Over the edge.
Today was the first time I ever mentally broke down at work. I didn't break down completely where I collapsed and cried a river, but the stress at work punctured a hole in me and it caused a leak and my lips to quiver, right in front of the doc and manager, while she was telling me that I need to be more aware of my time, being inefficient.
For the first time ever I couldn't maintain my composure, especially in front of people who I never want to let down. All the stresses came crashing down as the end of the day approached, and we needed to be somewhere at a specific time but all the things that could happen, happened. I was running behind on my tasks as I was still trying to complete the unfinished work from yesterday and I was swamped with orders and requests and repairing and adjusting glasses left and right. I was growing frustrated towards the last patient because I couldn't thoroughly communicate with him as he only understood Chinese, and the staff and I were running late. I didn't want to rush him as it was his first time ever getting an eye exam in his life, and I respected the fact that he went out of his comfort zone to do so in the first place as minorities tend to view eye exams as unnecessary and therefore neglect them. But I felt so helpless, and I wanted to help, but I was growing impatient at everything, not to mention I needed to do so many things left and right, and we were running late to our next destination. All of this was happening while my manager was growing irritated towards me, causing me to feel more pressured and guilty and helpless. I really. just. couldn't.
I worked alone in the front and as the day progressed, I felt like I reached the breaking point and desperately wanted to cry, apologizing for my inefficiency today. I wanted to apologize for not being adequate enough and more skilled, and that I wanted to get better. But I couldn't say anything because as soon as words came out of my mouth, tears began streaming down my face. I have a huge problem asking for help from certain people, and it really all has to do with my pride and willingness to impress that I could self manage. Today was not a good day to let my pride reign over me, and I learned the hard way that I need to ask for help in times such as these.
Despite all of this, deep down I appreciate that I was able to experience this in such a setting; it was an overwhelming day that I wouldn't have experienced elsewhere other than customer service. It was truly a test of my capacity and a good experience of what it could be like when it's my turn to treat patients. Only from this struggle comes with growing, positive experience. I will not let myself become so consumed any longer.