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I need a hand hold please (warning: long)

(5 Posts)
IJustWantToFeelBetter Fri 01-Jul-16 17:20:29

Hi all,

I've not posted before but I am a regular reader of the mental health forum here on MN, which I know is full of lovely people.

Today, I'm really struggling with my depression and my mind is all over the place, so forgive me if the following is confusing/not chronological. I will give you some background.

My job is the biggest source of worry in my life. Currently I am under a huge amount of pressure at work (despite being in a junior role) due to cuts in resources and lack of staffing. I am also studying for an exam, paid for by the company, which I'm due to take next week. However, I have been very unhappy for a long time, and knew that my decline in mental health is related to my job. I recently interviewed for my dream role at another company and I was over the moon when they offered me the job. I have accepted and am currently going through the vetting process. I feel like they have saved me.

I'm waiting until I've sat my exam before handing my notice in to my current employers (who over the last three years have treated me like an expense, not a valued member of staff, and caused me a great deal of stress and anxiety).

I've read through my contract and no where does it mention having to stay with the company for a certain time following an exam before looking for other jobs etc, so I'm covered in that respect.

My line manager is difficult to work with. I am a walkover, a pushover, always have been. He basically swans about doing what he likes and I'm left to do the donkey work. I have spoken to him about this once. Well, I sent him a carefully-worded email explaining that I felt under a lot of pressure and was struggling with the workload. My concerns were brushed aside and he told me he was having problems at home, so I left it at that and didn't escalate it higher as I didn't want to make things worse. I guess I thought 'put up and shut up' was the best policy. I am not one to rock the boat or ruffle feathers. I have no confidence in my abilities and I am never assertive. I feel like I'm not worthy of being treated well.

I have found myself not wanting to go into work more and more. I wake up in the morning and wish that I would fall down the stairs or get into a car accident on the way to work, because it would mean I wouldn't have to go into the office. I get this tight feeling in my chest and I most days I don't have a lunch break. I neglect basic human needs like going to the loo and drinking water in favour of getting the job done. I'm terrified people will think I'm lazy, but some days I cannot focus and I feel so utterly overwhelmed by the workload it's as if I'm wading through treacle, with no clarity of thought. I feel like I make no progress at all. The more I panic, the worse it gets.

I do sometimes wonder if this is a reflection on my own time management. Other people seem to have lunch breaks and go home on time, and get their work done. How? Maybe it's because I'm shit at my job. Even though senior managers say I am 'well-regarded' in the company. I know I am a perfectionist, I have been since I was a child, so I am very critical of my own work. I give myself a very hard time and I have been doing my best to go easy on myself.

Anyway, today I am on a certified 'study day' which also coincides with the day I have to hand in my coursework ahead of my exam. I completed my section well over a week ago, and I thought my line manager had checked everything over as we'd discussed, meaning everything was as it should be. However, he left it until this morning to fill in his comments section. I have been asking him to do this for weeks. I asked him to do five or ten sections a day (there are 40 overall) to break it down and avoid a last-minute panic. But he didn't listen to me. It caused me a great deal of anxiety, and I told him so, but that didn't make any difference. I asked him to get it all done by end of play yesterday and that I'd like a meeting with him this morning, but when I logged on this morning it wasn't done. Then I received a text from my line manager saying the traffic was bad so I should wait until late morning to come in. I couldn't believe it. He actually lied to me. The reason he didn't want me there was because he hadn't done it, and needed more time. I feel angry, upset and let down.

To top it off, I then got a call from my senior trainer, saying there were some parts of the coursework that were in the wrong section. Cue panic, and a massive last-minute re-jig. Something I had categorically wanted to avoid. I thought my line manager had taken a look over everything, as he should, and it was all sorted. I know I should have been more on the ball but every evening has been filled with revision. I am finding it hard to find the motivation to do that while holding down a demanding full-time job.

Today, I have cried and cried and cried. I feel so let down. I think my line manager doesn't believe I'm worth the time or effort. It makes me feel worthless and insignificant. Part of me wants to email him and tell him how he's made me feel, but on the other hand I don't want to ruffle feathers because I'm leaving soon. Another aspect of all this is my anxiety over handing in my notice. He leans on me very heavily to ensure that the job gets done, so when I announce I'm leaving it will have a huge effect on him in terms of the amount of work he'll have to start doing. Because I doubt they'll replace me straight away, if at all. He has a tendency to hold grudges and be both vindictive and spiteful. I am very concerned that when I tell him I'm leaving, he will totally flip out and make my final four weeks a living hell.

