I Think my Job is Making me Sick


I went home from work early yesterday and took a sick day today. I’ve just been feeling crappy. Aching, exhausted, light-headed and just generally beat to hell. It’s probably just the heat and not being hydrated enough. Since I (conveniently) work in a doctor’s office, they took my vitals and everything checked out. Could be a bug or a virus or something. But it’s probably the heat.

But it’s had me thinking. I’ve made no secret that my current job has been quite the rollercoaster ride from day one and there are days I truly threaten to jump out the first floor window – but maybe it’s more than that. I feel like I’ve changed. I don’t laugh as much, I’m tired a lot. I’ve gained weight (as though I needed more of that!), my appetite is weird. I don’t want to see friends or do things. I just want to hide in my room and read or surf the web. I haven’t had a real adventure in ages and lately I just feel old and used up.

Can a job do that to you, or is it a coincidence? Can it really change your demeanor and outlook on life? Can it turn you from an optimistic goofball to a pessimistic grumbler? Make you feel uggo when you used to think you were pretty cute. Make you second guess yourself, lose confidence? I wonder. Because all of that and more has happened since I started there.

I’m sure the common response will be “Quit, who needs that?” But it’s not that simple. I have financial obligations, I need to eat, a place to live, food for my dog and cat, Internet connection, phone and so on. I’m not a twenty something up and commer who would have her choice of any kind of job out there. And even if I were, good paying jobs don’t grow on trees as Ma used to say.

So, what do you do when your job seems to be eating you alive but you have to keep it? I’ve tried compartmenting it in my mind. You know the routine, leave the job at the office and enjoy your life once you’re out of there. But by the time I get home, I just want to bury my head. I have no energy for anything. I force myself to do things – the laundry, cook dinner, blog, take care of the garden – but my heart isn’t in it.

What do you do when you’re in this situation? Or are you in this situation or ever been in this situation. I’m curious to know. I sometimes think that everyone goes through this and I’m just being a whiner and need to get over myself – other times I’m not so sure.

What do you think?

WC

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46 responses

  1. I once had a situation similar but mine escaladed to resentment. I was unable to find that peace, outlet, fun, liveliness…. I was dying slowly…. it was draining the life right out!

    I use to love going to work, and then one day out of the middle of no where I was done. I had similar symptons as you in the beginning. (There also was a shift of employees and though they were not “bad” they were not the folks I had worked with for the many years before.)

    I believe we give and feed off of eachothers energies. Is someone in the office maybe over whelming your energy, or maybe sucking it up for their own (Maybe without realizing it)

    Try visualizing your energy coming back to you. Gather is back into your body. It may not work over night but it couldn’t hurt.

    I ended up putting in for a transfer to a new location. (Same company) I am so happy. Of course there are sometimes I’d rather be at home relaxing….. But ….

    I am alive again!

    Hey Lucid,
    To answer your question, yes, someone (everyone) is sucking up my energy. I’m the one who gets all the crap to deal with. Whatever bad news there is, it’s on me to handle. A transfer isn’t possible for me. But I think I should start looking for a replacement job soon.

    WC

    1. Dog Loving Writer | Reply

      WC,
      I am so glad I found your post. My job (medical billing) is doing the same thing to me. Did you find another one?
      DLW

      Hey DLW and welcome,
      You know, I have to say it never ceases to amaze me how many people have commented on this post. I wrote it at a very low point in my life in an effort to try to just blow off some steam and maybe get some perspective. Given the response and many comments since I posted this, I’ve gained a lot of perspective. Bottom line? No job is worth your health or well being. I know it’s difficult, especially now, to find another job – and leaving the job I spoke of here, wasn’t easy for me. It paid very well and helped me fulfill my financial obligations easily. Leaving it caused financial setbacks, but I still don’t regret leaving.

      I guess for me, it was easier to accept and live with the financial stress rather than the emotional and health stresses.

      Everybody has to consider what is best for them and I’m not advising you to leave your job as only you could make such a decision. But maybe if you can find an activity that at least helps balance out the stress – yoga, a hobby, a social group that unites in a mutual cause – may help.

      Yes, in a manner of speaking I did find another job – I am working for myself. It has it’s stresses too but I feel much more in control of my life and my future. Self employment isn’t for everyone, but I’ve often found that people who have this type of problem with ‘jobs’ are often entreprenuerial types and are having some of the problem becuase they shouldn’t be working for anyone but themselves.

