Friday, June 29, 2012

Why I Almost Cried at Work Yesterday

[This Story is inspired by this awesome thought process idea from Kate]

Let me backtrack for a moment.
As you may have read somewhere, I tend to be a perfectionist.
No where is this truer than in my assimilation of information.
I hold the opinion [mainly from large reinforcement from my teachers and family]
that I am a fairly well read and intellectual individual.
Ever since this discovery was made,
(early childhood as far back as I can remember)
I've always been pushed for greatness.
No this isn't one of those times I'm going to blame society for making me an overly neurotic freak.
I'm just sharing a bit of back story.

So with this expectation clutched close to my delicate formulative psyche,
I developed the expectation that I should learn and grasp and excel
at all information/new learning I was given the first time around.
And you know what?
Most times I did.
I was fortunate that way.
But another problem arose;
When I didn't? I suffered an immense meltdown.


My mom got calls even.
Calls that I was sobbing uncontrollably and nearly hysterical.
Because I didn't understand something.
I think this was the bare bones of my anxiety that I carry around with me began.
It wasn't pressure from everyone else,
it was pressure from myself and my perpetual need to please.
My need to make everyone happy and proud,
to ensure my intelligence and ability were never doubted.
As time passed, I began to learn more and better ways to cope with this.
And I thought I had moved past that time in my adult life.

Cue yesterday.

Yesterday wasn't my brightest shining moment.
I held it together, but I felt like I was in school all over again.
Presented with an overwhelming tidal wave of information,
I could just feel it seeping into my brain,
but my brain was already an over-saturated sponge,
and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't seem to keep that information in.
And as I felt it dripping back away out of my memory and retention,
I felt that heavy riptide of emotion and down right panic beginning to well up.
Though luckily, I fought it from my eyes.

My supervisor is a lovely lady,
who puts no pressure on me whatsoever.
She tells me I'm doing well all the time.
But she knew something was wrong. Said I was giving her 'serious face'.
I quietly assured her it was fine, and was determined not to show her my 'sobbing like a four year old child' face.
After reassuring me [again] that I didn't need to pick up on this all right now,
we sat down to take some notes on what we'd just went over.

But I just felt helpless. Hopeless. Lost.
I knew the rest of my day wasn't going to go over well until I'd had myself a cry.
But I refused to be the girl who was crying on her fourth day.
She asked me what was wrong,
and I just assured her I was trying to make sure I was learning everything,
said I was fine for about the millionth time,
and luckily my boss came along to check on us and I had a moment to reel it in.
My supervisor, not so easily fooled, told me to take a break afterwards and to
'come back when I wasn't frustrated anymore'.
She's a saint, really.

So, I went out to what I have mentally deemed as my quiet bench.
It's a bench that resides outside the hospital,
and is typically unoccupied and it's not too busy in front of it.
It's outside, and it's usually quiet.
A place already I use to unwind a bit if I need to.


Unwinding yesterday included calling my mom and shedding a few tears.
I sniffled and told her how overwhelmed I was feeling,
and let it out for a moment.
I'm not afraid to be honest with my supervisor,
I usually tell her when I'm feeling overwhelmed and we're fine.
But today I just had that overwhelming emotional panic,
and I couldn't 'unleash the whole crazy train' on her after four days.
An actual quote I told her yesterday.
I'm glad I did, and it allowed me to set it aside and try to move on for the rest of my day.

Needless to say, my main problem with this whole situation
is that I thought I had moved past this overreaching perfectionism to learn something instantly.
Maybe I just haven't had to learn anything in a while.
I have no idea. I'm still feeling a bit drained.
Maybe I'll have an epiphany later.
I guess I just wanted to share one of those moments of my reality,
where my life isn't quite so sunshiney.
"Tell the story of your “ordinary.” "

Am I the only one?


  1. I am the exact same way when it comes to being a perfectionist at work! You are definitely not alone! Megan

  2. You are NOT alone. I had a similar meltdown a couple of months ago. I am a nurse practitioner and one of the physicians in our practice left. So my patient load doubled! {Insert nervous breakdown here.} I should be able to handle it! I have been doing this for 6 years! I feel like I am expected to be June Beaver meets Gloria Steinham. I should be able to have it all. Balance has always been an issue for me. Thankfully I am in a good place today but I feel ya sista! {{Hugs}}

    Jill @ Create.Craft.Love.

  3. LOL - June Cleaver - not Beaver...

  4. Oh, you're not the only one. I think many women feel this pressure and I think it's a force from society too. I'm so glad you let yourself feel how you were feeling - and you got to call your mom. MOMS always make things better. Good luck with the new job!

    Happy seeing beautiful!

    1. Indeed. Moms ALWAYS make things better. I don't actually know how they seem to have this uncanny ability to say exactly what needs to be said at times like this. I hope I'm half that good when I have kids. Thanks so much for stopping by and offering your encouragement. It means a lot! :)

  5. Oh BFF <3 You are SO not the only one. I remember last April, I was just a few weeks shy of graduation. And all it took was one class meeting - and the weight of everything just crushed me. The girl who thought she crafted the skill of perfectionism and having everything under control...soon learned that it's not about conquering life and looking your best and excelling all the time. Sometimes it's about being real and saying - HEY...I'm HUMAN! I can't handle this all! I'm overwhelmed...needless to say...I had a very gorgeous panic attack and ended up calling my mom and talking to her until she calmed me down.

    You are so not alone. You are doing fine. You are amazing. You are wonderful and you don't have to prove yourself and neither do you need to live up to a standard. You are allowed to have days when you need to admit - you're're're overwhelmed...let it out! CRY CRY CRY! You might mess up. You just might! AND THAT'S OKAY!

    You have permission to do so. YOU WILL GET BACK UP ON YOUR FEET. Praying lots of encouragement and peace comes your way. There's nothing you can do that would make God love you more, or less. And the same is for me chica ;) Love you mucho <3 Here if you need me!

  6. Nope. Not the only one. I've always been that way too. I have to be the best, and people must notice and tell me they are proud or act proud of me and then I feel good. If I am not or cannot be the best I usually just give up. Sounds shitty, but it's true. Good for you for being open and honest about it though. I just hide it.

  7. You're totally not the only one!!! I get to stressed and hard on myself like that, too.