Self Responsibility, Thoughts On...

Thoughts On… A Week Of Self Responsibility

In all honesty, this week has been a blur. I remember because I didn’t do my weekly planner until Friday. I did however, do all the college assignments I needed to do. It’s just that when it came to myself this week, most things fell to the wayside. Seems a bit hilarious admitting this when I was just talking about how responsible I am. But when there are multiple factors in your life weighing heavy on your brain, it’s difficult, to say the least, to keep up a rigid regime of self care. There have been a few things this week that drained me emotionally.

The first was a pretty abysmal mark that I got on a mock assessment at college. To be fair, no one in the class passed but it brought home to me how much I was going to have to revise over the Christmas break and put the idea in my head that I might fail the real thing. The second thing that’s emotionally drained me a bit is picking up on the passive-aggressive nature of my boss. It’s not something that I noticed before but it’s made me feel a bit on edge. It’s little things like not being acknowledged when I arrive at work and a generally hostile vibe I get from him when he’s around. From what I’ve heard from the depute manager at work, my judgement is not misinformed. I don’t really care, it’s just one of those things that when you notice it, it subtly changes the whole working environment and atmosphere.

Aside from this, the environment at my pharmacy work placement turned quite toxic on Friday. It was very busy and one member of staff was apparently quite stressed. She usually works on the sales counter and so doesn’t have much experience with prescriptions and dispensing. When trying to find a patient’s prescription, she was clearly getting quite flustered and another member of staff addressed her in a very disrespectful way, saying: “Come here!” as if she was a dog. It’s hard to convey the tone here, but it was enough to make me stop what I was doing and stare at the person who’d said this so obnoxiously. Not long after this the sales counter assistant heading out the door with all her things and tears in her eyes and it took everyone a good few seconds to ask: “Did she just walk out?” It was the discussions afterwards which made the environment so much worse. The other dispensers were joking about it and speculating and ascertaining that this wasn’t, in fact, a stressful environment or a “bad shop”. Which, aside from anything else, is just plain ignorant. We were still working through prescriptions from the day before and potentially the day before that. Elderly customers were coming in upset that their repeat prescriptions weren’t ready when they were told they would be. These customers were deemed “moody” and “negative” by my colleagues but it’s my opinion that they had every right to be upset. The only way I can make sense of it is that the other dispensers simply didn’t care about these customers. That’s why they didn’t find the atmosphere stressful – because they weren’t concerned about making sure the customers received a good service and got their medicine on time. But the joking about the sales counter assistant went on for the rest of the day and my God was it draining. She wasn’t there to stick up for herself or tell her side of the story and people were saying things like: “Well if she’s walked out she’s fired”, “We’re better off without her” and “If she’s upset with something I’ve said, I’m not worrying about it!” I could feel my face sinking the whole afternoon. I felt like I couldn’t relate to any of them. I don’t know what poisoned the atmosphere but for the rest of the day it felt like anything I said could be twisted and used against me. At one point I mentioned how sometimes the size of medicine packaging was unnecessarily bulky as I was organising the shelves and the pharmacist cracked a joke about “how difficult it is to be a 20-year-old” because I’d had the audacity to make one complaint and everyone split their sides laughing. This angered me because I’ve actually had a very difficult year, what with being diagnosed with a chronic illness, having depression and dealing with suicidal thoughts and self harm – and with how hard I’m working at the moment (and paying my own way!). It was a misguided thing for him to say and I know it was a joke but he shouldn’t have undermined me like that. I’ve decided to talk to my placement lecturer this week about the possibility of doing my placement somewhere else because I’m not putting up with this atmosphere if it’s going to be a regular thing.

Lastly, I had contact with my Dad this week. He had received some important results to do with his health so I felt it was necessary. Luckily the news was good and at the moment there’s nothing to worry about. In the interim between finding out my Dad might have a serious disease and then waiting for the results I’d been going around in circles in my head thinking I’ll have to have him back in my life if he’s ill, even if it’s bad for my mental health and my relationship. These thoughts reached a climax this week just before I found out the results and when I did get the text from him, that brought a whole load more of uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. I found myself laughing at his text, he always did have a great sense of humour, but along with the laughter came a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was almost like old times. In that moment I forgot about the emotionally abusive side of the relationship and I felt as though I was being lured in again. “Lured” is definitely the word and describes that uncomfortable feeling. Coming to terms with and properly facing the duality integral to the relationship I had with my Dad was something I could only do with the help of distance and emotional separation. Much of that seemed to collapse when I got the text. I realised in that moment that I was definitely not ready to have him back in my life and I might never be. So it’s been a week of emotions I don’t have the energy for. And how I dealt with that was going on my phone. Go figure. But despite this, I kept a pretty optimistic attitude this week and reminded myself that tomorrow is always a new day and there is always an opportunity for a fresh start as long as you’re on the earth.

With regards to my intentions, I kept up with looking after my skin well which has allowed me to wear makeup when I feel like it. This has uplifted me considerably. And although I still overused my phone, I was conscious of it every second and I think I just need to replenish my emotional energy to be able to properly make that change. I did some producing and recording on Sunday and have decided I’ll aim to upload a song before Christmas rather than playing an open mic because I think it would be nice to get a song uploaded in time for Christmas. My acoustic songs on SoundCloud have been well received so it should be a good confidence boost for me.

Apologies if the content in this post has been slightly off topic – I just thought it was important to highlight why I didn’t feel emotionally stable enough to completely follow through with my intentions this week. Next Monday will be Christmas Day! So I won’t have a post up next week. I’d like to have a post up the week after next.

As always, thank you so much for reading and I hope everyone has a happy festive! 🙂

– SMUT. ❤ xxxx

2 thoughts on “Thoughts On… A Week Of Self Responsibility”

  1. ‘But despite this, I kept a pretty optimistic attitude this week and reminded myself that tomorrow is always a new day and there is always an opportunity for a fresh start as long as you’re on the earth.’ (I welled up here I must admit)
    You really are amazing! And as well as demonstrsting such great insight and doing the work you need to do to move forward, you are studying to be a pharmacist! That is just totally awesome!
    I am a health professional and have therefore been on placements etc, I think talking to your uni educator is a good place to start. You don’t say if the pharmacist was directly involved in all the unprofessional and unethical goings on, but they are ultimately responible (as in I assume they are the manager) for the attitude of the dispensing staff, and not caring about old people getting their scripts, well, the pharmacy is the hub of the community and a total lifeline. My husband recently had a heart scare, all fine, and when I went to pick up his meds the pharmacist talked me through everything and actually put his hand on my arm to comfort me. That is the compassion and ethics we need. One day, when you are in charge, your ethics and your sensitivities will mean your pharmacy will be the friendliest and most professional there could be! In the meantime, use it as a lesson in what not to do and how not to be. Probably those staff are burned out and have compassion fatigue, or were never nice in the first place, again, all down to who is in charge. If you have to stay, just get out of it what you came to get out of it, ie learning and the grade you want, and try not to let it upset you.
    So happy about the music too, you do so much!
    Stay strong and always do what benefits you. It is your life!
    Happy Christmas!
    If you are this awesome at 20, I can’t imagine what you’ll be doing in your forties, running the world I imagine! I was so shy at 20 and it took years for me to even begin to understand myself, I much prefer being this age!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the advice!! I’m training to become a pharmacy technician, which is a way less intensive course, but the profession is evolving a whole lot and there are a lot of pharmacies run by technicians now! That’s so lovely the pharmacist actually took time to discuss it all with you, that’s definitely the way it should be! Glad to hear your husband is okay. Happy Christmas to you too! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

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