      If you do medical billing, you could probably develop some freelance clients and at least get some extra cash and who knows…maybe even get your own business going. It’s something to think about maybe?

      WC

  2. Hugs to my friend Annie.

    I wonder how much of this stems from your job or if it maybe isn’t even your job at all?

    Could it be the issues with the book? I know many writers have written about their feelings surrounding trying to get that book accepted and published – it sort of take s over everything.

    I’m with Lucid about visualizing the energy coming back and I’d add – some peace inside your heart and head. It can be done, believe me, I know. I’m one hard headed woman and if I can do it, so can you.

    Give yourself a bit of a break – have a kit-kat and do whatever it is you need to do to relax. Make some room for peace inside you. Please? Rest, be good to Annie and maybe even just turn off your computer and go out for a walk, or better yet, a vacation.

    I care. We all care.

    Peace, love and understanding.

    Hey Roobs,
    As usual, you are the voice of reason. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the agent/publishing quest. I’m sure that’s added to the stress as well. I’m not sure I know how to do this visualization thing – how does it work?

    LOL – a kitkat, eh? Personally, I’m a snickers gal. ;)
    WC

  3. I’m no doctor, but it might be stress. I’d prescribe some gypsy tears, essence of toadstool, and ground mermaid umbilical cord.

    But seriously, if you can, take a few days off of work. It can do nothing but good.

    Hey DT,
    I’d like nothing better than to take a few days off. Not sure I could swing it but I think I’ll look into it. The idea of going to one of those mineral springs spas and just being disconnected from all of it sounds good about now.
    WC

  4. I just read a book called The Art of Happiness at Work by the Dalai Lama. Now, I’m a newcomer to anything Buddhist, but am finding some real helpful things there. I found this writing to be real down to earth and accessible and it helped me get some perspective on the concept of working and different ways to look at the work itself. I had issues with my job, but have found a way to make peace with them. Finally.

    I’m sorry you’re down right now and I think we all feel exactly like you do at times. Like Ruby said, the soul-suckers are the ones you have to watch out for. They can fuck up a group dynamic something terrible and leave you feeling drained and sick. Hang in there, and feel free to vent all you want. That’s what we’re here for.

    Hey Karen,
    Thanks for understanding and your support. It does help to vent. And yeah, soul suckers just about says it.

    You know, I think part of the problem is that my last job for all of its faults was just better for me. They were creative and they fed my creative side happily and often. If it hadn’t been for the fact that they were always on the brink of shutting down I’d still be there.

    WC

  5. Everyone goes through this, but that doesn’t make you a whiner – or at least, any more of a whiner than the rest of us.

    What’s worked for me, so far, is two parts “This, too, shall pass” combined with one part “If you really think you can do this better, please feel free to try, but remember, it’s going to cost you even more when you call me back.”

    Hey CG,
    LOL – you certainly have the right philosophy – and if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve gotten to this place where I have decided I just have to put my foot down when it comes to certain things, I might be willing to ride it out. But as they say, life is too short.

    WC

  6. WC, I’m in the same boat.

    I think that, YES, our jobs can make us sick, mentally and physically. I can’t change it easily either, for some of the same reasons. Mortgage, other bills, the hope to someday retire, a cat who depends on me to keep her in catnip.

    Last August I: quit a job that made me miserable, moved 1200 miles to a new city, new job, and I ended up in a remarkably similar situation as the one I left.

    So what’s the deal? My therapist sees these kinds of patterns as normal, and negative ones as that which we have to work to change. It isn’t that we ask for crap jobs or “deserve” them somehow, but that we tend to repeat the same patterns until we notice/learn/realize and find a way out of them.

    We’re kidding ourselves if we think it will be easy, of course.

    There are things we can do – work on the resume, figure out what it is about our jobs that we dislike, and what we should look for in the next job to prevent that same situation, and using that, ask the right questions as we go through the process of job hunting (something I detest) and accepting only the job that is right for us.

    I have known for better than 2 weeks that I need to start this process, and I have yet to even open my resume.

    Luckily for me, I have only a year’s worth to update since the last time.

