Saturday, July 9, 2016

Don't let me go retail again

I'm pretty sure I would have had pretty shitty scores on the Beck Depression Inventory all the way back in the 3rd grade. Perhaps even earlier. Feelings of anxiety were already building stronger and stronger.

In high school, I doubt people really would have pegged me for suffering anxiety and/or depression. At least, those who did, didn't really do anything about trying to get me the help I needed.

When I got to college, holy crap, anxiety was strong and mighty. I was an English major who was working toward certification in secondary education with the Department of Education. The Beck would have set off all kinds of red flags for sure then. There was a lot of bullshit going on at home with my younger brother and his education at the same time I was doing field work at a local high school. I was in full "HOLY SHIT! WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING?" mode. So, I withdrew from the certification program just a course or two before I was to start student teaching. Went on to finish up college with a BA in English in 4 years.

I had that degree and worked at Perkins with no idea what to do with that degree since I didn't have the teaching element attached. A want ad crossed my way. I filled it out, tested, interviewed twice (painfully so), and got it. I did well with the job, but that Beck Depression Inventory would have been very high. Honestly, I feel the urge to vomit whenever I think of my interviews and some other speaking engagements required of me. Otherwise, I did pretty well.

When I met Shawn and things got serious enough that I needed to move cross country, I would have liked to keep my job somehow in a telecommuting position. That didn't work. Finding something similar, also didn't work. So, I moved with nothing lined up and hit the online want ad sites.

Finally, I caved to retail. I went to Barnes & Noble because I thought being a bookseller made some kind of sense. They quickly promoted me to a lead position in the bargain section. Next, I was made manager of the cafe. I hated being in management. I also didn't respect my managers. Retail made me truly unhappy. Things came to a head and I decided, with Shawn, that it was time to quit. Quitting without notice was nothing I ever expected I would do. The actions of the store manager with a cafe employee just made me too mad to report to her another day.

At this point, I went on to a temp agency to see what I could get and perhaps develop into a regular gig. My lack of confidence was strong and anxiety was heavy on me. Thankfully, in this time, Shawn and I got married. He still wanted to go through with it and still loved me. The best part of all I was going through.

After the wedding was over, I was having a harder time with the temp placements. My bleeding heart took over and my wish to change the world was weighing heavy on me. I ended up at an Obama campaign office. I was doing data entry and office management tasks. Calls and canvasing were not my strong suit because of my high anxiety. That ended up being okay. Obama won and my work was done.

So, I went back to retail. I applied at Old Navy and was hired. Their product really fills my closet, so I thought it was worth applying. Again, another horribly, anxiety filled interview actually lead to a job. My advancement through the company was quick. My stress, anxiety, depression related to the job moved quicker. I loved merchandising. That's all. I hated any of the management shit I had to do, I hated the back-to-school season and the holiday season black-outs for taking time off. If I could just build displays, that would have been okay with me. I became an assistant store manager and that killed my self-esteem, that made me hate my job and my self. One day, I decided to step-down. The store manager was kind enough to get me a transfer so that I wasn't out of a job completely. I was transferred to work shipment at another store.

I haven't managed to figure something else out for myself. This has put my Beck results through the roof, higher than ever. ECT and a huge medication cocktail have become my life right now. This has me freaking out. I worry that I will be back in retail or food service. My loved ones and mental health professionals tell me that I don't need to figure out a job right now. I wish it was as easy as they are trying to make it seem.

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