Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bundle of nerves.

"Nervous energy"
Colored ink pens in Moleskine journal - (NFS)

Just thinking about it gives me a physical reaction.

My heart begins to race. A tensed feeling floods my chest and rushes up my neck. Teeth clench as I become lightheaded.

Tomorrow is Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the season, which I'm working on as well as the rest of Thanksgiving weekend.

No doubt the arts-and-crafts store will be PACKED. Unfortunately I cannot handle crowds well. Whenever faced with large groups of people, I've always fled, running to safer ground.

But during the next three days I'll be forced to stay since it's my job to be there. Not having the option to escape is going to be a HUGE trigger for me.

What if I have an anxiety attack right there in the store? Oh God, I'll be found in a fetal position next to the Martha Stewart glitter!

That terrible job has made me cry, worn me down, and depleted my time to create. Yet deep down a part of me says not to quit or call off but to dig deep, to try harder....and that's what I'll do!

I hope I can survive!


Bill said...

Since I hate crowds, too, I definitely feel your pain. Or should I say panic. I have to resort to medication for it. Fortunately, my anxiety disorder hadn't manifested itself fully yet when I worked for a high end clothing store over here in Michigan. I always had the lowest sales, though, especially on the extremely busy days like Black Friday. Now I know why. All those people were making me nervous. But hey! Think of it positively. If you end up in the fetal position next to the Martha Stewart glitter, just dump a couple bottles on yourself on the way down. You can lay there in Martha Stewart sparkling style!

bK said...

I lit up when I saw the drawing because I thought you were drawing a nerve cell lol.

Aww, you get anxious in crowds? I also have a bit of that problem. I used to work at Build-A-Bear Workshop (lots of bright lights, flashy colours, and loud children) and always get so agitated. Even in classes with 100+ people, I sometimes freak out.

I'm sorry to hear that the job made you cry and feeling so awful. :( Could you find another job that's less harsh? *Hugs*

naturgesetz said...

Hopefully the realization that you have to be there will enable you to get through any situation that you'd tend to flee if you had to.

But also hopefully an arts supply store won't attract quite the same throngs as a major department store.

And finally hopefully getting through it will be something of a confidence builder.

Go get 'em, tiger.

Joey said...

My friend, try working at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. When I was in high school and undergrad I worked as a cashier or a manager for Wal-Mart (6 years) and for Target (2 years). I could tell you some crazy stories about crazy people on Black Friday.

There is something about "saving money" that sends people into a frenzy. One of my most memorable years was when the Furby came into the toy market. We were literally standing on register counters throwing these toys into a crowd of overzealous mothers. The police had to be called because a fight broke out between several mothers. What a wacko group.

Since working in retail I simply choose NOT to go shopping on Black Friday. I will stick to some online shopping. It is much safer.

Take care and keep working hard!

Dean Grey said...


I'll probably attract even more attention if I'm covered in glitter, Bill! LOL



A nerve cell? You big nerd, Brody!

I've been looking for another job but am not having much luck.



Yeah, I'm hoping the store won't be too crowded but they are a national chain so probably will be.

It'll either make me or break me, I guess!



You're making me even more nervous, Joey!


I appreciate the advice from the four of you gentlemen!


david said...

hey buddy... i dont like crowds either.. although i do enjoy finding a safe place to just people watch... sounds like your friday is gonna suck... sorry dean.. if its any consolation, i spent the entire day all alone... well sylvester was around, but mostly asleep... as much as i loathe family meals, especially on "holidaze", i felt so rejected and diseased today... like a pariah... fml!
jeeeez... i know i have tons to be thankful for... i mean im still alive and blah blah blah, but ill be glad when the gym opens back up on saturday....
be well... i hope you do ok today... remember you are loved... [[[big hugs]]]

~ cheers...

sMacThoughts said...

OH my gosh, you make me laugh and you make me worried. I shall send out thoughts of protection and a swiftly moving day which will find you home, safe and sound, before you know what happened!

Ken Riches said...

Hope you survived. After the first day, the other two will be a breeze.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your panic with crowds. I think you are much stronger than you think. I bet this weekend will prove it to you, and you will walk away, intact, happy and proud.


Tammy's Studio said...

I can't imagine working in Retail on Black Friday. I'm not sure how I would react and I fully understand your feeling of being trapped by having to stay there. I've had issues like that all my life and do my best to deal with it. I have meds but sometimes the panic overwhelms! I'll be praying for your today Dean!

LightChaser said...

>I'll be found in a fetal position next
>to the Martha Stewart glitter!

Well, at least you will go fetal with some style. You're ahead of the game. Dean.

I did venture out for some retail shopping-- to buy paint... wall paint. There were no roiling crowds, no screaming children, no shredded merchandise. I sorta' feel gypped.


Don't forget to be looking for something better all the while... a job you'll enjoy more, with less 'dealing with the public'. I don't deal well with that either, and if you've a nervous condition like I do it's not fair that you should be forced to - or force yourself to. =)

WOL said...