    I don’t sleep very much because if I let myself be other than sleep deprived I have a hard time falling asleep. I take 5-HTP almost every morning at work, because it is the only thing that helps me get through the day. I find myself suffering from sharp headaches, pressure behind my eyes, and unexplainable nausea. Sometimes I can’t eat. (I call it the 2nd level of stress – the first gives me munchies, the second makes me unable to eat) I sometimes cry at my desk, just those leaking tears of hopelessness. My moods, my depression, are quite often driven by my job. Which I find unacceptable, and is honestly the driving reason for my conviction that a new job is necessary for me.

    Anyway…you’ve watched office space, right? If not, rent it. It is a little bit of necessary humor for us office drones.

    I think the point about writing is valid as well – I’m not living my dream, and I’ve never actually tried. I have some huge mental blocks there, which I’m working on. I don’t know that it is the same for you, since it seems that you’re actively looking for a publisher. But yes, having to have a job that is not your dream certainly adds to it. But it doesn’t have to make us miserable, does it?

    Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t have just become a bartender instead.

    *hugs*

    Hey Deb,
    It is almost eerie how what you said could have come out of my mouth – nearly word for word. But I think yours must be worse if you have to take the HTP-5 just to get through the day. Cripes. What a pickle.

    Bartending is fun – have you ever done it? I waited tables and bartended for years. It just got too hard on the bod. Being on my feet all the time. I don’t know if I have to have a dream job – but do think I need a job that doesn’t mess with my soul so much. Too much bad news all the time in this one. Something is either breaking, exploding, complaining, demanding special treatment or threatening.

    I think it’s interesting what you said about the pattern thing – many of my jobs do fit this type of pattern. I think it is because I am one of those people who is willing to handle flack and bad news and I’m good at it. The only problem is that it depresses the hell out of me after a while. I start to long for some good news or nice people to talk to. I’m sure you know what I mean.

    Thanks for your great and understanding comments.

    WC

  7. You look for another job while you have this one. I know it’s not that easy, getting time for interviews, phonecalls etc, but unless you look, nothing will change will it? Of course the other option is to talk to your boss. I’m enjoying my job at the moment, but ONLY because I know it’s short term and not a career as such. I do know exactly how you feel though. I’ve been there. And it sucks. All I can say is, it will get to a point where enough is enough and you will go looking. Hey if you need a reference, just yell darl :) I’m pretty sure there are a whole bunch of us here who would gladly say all the right things for you and we wouldn’t be lying…
    Cheers, Kelly

    LOL Kel,
    Yeah, all my references will come from overseas, despite the fact that I’ve never been. Too funny.

    Yes, looking for another one while I have this one, seems to be the solution – but oh how I hate to look for jobs. Still, it seems the ultimate solution.

    Annie

  8. One word WC “PROZAC” ;)

    Hey Ger,
    Nope, I don’t do that stuff. In my mind, it just opens a fresh can of worms to deal with. I’m more of a vitamin, holistic approach kind of gal.

    WC

  9. The workplace and the politics that go along with it are a perpetual mystery to me.

    I use to be so optimistic; constantly looking for ways to improve protocols, brighten up the common areas (decorating and making “monthly themes” for everyone to participate – to boost morale. But, some people are so lazy, negative, spewing ugliness, and passing the buck – that at times I am like, “Why do I even try!” .

    You are the manager, right? I can see why you get more frustrated because it’s gotten “old” and you are run down.

    I really like Kelly’s suggestion; If it’s that bad, you can always put your resume out there and see what happens. “You’ve got nothing to lose” attitude. Something better might come along. BUCK UP LITTLE CAMPER!

    Hey Bella,
    Oh yeah, I’ve tried that too. I bring doughnuts and fresh fruit for the staff. Try to get them to spruce up the place. I can’t tell you how much crap I’ve thrown out, how many old files I’ve sent to storage and how many reorganizations I’ve done since I’ve been there. Still, no one is impressed or interested. Unless of course the doctor mentions something about it and then they are jumping all over each other taking credit for it. Yeah, it’s great.

    WC

  10. I must point out here that when I filled out the application for my current job, I listed the reason for leaving a previous job as “mutual illness.” Asked to explain, I said: “I was sick of them and they were sick of me.”