I feel like starting a new job is the right decision for me at the moment. I feel very fragile mentally and the new role is in a thriving team, with the right support in place. It won't be 'all on me' like it is at the moment. I won't have such a huge burden of responsibility like I do right now. I think I will thrive and shine to my full potential, so I am very excited about the challenge. Though a part of myself is telling me 'they won't like you once they find out what you're really like'.

I have suffered from depression for three years, since the death of someone close to me. It was a very traumatic time in my life, and I feel like my mind has never really recovered. Some days are worse than others. Sometimes my depression is all-consuming. It's this dark cloud which renders me numb, unable to feel anything, unable to interact, unable to move even. Other times I can put on a brave face and function normally, outwardly, but inwardly I am in turmoil. Other times I am as high as a kite on life, nothing can touch me, I feel amazing. I have had suicidal thoughts on a number of occasions, but I would never have the courage to do anything. I have thought about jumping off the bridge which goes over the bypass, driving my car into a wall, and taking an overdose. I genuinely believe the world would be better off without me in it. And I would get some peace from these feelings, because the sheer strength of them scares me.

I began having weekly counselling just over a year ago and that has helped. My counsellor is very kind and understanding. I am able to pull myself out of a downward spiral more often than not now. My counsellor has taught me some good tools to use when I am feeling mentally fragile.

I suffer from binge-eating disorder, which is my version of self-harming. I binge to cope with the stress and depression, but it just makes it worse. I am more than five stone overweight. I have lost more than a stone over the last seven months and I know that's nothing to shout about. I could have lost the whole five stone if I'd really wanted to, but I'm not strong enough. I'm useless, it has been a real struggle. I tell myself 'what's the point, you always fail, just deal with it'. I'm constantly fighting with my emotions and feelings. It's like I have a devil on my shoulder. I am consumed by self-hate. I want to feel happy again, I want to break out of this vicious cycle. I have never tried medication but I feel that may be the next step. My GP is useless but I accept I may have to go back and tell him what's been happening. I've done a lot of research online and I think I suffer from cognitive distortions. I cannot explain how I feel sometimes, it's like a living hell. I don't know what to do with myself. I want to hurt myself. I dig my nails into my skin, or cut myself with a pair of scissors. I'm too much of a wimp to do it with a proper knife. I can't even self-harm properly! I am a horrible human being.

I should mention that I have a very supportive, loving boyfriend who is my absolute rock. We have been together over seven years. He is my lifeline. I don't know what I'd do without him. But I am scared he will leave me if I don't sort myself out, even though he assures me that would never happen. I have very low self-esteem. He deserves so much better than me. He is very understanding but he is very stable, he has never had any problems with his mental health so he cannot truly empathise however hard he tries.

Thank you to those who have made it to the end of this ramble. I'm really sorry. I just don't know where to turn right now sad

Shakey15000 Fri 01-Jul-16 17:28:13

Is passing the exam critical to you starting the new job? If not I'd be handing my notice in rather than stay in a job like that. Your manager is a twat. Sorry you're feeling like this flowers

IJustWantToFeelBetter Fri 01-Jul-16 17:57:36

Thanks Shakey. The exam is something I want to pass for my own sake, to make myself feel proud. I want to have something positive to take from the past three years. Having this qualification will give me a boost. Plus I feel as if the company owes me that at least, despite treating me (and other colleagues) with contempt. Thing is, I may not even pass. So if I don't, oh well. But if I do, it's a bonus. I'm doing the best I can with the revision so I know I've tried my best in that respect. The rest is down to fate I guess. This time next week it'll all be over, then I have a week's annual leave. Which I think will help me calm down and relax.

Shakey15000 Fri 01-Jul-16 18:39:33

smile Have you got nice things planned for your week off?

IJustWantToFeelBetter Fri 01-Jul-16 18:54:35

Yes we've got a few nice things planned, with family and friends, and we're going to get some DIY done in the house. Hoping to get out for a few walks if the weather is nice. I'm feeling calmer now I've submitted my coursework. The sun is shining here too, which is lifting my mood smile

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