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Work/Life Balance, work is suffering because of the "life" part

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Idontknowwatiwantbutiwantitnow Fri 27-Oct-17 14:45:23


I'm looking for some advice and guidance about work/life balance. My job isn't exactly that stressful, but I'm not being a very good employee because of the worry about my home life and I don't know what quite to do.

My partner is bipolar and drinks when in a hyper state, this has a knock on effect of causing bucket loads of stress, ranging from threats of self harm, to embroiling us as a family into difficult situations, to spending sprees, to large amounts of debt. The illness also appears to cause distorted beliefs and blackouts and is immensely frustrating to deal with as I find that I have to run around sorting out the kids (2ds 10 & 12), particularly after school got social services involved. Without going into specifics, it's quite difficult to support my partner especially when they won't turn up to the scheduled second tier mental health appointments.

For the last year I've found this increasing hard to handle, not knowing what will be going on when I get home from work. I had been diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, which work know about and recently had the diagnosis changed to hypothyroidism again which work know about. Now that I'm on the correct medication, my anxiety has subsided, and my abilities to handle the situations at home has gotten much better.

My work has suffered, if you were a co-worker looking at me you would think I'm flakey, lazy and not engaged, because of the stressors around my family, such as having to drop everything because I've had "that" call from the school. Again in many respects, things are becoming easier as I have after school care sorted out, so I can get home before the children do to make sure that nothing untoward or distressing is going on and after school club is only too aware of the issues, so are helpful.

I don't have friends or family who can support me and I rely mostly on paying for help. But I'm fed up of all of this and I'm seriously contemplating quitting work. This is mostly due to me not fully engaged and my feelings about that, because I'm not engaged, I'm performing sub-optimally, things aren't getting done, I'm behind in my work, I'm letting the business and the teams down, I'm not worth the money. There is a secondary element to this, in the fact that the work I do isn't challenging and I can't immerse myself into it the way I used to as my current employer is more blunted edge than bleeding edge. I know, that sounds a bit dismissive and negative, which again is part of my malaise.

I'm not sure as to what question I'm asking, I feel that I should quit work because I have difficulties coping with balancing the stress of home with work, i don't particularly want to as I like the money that pays for the roof over our heads. Equally, I don't want to loose my job for being a under-performing employee, well, for the previous reason. I've come up with a little game plan to improve my engagement at work, which is based around CPD but it's not for the area I work in. I also have a plan to put forward to my director to develop something that our division has budgeted for, which is something our sister division has in place. But my major concern is, is that when I get around to supporting myself and a form of nurturing myself, my partner has a significant episode that throws my plans out of kilter and I'm back to square one of sorting out mess.

So any thoughts on what I should do? I don't want to give up on my partner as they are ill and needs support, I don't want to give up on my job as it would mean isolating myself further and missing the opportunity that I could turn things around and make it a fulfilling, challenging and engaging.

So, with all that in mind what positive points or guidance or advice can any of you give me, so that I can turn things around?

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