    Now that’s funny! :lol:
    Wc

  11. Hi WC,
    Many years ago I received one of those chain letters advising bad luck if I didn’t pass it on. I threw it away, and by pure coincidence, a couple of hours later I had a very minor accident, as happens all the time to everyone.
    I found myself brooding on it, and soon other ‘disasters’ started happening, in my personal life, to others close to me – it took me several days to pull myself together and realise that nothing had happened out of the ordinary.
    It’s just life – we cope, or we go under. And somehow I can’t see you going under.

    Hey Anthony,
    You’re right, I’m not likely to go under – and yeah, it is just life. But cripes, once in a while I’d like it to be nice. I guess it’s too much to ask for though. ;)
    WC

  12. I went through it and quite a position of power and better money for a low paying one that I love. Sometimes money isn’t everything. And now I am climbing my way up as far as power goes. Sometimes one has to just say screw it and do what your heart tells you to do.

    Hey Evyl,
    I remember that. I’m glad you went back to the one you loved. That’s great. I wish I could, but the company essentially no longer exists. But yeah, it would be good to find something that made me happy. I don’t even care so much about the money. It’s nice but I’ve survived on less.

    WC

  13. i’ve been in this situation. What i recommend is reflection. Be sure of where these feelings are coming from so that you can deal with the root of it, whatever it is.

    Also, i encourage you to make yourself go out with your friends. You may no feel like it initially, but after your out and having a good time, then you’ll feel better. Take care of yourself, treat yourself.

    Yes, your job is important to live, pay bills, eat and all that good stuff, your job is not a 24/7 deal.

    Now go take a hot bath! :)

    Hey Christine,
    LOL – a hot bath in this weather could be challening. Also, I have a shower and I don’t think I have a bucket big enough for a bath. Seriously, thanks for the kind words and thoughts.

    Chica

  14. To me, you have two choices, one, change your situation or two, change your perspective of your situation. Since you already stated that quiting is not an option, then it is a matter of changing your perspective. Make a decision to make the situation fit you and not you succumb to the situation.

    Hey Mark,
    I resolve to do that everyday – but it isn’t easy and I’m not sure making it fit me is an option. There is much I have no control over – and changing it simply can’t be done. Still, I’m trying.
    WC

  15. P.S. Please excuse my typos!

    No worries, I didn’t even notice them. ;)
    WC

  16. Top of the morning to you, an Old Used Up Annie. :)

    I’d just reading how you are feeling and was thinking Hey! I feel similar to that and I don’t have a job…I don’t think I have ever felt uggo as I don’t know what it means, I never heard of that word before. ( what does it mean? ).
    I think sometimes we have periods like this don’t we. I’m just coming out of one. :). My friend suggessted to me I write a gratitude list.” A gratitude list I scream, why don’t you ask someone elese don’t you know my minds like a friggin theroputic worksheet as it is.” :) I barely have the energy to breath never mind write what I’m grateful about” she says ” well why not try to be grateful for that little bit of energy you do have, it’s getting you a breath” Anyway I’m going off track here.
    What I was thinking when I was reading you was; Maybe you could sit in the garden and make some nice outfits for those melons of yours.I’m thinking leather as I have your melons in my head as gimp melons. Hey!! I’m grateful that I read your melon story and now have that peculiar,odd thought in my head.Hehe!! It’s a first for me is that. I’ve never had a large dressed up melon in my head before.:)
    I think we have just got to sit these periods out… I SO know the feeling of not wanting to be around friends, all the beautiful things that make my day worthwhile go out of the window. I get very dark, then something ‘pops up’ like you writing about how you feel right now, which kinda makes me want to feel ‘part of’ again and just gives me that little bit more energy. Funny how things seem to happen and work isin’t it.
    Your in my thoughts today Annie.
    Hugs Diane :)

    Thanks Di! I love the idea of the costumes, I wonder if I could sew that well. Will have to do some thinking on this. But what a good laugh you gave me.
    Hugs,
    Annie

  17. Hey Annie,
    I agree with the visualising energy coming back to you. The way to really protect yourself from negative energies and to stop the draining of your own energy is to visualise white light around you before you walk in the door. In your case I would sit quietly for five minutes before you go to work, or do it in transit and visualise (or just ask for, if you aren’t visual and find that difficult) white light around you, then surround that with violet light and then throw either a shield of lead around that so nothing can penetrate your energy space, and/or a shield of mirrors so that other peoples’ crap just gets reflected back to them so they can see their own behaviour. the ‘shields’ just look like an egg surrounding you. This is very effective stuff, I promise :)
    Sending you love xo

    Hey Simonne,
    Wow, you know how to do this stuff, don’t you? Does it really work? I will have to give it a try. I’ve never done anything like this. I wonder what will happen.

