My first day back at work. Getting into my normal routine and finding out there is nothing normal about it. I’ve always been a go getter. What ever task, project, or issue was handed to me I was ready. The bigger the challenge the better. I thrived on this. Making a plan bringing people together to meet the expectations of what ever the day had to offer. What ever it took to get the job done. What I loved most about my work was mentoring and training. Taking those under my wing that didn’t have confidence in themselves or just needed that extra push.
Just a couple hours into my shift at our first meeting of the day and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m finding it hard to focus. The noises are almost too much to handle. Every noise seems amplified. The sound of a pen writing on paper or the shuffling of papers is equivalent of nails scratching a chalkboard. Add to that all the voices muffled together all speaking at the same time. I felt like I was trapped in a bad dream hoping I would wake up and it would be over.
I left the meeting to give my associates direction for the day. Navigating the floor was extremely difficult. I’m still having trouble walking and my balance is all over the place. I’m clumsy and fatigue is already setting in. Now I’m nervous. What if I run into an associate or worse a customer? What if I knock something over? I’m having trouble speaking. My thoughts just won’t make it to my mouth. I stand there with a blank stare knowing what I want to say but I can’t. Sometimes I speak pretty quickly but the wrong words come out. I’m sure I’m not making any sense.
I’m not one to just give direction and be on my way. I work along side my team. Help them with any obstacles that may come up and do what I can to see that the day goes smoothly. Today this was almost impossible. I couldn’t physically do anything to help.
This begins to wear on me and I make my way off the floor to the backroom. I just need a minute to regroup. I wonder what I’m doing here? I’m not of any use. I’m actually holding my team back. I’m letting my fellow supervisors down. Just then a call over the radio says there is a problem with a truck and we need to get it unloaded. I’m not about to let anyone down so I’m the first one there. My co-workers realize I’m struggling and I almost fall. They tell me to sit down but I say no. That’s not fair to all of you. One of them takes me to a pallet and makes me sit. He looks at me and says ” Are you serious Shannon”. I just look at him not knowing what to say. He said you are the reason most of us are here. You trained us, supported us, fought for us, and you work harder than anyone we know. You have been there for every one of us. Now it’s your turn to let us be there for you. They all started motioning things I had done or times I was there for them. Promotions they got because I made them believe in themselves. I never knew till then the impact I had. I was just being me and doing what I love.
At that moment I knew I was going to be ok. I knew that even though this is hard for me I was going to have to accept I need people too and allow myself to be ok with that. I knew I would learn, grow, get through this like everything else before in life, and use this to help others and become a better person.