Awake. Naturally. Because I don’t work until 4pm.
Want to find a full time job. But it’s rough out there when you’ve been out of the workforce for ten years, despite having a degree…in the arts. I often joke that I majored in voice but then added a theatre major to have “something to fall back on.” I almost pulled off a 4.0, but the truth is that it was so long ago and far away that no one cares much.
It’s also difficult to find something livable when you have been diagnosed with three anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder (appropriately acronym: SAD). This particular disorder makes life in general a living hell at times. My shrink wonders why I would choose a job that focuses mainly on customer service. I thought it was akin to taking allergy shots: mass exposure to the allergen would desensitize me. Make me more like a regular human being. Person after person, I would grow to understand that we are all human, and that in turn I could somehow relax when encountering fellow human beings.
I wish that were the case. I was, in the opinion of one customer, “shaking like a leaf” the other day. He accused me of perhaps being on drugs because I mentioned I hadn’t slept the night before. He then informed me that he would have to “come down here and kick [my] ass,” if I was indeed taking drugs.
I’m just going to start telling everyone that I am on drugs, because it’s true. I take these lovely prescriptions to survive everyday life. I have a tremor because of them. When a customer calls me a “ding-dong” for being “nervous,” I’m just going to say I’m on three psychiatric medications. Bet THAT will make them feel at ease.
Because, though I blog about it and about a zillion other people are openly discussing it, mental illness is not entirely mainstream. People tend to pigeonhole you, because people in general are ignorant. I have only told one person at work that I struggle with anxiety. I am afraid to be explicit, lest others should think I am simply “crazy.”
I sometimes work in the garden center. The heat as of late has been 100-106 degrees. Because of this and all the unanswerable questions asked by customers, I think of my stints in the garden as an exercise in purgatory.
On a certain screen at the register, I often try to press the escape button. The touch screen reassures me that “Escape is not an option at this point.”
Hell is…other people.