Nothing You Can Do

The most frustrating thing about dealing with anxiety is getting anxious over something beyond your control.

You can’t stop thinking about it and wish you could do something. When you try to put your mind off of it, the fact that you’re powerless against it makes it difficult.

I may be fine on the outside right now, but on the inside I’m screaming, crying, panicking, and even praying. It’s like having a panic attack but without any difficulty breathing.

I wish tomorrow would never come.

I’ve said this before many times whenever there was something coming that I was not looking forward to like that one year I didn’t want to go to summer camp. But this time it’s something really big.

More than a month ago I wrote my certification exam to become a pharmacy technician, and tomorrow is supposed to be the day they said I should expect the results of my first attempt.

I don’t understand why they have made me wait this long for it, but I think if it’s really going to be tomorrow, it’s not the best time. It’s the Friday before a long weekend, and I want to spend it relaxing or treating myself; not soaking my pillow with tears, preparing to submit another application to take it again, and having to revise a study plan if the results turn out to be bad.

I hope to spend the summer months finishing off my training, submitting my final application for registration, and either applying for positions right away or taking some time off before I do that. This exam was stressful enough as it is and I don’t want it to burden me any longer. I want my life back.

That’s the other piece of this type of anxiety, fearing the unknown. You can’t do anything to impact it, and you don’t know what it’s going to be. That is the worst type of stuff to get anxious over.

It’s hard to explain but think of it as you like to have control over the situation; you like to know exactly how something is going to go so you can get through it without being anxious. When you do not possess that kind of power in the current situation, you get scared and worried and that is what anxiety feels like.

Now, anybody who reads this may consider these feelings to be normal, especially if they are also pursuing registration as a healthcare professional because they have to go through something similar.

Studying for the exam was stressful as I tried to cover everything from school from my notes I kept, practicing answering questions similar to the exam, and practicing scenarios in order to properly address the case and communicate appropriately for the practical portion.

The exam itself was stressful as I applied every strategy humanly possible to keep myself calm if I saw something I didn’t know or realized I missed something crucial to answer the question or solve the station. I would write things in my notebook upon realizing them so I could let go of them. I would take deep breaths or stretch upon answering questions I struggled with before choosing my answer, or moving on and coming back to it later.

The good news is that the implementation of those strategies made the exam itself less stressful than the preparation for it.

But maybe after such a big exam is even more stressful because the situation is no longer in your control. You’ve done your part and now it’s up to the personnel to review your answers and performance to determine if you meet or exceed the minimal expectations; which are vague in the way they are presented.

I would feel absolutely horrible if I failed the practical portion due to my way of communication because it’s bad enough having trouble in certain social situations when you live with autism already.

Sometimes I see on Instagram, a girl I know from the P. Tech program I took at college where she looks all happy with her co-workers in the hospital pharmacy department. Sometimes they have clothing-theme days and they take a group picture together. Sometimes I can’t help but get upset and hate her that she’s slain the dragon and has entered the castle which is her career and I have not yet. However, I stop myself from taking my jealousy out on her in any form because I know it will not accomplish anything.

Yes, I know, comparing myself to others isn’t worth it and sometimes we fail before we succeed.

Wait, why am I writing this now? Isn’t this something I should be writing after I get the results? Maybe I just need to vent now. The only thing I can do to ease the anxiety is to distract myself with hobbies and other tasks.

Who knows, maybe I won’t even get the results tomorrow? Even though I’d rather just find out an get it over with.

I continue to pat myself on the back for working hard and reaching out for support before writing the first attempt, as I’ve heard some test-takers try to go at it alone and they either get lucky or find out it didn’t work. Some studies show that it’s mostly the latter.

A lot of us hate the idea of having that one last thing standing in our way; the dragon guarding the castle. I did everything I could to not see it as an obstacle so I could approach it with minimal anxiety. Thank goodness they don’t expect you to get an A+.

Now, there’s nothing I can do but wait to find out if my hard work paid off, and the thought is daunting because it can be devastating to find out you fail even if you gave it everything you’ve got.

Might as well stop there and do something else with the freedom I still have. Thanks for reading my vent.


2 thoughts on “Nothing You Can Do”

  1. Totally feel you on anxiety. It always comes from a place of feeling out of control. Best thing to do is take comfort in knowing you did your best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s something I continue to remind myself every day since I finished the exam. I’ve known people who have taken it and lost focus completely due to anxiety. Who knows, I may be feeling scared now but then everything might turn out fine. We shall see.


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