQL Server. I don’t have problems talking in front of 200 people, or meeting 20 people at a party… that’s a slice of cake for me. But if I create a stored procedure I need to check if is running multiple times. And what column is updating? Maybe is storing the wrong value! Maybe the problems is in the next 1000 rows?! I need to check deeper…
    I know it might sound silly but I have no idea how you can be a chilled out SQL DBA and to me you look like a hero. I admire you and I hope one day I will have the self confidence you have with SSMS.
    You are my doctor actually 🙂

  5. Thomas November 8, 2017 at 11:17 pm #

    Hi Kendra,

    this is really brave. Thank you for sharing this!

    All the best and I hope you will have a great friendship with your anxiety monster someday. 😉


    • Kendra Little November 9, 2017 at 8:41 am #

      Thanks, Thomas. I feel like the bravery happens mostly when you feel very vulnerable. It is hardest when you get started with something like this. Once you start to figure out things that work for you, then it gets easier to talk about— but it’s difficult to see that back at the beginning.

  6. Bob Bear November 9, 2017 at 9:46 am #

    Thanks Kendra!… Maybe it’s time for me to review the relationship I have with my front door…. and why I have to check it multiple times when I go to bed.

    You are truly helping to make the world a better place, one DBA at a time.

    Take care and stay well.

    Bob :0)

  7. TK30 November 9, 2017 at 10:51 am #

    Wow. Just wow. What a wonderful podcast. Too many times we look at a person and say, “Why can’t I be perfect like…..”. To see someone like you struggle with some of the same issues I do makes me feel like I’m not alone. There are better days. I will get better at SQL. Better at making friends. Better at life. There are so many more things I can say about this podcast. I guess the best thing I can say is “Thank you”!!

    • Kendra Little November 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

      Thanks so much for your comment. When you say it “makes me feel like I’m not alone,” that one thought makes the whole process of recording worthwhile.

  8. Michael J Swart November 13, 2017 at 10:40 am #

    Breakfast and lunch with strangers at PASS Summit is one of my favourite things.

    • Michael J Swart November 13, 2017 at 10:48 am #

      … and I’m glad to hear you’ve begun to enjoy it too.

      • Kendra Little November 16, 2017 at 3:53 pm #

        I still have fond memories of chatting with you on the beanbags in the community center, Michael! Thanks for the drawing at the beginning of my session this year, that was the perfect start. Bummed we didn’t get to spend more time together this summit, hope we make up for it at an event in the future.

  9. natethedba November 14, 2017 at 11:24 am #

    This was so refreshing and amazing; huge kudos to you for talking about it openly and candidly. Keep up the awesome work! I have loved ones who suffer from anxiety as well, and have tried CBT and other things, and it can be such a crazy frustrating journey. So again, just wanted to say, really big props for putting your story out there!

  10. josh November 15, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

    Good talk: thanks! I always considered myself a functional introvert but maybe I too am coming at it from the wrong direction to see it properly…

    • Kendra Little November 16, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

      It’s funny, I am not sure if I would classify myself as an introvert anymore. I do still love spending time alone and losing myself in drawing or making something. But now I find spending time with other people can also be energizing, and give me creative ideas, too. I think you can keep your introvert self if you want, and possibly just add in the ability to enjoy things normally associated with extroverts more, if you want, if that makes sense.

  11. Brent Ozar November 16, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    Wow! Just got around to catching up with podcasts after the Summit. I really appreciate you sharing this. You’re awesome.

    • Kendra Little November 16, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

      Awww, thank you! And thanks for being such a good friend for all these years.

      I do kinda wish you’d written, “Great post, Brent,” though 😉


  1. sharpsql - November 12, 2017

    […] MCT Andrew Bettany’s guest blog about his popular standing-room-only Ignite session. • I Thought I Was An Introvert. Turns Out I Was Anxious as #@*(: Kendra Little talks about her personal experience with anxiety with a drawing and a audio version […]

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