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Quitting my job because of anxiety

(31 Posts)
plainjane1610 Wed 29-Jun-16 18:21:47

I'm in a really bad place at the moment. I've always struggled with anxiety, panic attacks, depression but never been able to talk to anyone about it, apart from my oh. (not even a gp, self-diagnosing here - sorry.)

Work has always been hell for me - many everyday things make me v anxious and I almost feel like the success of the company rests solely on my shoulders - ridiculous because I'm fairly junior.

I've been working freelance for five months after a years mat leave and I am really struggling to cope. I thought working from home and part-time would really reduce my stress levels but it's ten time worse. I'm CONSTANTLY worrying about work, I'm scared to open emails, answer phone calls, I put off doing things until they become urgent. I often work in the evenings and at night, sometimes until 2 in the morning, so that I can concentrate and not become overwhelmed. I'm crying every day.

I have no headspace for anything else, even my ds which makes me feel even more guilty and upset.

I desperately want to quit and concentrate on getting better and taking proper care of my son. We would struggle financially but my oh is more concerned about my health and thinks I should quit. Thing is just the thought of having this conversation with my boss is enough to make me panic. I don't feel like I can even do one more day but how can I just quit like that? Should I tell my boss that I have mh issues? And this one is really cowardly but ... Can I do it over email?

I feel like just one more stress inducing move will push me over the edge. Help!

Bubspub Wed 29-Jun-16 18:26:48

Sorry to hear you're feeling like this. I know how anxiety can be crippling. Sorry for asking the obvious but have you spoken with your GP to see whether medication and/or counselling could help? Your health is definitely more important than your job. Do you have an understanding boss? Would to feel comfortable talking to them about it? X

Bubspub Wed 29-Jun-16 18:30:11

Just seen you said you haven't spoken to your GP, sorry! X

plainjane1610 Wed 29-Jun-16 18:39:29

Thanks for replying. My oh is adamant that we are going to the gp tomorrow. I don't even know how I'm going to do it, I will try. My boss is really nice but that somehow makes it worse :\ I feel such guilt. I normally manage to overcome my fears and do things that scare me but I feel so fragile right now. He's based overseas so it would mean a very embarrassing skype/telephone convo that I just cant face right now.

exWifebeginsat40 Wed 29-Jun-16 18:57:49

talk to your GP - you don't have to carry on feeling this awful without any help.

I quit my job when I had a breakdown 4 years ago. I survive on benefits now but honestly, it's so much healthier for me. I used to travel a lot which is seen as glamorous but was exhausting and a real grind. I did a ten day trip across 6 countries ending up in Russia which really finished me off.

I have struggled with feeling worthless because I don't have the words to always explain why I don't work any more. I do take medication but I'm happy to.

honestly, it really will be ok. be kind to yourself.

plainjane1610 Wed 29-Jun-16 19:06:45

Thanks for that. It's sad because I actually like the work but the anxiety is ruining everything. Do you mind me asking what benefits you receive? I can't see myself functioning in any job at the mo apart from maybe night shift work or something with minimal responsibility and interaction. I need to speak to gp I know, I don't know if I can articulate it very well but I have to try. Thank you so much, it's nice to know I'm not alone smile

Bubspub Wed 29-Jun-16 19:20:47

You're not alone and please don't suffer with this, speak to your GP. They will be very used to speaking to patients about this sort of thing. It might be worth avoiding making a drastic decision about your job while you're at this low ebb. Your GP could write you a sick note to buy you some time and to recuperate a bit. I can sympathise with you, it's very difficult going back to work after mat leave. Sending you hugs X X

SocksRock Wed 29-Jun-16 19:24:18

I quit my job a year after maternity leave due to anxiety. I had got to the stage where I used to wonder what would happen if I tripped down the stairs or drove into the car in front as at least then I might get a day off work. I had 15 months off and am now on stable medication, still going to counselling and am back at work for a different company doing less hours in a less pressured role. Please consider taking the medication - it does really help. I have to make sure I eat well and get plenty of sleep, but my life is now a million times better than 2 years ago. We did run short of money while I wasn't working but we coped, and it was worth it.

exWifebeginsat40 Wed 29-Jun-16 19:25:04

I get ESA - because it's based on my NI contributions and I'm in the support group it isn't time limited. I do also get PIP as my mental health has a list of diagnoses as long as your arm! try not to worry about money too much at this point - your health is more important.

and like bub says, you're not on your own.

plainjane1610 Wed 29-Jun-16 19:37:05

Thank you smile you're right about the job - I've calmed down a bit now! Thing is I actually work freelance so it's nothing perm anyway, although it's a project that could potentially give me years worth of steady work. I said boss but really should have said client - new to this whole freelance malarkey smile so sick leave isn't really an option I don think. I just want some relief from this constant worry. Thank you for your reassurance x

plainjane1610 Wed 29-Jun-16 19:42:26

SocksRock that's exactly what I do! I wish for terrible things to happen so that I have an excuse for not dealing with work issues. I'm glad to hear you're doing much better - gives me hope.

plainjane1610 Wed 29-Jun-16 19:47:30

Thanks exwife. Definitely something I need to consider. I think you're spot on about health being more important and I do desperately want to work but I think I need to be realistic about what I can take on and prioritise my little boy

Bubspub Wed 29-Jun-16 20:17:25

This might be a time where you re-evaluate how you do things and where you head with your career. Good luck with it all X X

Comfortzone Wed 29-Jun-16 20:55:02

I understand what you mean OP similar here anxiety. I'm wondering have you ever realised that the client values you, and you are of worth to your client as well as your DS DH

once I started to visualise myself actually successfully doing things that millions of people take for granted - going to work, being able to sit in a cafe alone, being able to say no more often - I became stronger in myself

Comfortzone Wed 29-Jun-16 20:57:02

I meant that I had go go back to the very basics of okay today I'm going to get up sort out my kids needs get myself a coffee and toast.

then I would aim to complete whatever task in the next hour. then reward myself for that. then take another task etc

Mindfulness training videos on YouTube also improved my outlook

plainjane1610 Wed 29-Jun-16 21:08:26

Hi comfortzone, I think that's a large part of the problem. I never feel that I'm doing a good job, like one day they will actually realise how crap I am. And it's not losing work but rather being "found out" that terrifies me. Thing is I got this gig because I used to work for this company full time so they obviously don't think that. Thing is I definitely think the anxiety has an impact on the quality of my work - self-fulfilling prophecy I guess. That's great advice though and something I definitely need to work on.

