Saturday, April 14, 2012

Alone Late At Night - April 14, 2012

I made a big freakin' mistake. Not that it's a big surprise since I'm the master of big mistakes sometimes, but this one is a doozy. I had a feeling to begin with that accepting this job wasn't the right move for me, but I needed a job. Hell, I need a job! And everyone loves the idea since they're a good company to work for and for someone like me, given my experience and background, it's a great fit.

I've worked here before, albeit a long, long time ago and after just over twenty years, I'm back. And the store is essentially the same. New faces, but the employees are pretty much the same. What's changed is me and not for the better. It used to be, within three days of going into a new store, I had pretty much taken over and was "the man", at least in my own mind. I was always very comfortable very easily and I picked up what needed to be done, put my own twist to things and quite simply, took care of bid'ness.

Sounds pretty good, right?

So I take the job and go to work with these people. I listen to everyone's great advice that this is the place that I need to be and that this job is the answer to all of my problems and now, everything is going to be all peaches and cream and wonderful.

And now what's happening? I keep waking up at all hours of the night, sweating and flustered, not exactly sure where I am or what's going on. I look at the clock glaring at me and all I can think is three more hours til "that place" and then "two more hours til that place" and so on, dreading every second and wishing time would stand still. But it never does and eventually, I have to get up and get ready. And the anxiety kicks in.

This morning, I woke up after a restless night and got up to get ready for work. Andwhat happens? My head is pounding. I can't breathe. I start to vomit, but there's nothing there since I haven't had an appetite in several days, not since I started work. And I just want to do anything or be anywhere, but having to go to that place. Once I get there and get inside, I'm okay. A little on edge and tense, but I can handle things a little better.

It's weird. Waiting on customers is not a problems and despite some relative uneasiness, it goes smoothly and things are okay. Dealing with the other employees, that's not quite as good. Everyone is friendly enough, but they're a tight nit group, as often happens in these stores, and I'm the outsider. I'm the only guy which doesn't help matters, I'm older than most of them which is another liability and while they all know me from working other stores - they know my face anyhow - they don't know "me" at all. And no one has stepped forward to make an effort to bring me in to the fold.

And I understand that it's my fault as well. I'm not a sociable person by most people's standards and I'm not confortable in crowds or groups. And that's just a big, tight knit group with their inside jokes and behavior. I have to work on that, but it's not easy. I get tense and anxious when I have to answer the phone or call someone. My stomach churns and my head spins when I meet someone new or even when I'm talking to friends or relatives. Hell, I won't walk into a resturant and order at the counter - I do drive thru because there's less interaction with other people.

I want to just walk away - to leave and vanish forever. Can't do that though because people "have faith in me" and are "confident" in me and I have responsibilities to everyone else and they are so happy that I'm finally "back on the right track" and that "things are working out" and all of that bull. Yeah, they all like it. Everyone is happy. Well, everyone but one person and what do I matter anyhow in the overall scheme of things? I don't know anymore. This sucks!

Yeah, I've got issues and have always had them, but lately, over the past year or so more than anything, they're getting worse and worse. My confidence is for shits these days and just the thought of dealing with people, especially in an enviroment where I should be thriving and extremely comfortable, just makes me physically sick. Even now, as I'm sitting here writing about it and trying to make sense of what's going on inside my skull, my hands are shaking. Hell, my whole body is shaking just from thinking about that place. And we're not even going to talk about the way my moods and feelings swing from one moment to the other. I can be feeling fine one minute and be ready to stick my head in an oven the next (not literally - just using that as a metaphor) and when you add that to the mix, several times a day, I'm a freakin' mess that probably shouldn't be around people at all.

But I need a job and right now, it's the only one available. Bills have to be paid and I have responsibilites so what do I do?

Dealing with people one on one, as I do customers or clients at the Food Bank, is okay. I get a little stressed and anxious, but I can work through it and relax and I'm good after a little bit. Dealing with groups, even people who are familiar to me, is a different story. It's hard and rough and gets harder and rougher every single day.

I'm not the man I once was... not even freakin' close. Now I just have to figure out what the hell I'm going to do about it before it overwhelms me. I'm stubborn and won't let it take over without a fght, but to be honest, between these panic attacks, mood swings, overwhelming anxieties and my physical problems (diabetes, blood pressure and repeated infections), it's getting tougher and tougher to even try. I will. I'm a stubborn bitch if nothing else and I have someone who depends on me, so even if not for myself, I've got to stay in the fight for him. Whatever it takes, right?

But something has to change. I just don't know what the hell I'm going to be able to do to make it so.

I think I'm going to go for a walk. Have a good night.


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