I flew solo as a waitress this past weekend. Unfortunately, I started my first day with drama. I ripped my pump site out as I was running out the door. I would have been on time, but the snag made me 5 minutes late. I was greeted at the restaurant with an “I don’t care ‘sweetie’ 8:45 is 8:45”. Talk about starting out on the wrong foot in so many ways. I was angry because I explained the reasoning and the manager was still unreasonable. I felt so angry. I went to the restroom to take a deep breath and to stop myself from crying. I felt so violated. The manager knows about my Diabetes, I explained, I was only about 5 minutes late. I talked to them on the phone before I got there. I tried my best, and still I was scolded for something that was virtually out of my hands. Overall I’d say I was successful as a server. I made about $100 in tips and I never had more than 5 tables to take care of. The next day I got into a little tiff with the manager because I was trying to admit a mistake and she said to me, “If you would just listen you would learn.” If she had just listened to me she would have heard that I had ‘learned’ and I was trying to let her know! So frustrating. Letting the weekend sink in over this past week led me to a single conclusion. I cannot work at this restaurant. It’s clearly not good for my physical health since managing my Diabetes doesn’t seem to fit in there. I’ve seen a 40-point spike in my averages since starting the job. My health is worth more than tips on a table. Emotionally, I just can’t be verbally abused or watch as the manager does that to other people. I don’t want to be an accomplice to her disrespectful tactics. If I can’t change her, I need to can my situation. I do not need to me this stressed. I shouldn’t be crying about how much I hate this place. I shouldn’t be withdrawn from my friends, family, and school. I’ll be working my last shift this evening, and quitting Saturday afternoon. I feel at peace with this decision. I have weighed it out. It is just not in my nature to accept this kind of situation, and I only wish that I could help my coworkers who will be stuck at the restaurant.
My next post will be full of good news.
So. I’m still dealing with terrible anxiety related issues. Mostly involving my GI tract acting a fool. I’m worried, because this is the same way I felt right before I left traditional high school. The only thing that’s giving me hope is that I have been able to push through it. I’m still getting up to go to my summer class 4 days a week, and I started my job this past weekend.
About my job… I’m a waitress. So far it’s just been training. Saturday, I kind of followed another girl around while she did her thing. Sunday, I worked with this guy and literally helped him make it through the day. I even overheard the manager say that I was good, just like she expected. But here’s the thing, I had so much trouble managing my Diabetes while running around the restaurant. I’m afraid that if it’s this way when I’m only training, it will be 10 times worse when I’m on my own. I excused myself to the bathroom a few times, but the day is long the running is constant and the stress is high. Saturday I ended the day at a respectable, but falling 104 mg/dL. Sunday was not the same story. I walked out of the restaurant exhausted, sweaty and at a blood sugar of 323 mg/dL. I can speculate the reasons these two days ended differently, but I’ll never know exactly. I just know that around 2PM Sunday I considered walking in to the kitchen and quitting like some dramatic movie scene. I was hot, I wanted to throw up, and I had no idea what my blood sugar was because the restaurant was too busy to go check it. I told the manager when I was hired that I had Type 1 Diabetes and I would need to be able to test whenever possible, and she seemed understanding. But it became more and more clear as I went through the training that is wasn’t going to be that simple. I don’t know how to balance my “I’m just as capable as these other waiters” attitude with the “I need to take care of myself before I can take of anyone else” idea on top of following the rules of the restaurant. I want this job. I’m good at it so far. But I don’t know how to handle it and my Diabetes. I came home from work Sunday and had one of those epic, “I hate this disease” moments. My mom and I talked about seriously pursuing CGMS. She even called my doctor Monday morning, but the secretary gave her the Medtronic CGMS rep’s phone number instead of the Dexcom guy. Which is understandable since my mom didn’t specify and most of my doctor’s patients are on Medtronic pumps. But even if I do get the CGMS, which is thankfully covered 100% by our wonderful insurance it won’t help me tonight when I go back, or Saturday, or Sunday when I’m officially on my own as a waitress…
I know that there are people out there who don’t believe that anxiety or any other mental health issue is real, but they are. I know from personal experience. If I were to trace it back I’ve actually had some sort of anxiety since I was about 4 years old, and that’s just what I can remember. The thing about anxiety that makes it so difficult is that it takes everything from you in an instant or it lasts like a slow burn.
I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks. At first, it was just because I was starting a summer class. That honors application was due June 1. Then, I was job hunting and I got a job. The job starts on Saturday. I have 2 tests this week and 3 next week. I have an interview tomorrow. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I’m in constant motion even when I’m not moving. My anxiety is eating away at me. I want to scream. I feel it all over my body. It’s like every cell is being squeezed tight waiting to burst. This is new. Anxiety used to be more about panic for me. Situation occurs…panic attack in response. Now it’s something that’s right at the surface wishing, waiting, hoping to explode. I’ve been trying really hard to keep myself calm, doing things to lessen my stress, but nothing is working. It’s still there. Eating away at me. Right under my skin.
I do not want to rely on medication for panic attacks the way I have been for the last month.
Nothing feels right.
I want to sleep. No, I want to run. I’m hungry, just kidding. I can do this homework. I hate homework. I can handle this. No, I can’t. Back and forth.
The fighter in me wants to stick it out, and the quitter knows that I’m ready to bow out.
I need a mental health day, but there aren’t enough days to take a day off. I’m struggling. I’m trying. I don’t know.
Friday’s doctor’s appointment can not come soon enough.
I finished my first year of college?
I finished my first year of college.
I finished my first year of college!
Exactly one week ago I walked out of my last final of the year. I did it. Me.
I think I’m still in shock that I survived the year. I didn’t just survive. I triumphed. I am my own success story. There have been moments even months in the past few years where I never thought I would type or utter those words.
Today, I turned in one of the worst essays I’ve ever written in my entire life. It was a part of an application to my school’s Honors Academy. I’m not sure what made it bad. I can’t put my finger on it. I think it had something to do with the 500 word limit. The topic: What is your educational philosophy? & How would the Honors Academy benefit from having you as a member?
I knew exactly what I wanted to write about as soon as I picked up the application a month ago. My experience with anxiety has shaped so many things in my life including my thoughts on school. Easy right? Personal experience and all that. To a certain extent it was easy. I know the story so well. I know the ending and it’s a happy one. But writing about it was harder than I thought it would be. I cried the first time I typed it out. I edited, lessening the sob story and turning up the sunshine. I erased paragraphs and wrote them over again. I worked the essay to the ground. The story is a good one, the story telling…I’m not so sure. I thought too much. I spent too much time talking about my experiences and not enough on how I’d benefit the Academy. I thought it was almost self-explanatory. I’ve struggled, I’ve worked hard, and I’ve found some success along the way by trying alternatives. I think outside the box and I can face challenges. I really hope it’s enough. The scholarship would mean a lot for me. I’m scared.
Thankfully the next step involves an interview. Maybe whatever my essay lacks (in my eyes) can be made up for in person. The director of the Academy was my professor this semester, so that lessens the pressure. I don’t think I’ve wanted something this badly in a long time.