A word of advice: Clonazepam.

Dean Grey said...


(((Big hugs))) back at ya!



Thank you for that!



Let's hope you're right!


David Waters!

I can do it!



I appreciate the prayers from you!



Consider yourself lucky, Dave!



I'm always looking but not having much luck I'm afraid.



I'd like to refrain from being medicated if I can. It would only be a last resort.


Thanks to all of you for the supportive comments!


jason said...

Hold tight. I know you'll do it! And every so often see if you can get away and hide for a bit. That's what I'd do. :)

AutumnBoy said...

Hey Dean

Well, I hope you survived, its the day after, (hey wasnt there a moving called that? LOL).

I know what you mean about crowds, although i dont have the anxiety about crowds that you depicted, but I don’t like them much either. Someone else mentioned in response to your blog about people watching. That is me also, find a nook or cranny or side line and love to watch people, what they do and how they interact. It is neat, amusing and sometimes depressing at what you see when just watching people

Maybe that is something that you can start doing to help lessen and maybe even eventually over come your fear of crowds, just sit back and observe what is going on. If at work, go about your business and quietly observe those around you

I know exactly what you mean about the anxiety though, you described the feeling well. I often have it in the hours before going home from work. Isn’t that ironic, most people have it in the hours BEFORE going to work! LOL

Take care and hang in there, i look forward to the next piece of art work you post

Hugs, AB

stanw said...

"Dig deep, try harder," sounds like you got the right attitude to wade through it all and come out shouting! Bravo.

Jacob K said...

Know exactly how you feel - lol. I avoided the crowds completely this year - hope the day turned out well for you!


Dean Grey said...


I had to hide in the men's bathroom for about twenty minutes today! LOL



I might have to give people watching a try!








The kind remarks from you boys are greatly appreciated!


Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Darn job! But, hey... pull yourself back and BREATHE. They cannot make you go faster than you can go. Steady yourself. There may be crowds, but they can't come behind the counter!
Dig deep, and give yourself a treat when the weekend is over. You deserve it... gonna catch up on your blog now....

Anonymous said...

Hey boy, sorry I've been remiss in following my fave blogs...your's included, of course. Just now reading this.

You know, it's not such a bad thing to be curled up in a fetal position next to the Martha Stewart glitter. I have a stash of it myself. I had a crafty moment last year and spent a few days at Michael's craft store. That place is FASCINATING! I never knew that world existed. Those craft/art people are always thinking, aren't they?

But you already know that, don't you?

As the holi-daze approach, I hope you have a safe and happy time.

Mind Of Mine said...

I am too late, but here is a suggestion for whenever this situation or similiar occur again. Do it in your own time...

For instance, crowds. The day before you have to deal with heavy crowds, go to a place, the busiest place you can think of and just observe.

Observe that they are just people, like you. Those who have the same doubts, worries, insecurities and fears as you. Just going about their daily lives as you are doing. They are the same as you.

I can guarantee when it is not a drill, it won't feel half as bad.

Mucho Love for ma Dean!

Dean Grey said...


Give myself a treat?

How about a vacation!



Yes, we're always thinking, Corey!


Mind Of Mine!

Just the thought of doing that makes me nervous though, Ian!

I think I need to take smaller steps first.


Thanks to the three of you for the words of wisdom!


n.lea. said...

you sound like an amazingly strong person that just doesn't know it yet.

i don't know what it is like to be uncertain in crowds but know what it is like to be that way when alone. People give me hope and a reason to live. I am very much the person of people type. They cause my brain to flex and question why I think the things I think. But being alone leaves me feeling half empty like something is missing from my puzzle of self.

Your blog is very entertaining.

Dean Grey said...


Then we're like polar opposites!

When I'm alone I do most of my thinking but it's when I'm surrounded by people that I feel something is missing.



n.lea. said...

it is interesting how people can be so oposite. i sincerely hope that things got better for you and continue on the upswing over the next few weeks until after the holidays.

Dean Grey said...


Yeah, I keep thinking if I can just make it through the holiday season maybe things will settle down afterwards.

These next few weeks are going to make me or break me!


n.lea. said...

well dear, here is to hoping they make you and give significantly to your creative streak:)

Anonymous said...

I used to work retail along time ago. I sold to customer at the same time I merchandised the store.
Doing both at the same time made it fun. I, only wished I had created tear sheets of my work. Yep. PHOTOGRAPHY! Too prove to a new employer the number one reason why everything sold off the floor including the displays was because of my merchandising abilities.

Dean Grey said...





I'm terrible at sales!


I appreciate hearing from you two!


Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work! Thumbs up, and keep it going!.

Dean Grey said...


Your appreciation is appreciated!


Anonymous said...

I have panic disorder and I know what you mean about the fear of when the next attack may come.I love your art. Check out some of mine. All my drawings were done when I was having an attack or right after one. :)

Dean Grey said...

Panic Girl!

I'm sorry to hear you can relate to the fear but am glad you're expressing it through creativity.

I just checked out your art!