Comfortzone Wed 29-Jun-16 21:42:40

It's hard to think of what the right thing to do would be, I wouldn't personally quit the job and the income, rather I'd try and see that income as a tangible signal of your worth if you see what I mean

And I'd also use some of hat income to make sure I was being kind to myself so for me, I always used to only buy charity shop clothes as didn't think I could spend money on a nice top for a tenner from high street that's how low I felt about myself

But I've changed it by each day doing something anything just,for.me and it doesn't have to involve spending money

My anxiety came about by doing too much, too fast, for too many people

I've had to slow each day RIGHT down and tackle tasks on an hourly basis with breaks in between and a reward to look forward to at the end of each day. using Pinterest to find strong mantras has helped me too. Sounds silly but it has!

Also realising that I am the most important person to my Kids and that the world won't actually come crashing down if I set boundaries with others who drain my emotional reserves . Also realised that I am one of those highly sensitive types who 'feels' the world more intensely than others. And that's ok. it's ok to feel things are too much,

it's ok to manage your day YOUR way.

Is there any way you can reduce workload/ delegate more to help you?

BusStopBetty Wed 29-Jun-16 21:53:50

OP, have you heard of imposter syndrome? I think you might have an element of that going on as well as the anxiety.

Perhaps you could advise your client that you need to take a break for X months for personal reasons, but you really hope they'll consider you for future work? They like you, they like your work, they will want you back one day if you're up to it.

I hope it goes well at the gp and they can offer some treatment/support.

plainjane1610 Wed 29-Jun-16 22:17:24

Thanks comfortzone, that's me as well! I feel guilt if I buy something for myself.

Setting boundaries is important and something I do need to work on as well but mostly my feelings are completely illogical, I don't think the workload is too much. Mainly its my worries - fear of criticism, of letting others down, of coming across as stupid/awkward/unprofessional that is overwhelming. I'm feeling slightly better and am starting to think I should carry on as best I can and look for something more suitable - I think working from home is making things worse as I cant ever switch off iyswim.

Thank you - you guys have stopped me from doing anything drastic - I was on the verge of emailing work saying I was having a nervous breakdown and that today was my last day! Xx

plainjane1610 Wed 29-Jun-16 22:21:50

Thanks BusStopBetty that's a great idea, I might well do that if my gp is able to offer some treatment (and hope) that I can overcome the anxiety. And yes, I heard about imposter syndrome on the radio a while back and instantly thought - my god, that describes my feelings exactly!

gandalf456 Wed 29-Jun-16 22:29:03

I am going to say don't quit your job, too, but maybe reduce the workload to a level you feel you can handle. I know with young children, it's easy to underestimate just how much parenting can take it out of you. Would you have felt this way before having DS? Maybe you could explore that and see it perhaps as a work/life balance thing?

Whatever you do, do not go into something menial. I am university educated and work in a supermarket. I initially went into it because I lost my job when my DD was tiny and it was meant to be a stopgap. Then I had DS. Now they are both at school and I still feel stuck because my confidence has gone and, like you, I look at what can go wrong - I can't do a professional job, I can't do pressure, they'll find out I'm crap, I can't hold it together, what if the kids are ill, how do I manage the holidays, organise school trips, home admin, homework etc, etc. Yet other people do. I expect they feel the stress and do it anyway.

plainjane1610 Wed 29-Jun-16 22:38:38

Thanks Gandalf, I did actually have similar problems before ds came along. Specifically when I got a promotion at work - I had a panic attack every night for about 2 months. It's funny because right now a menial job seems really appealing but I know from experience those jobs aren't without their stresses. I feel like it would be giving in to my anxiety to quit work but at the same time I think it would be a huge relief (initially anyway). I'm so sorry you're feeling trapped - here's hoping we both gain the confidence to get back out there xxx

OhTheRoses Wed 29-Jun-16 22:47:32

I don't suffer from anxiety but after ds was born I cut a deal with one day in the office and two at home. Had excellent childare.

Have never had a more unpleasant or stressful existence than working part-time with the lion's share from home. There was no beginning, middle or end to my "being"

I love work but I need its social, business like aspects and to have my life in separate compartments.

Get some medical support and don't burn your bridges before you have it.

Hope you feel better soon x

Comfortzone Wed 29-Jun-16 23:20:38

Good luck OP some really good replies here so helpful. I kept this quote for myself helped me maybe will help you too:
Jeanette winterson: 'To learn how to heal yourself seems to me to be the most important thing that you can do because at that moment you are genuinely self-reliant, and if other people hurt you — as they will — it won’t matter because you have now in your own hands the tools of healing'

plainjane1610 Thu 30-Jun-16 09:57:06

Thanks ohtheroses, I've always found certain aspects of working in an office really stressful but working from home is making things worse. I think because I'm hiding away and not confronting my fears. For sure they are going to ask me to attend a meeting soon - i think id prefer being hit by a bus tbh sad

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