    WC

  18. I dont know MsChick. I work at home, for my home, and I can’t quit. I have no advice for you but do what makes you happy.
    I hope you have a great week!

    Hey Red,
    Thanks for checking in and the well wishes – they help.
    WC

  19. Oh, Honey that’s really awful. I went through the same thing when I did Customer Service for a company about 12 years ago. I got sick frequently, was in a bad mood, gained weight, etc., etc. It took about a year for the constant bad news to catch up and start taking its toll. What I did to handle it was get myself replaced and transferred to sales instead. I know you don’t have that option where you’re at. Short of quitting your job, I would suggest you read the newly released Problems of Work and see what he says about it. Meanwhile, you should take a weekend trip somewhere quiet and pretty and just relax, get some clean air and aesthethic surroundings.
    L,
    J

    Hey Ducks,
    the weekend trip sounds awfully good – I’m really thinking about that. It is the bad news that seems to constantly come on my plate that bugs me. Seems like that’s all I get – and it just does wear on you after a while. Too bad Texas is too far for a weekend road trip. :(
    Duckie

  20. The key is that you do have control over your perception and how you choose to see everything at work. Hope this week is better for you!

    I hope so too – thanks for the thoughts.
    WC

  21. Hey Annie, yes, it’s certainly one of my life paths and I seem to be getting more clients and doing more readings for people as time goes on, so I’m going with the flow!
    Yes, it works. Please try it. And if you feel your energy waning throughout the day, just put the shields back in place. The mirror shield is one of my favourites.
    Hope today is a good day xx

    Hey Simonne,
    Well I don’t know if I managed to pull this off – but there is one employee in particular who really drains me and she was using me as her giant brain, if you know what I mean? Anyway, I decided that whatever question she asked me, I would ask her the question back until she figured out the answer. It seemed to work. Is that like the mirror thingie?
    WC

  22. Me? The voice of reason? I’m not sure how I feel about that.

    Simonne had a good suggestion for sure. Just because you haven’t tried it doesn’t mean you can’t do it though.

    You said: “not sure I know how to do this visualization thing – how does it work?”.

    I’ve been trying to think of ways to do this without it sounding terriby corny but you can try the inner smile meditation by when you find yourself in a tough situation, this meditation can give you an instant “boost” of positive feeling.

    Imagine that you’re looking at your face in a mirror. Watch yourself smile and your eyes light up with joy. Notice how beautiful you look when you smile, appreciate how positive smiling makes you feel. Breathe deeply bringing that positive feeling to life within you in the present moment.

    A meditation i went and looked up is:

    Focus on a pebble. You can use this pebble as a taliman to act as a focus for your ambitions and goals. Hold the pebble in your hand and focus your attention on it. Look at the smooth grain and the variations in hue, and feel the cool hardness of the pebble against your hand.

    Now close your eyes and sqeezing the pebble tightly in one hand, wish for the fulfilment of an important dream or goal. As you do so, imagine the pebble glowing in your hand, changed by the energy, charged with the energy of your wish.

    Put the pebble in a place where you will see it on a daily basis to remind you of your goal. Whenever you are about to take a step towards achieving your goal and require an extra boost, squeeze the pebble in your hand to summon your energies and focus your mind. As well as pebbles, there are many other things you can use as talismans – semi precious stones, crystals, etc.

    Just a couple of ideas you can try and it does take some practice and concentration.

    I only mention it because you ask. You have the energy of the whole universe to draw from.

    Much love,

    N.

    Hey N.
    Yes, you are the voice of reason, whether you like it or not. ;)

    It’s funny you should mention the smile thing because a dear blogger friend sent me an email yesterday, essentially telling me the same thing. Just reading her email and your comments here did my heart good. I am practicing to be less sucked of the soul.
    WC

  23. I hereby vow to be as totally UNreasonable as I possibly can.

    My next suggestion is to go to a costume store and buy one of those masks – it’s plastic glasses and a banana nose.

    Wear that to work. It will keep you and everyone around you smiling all day. Really, it will!

    Well my own face is remarkably similar to that and now that you mention there is a lot of laughing going on. Hmmmm….. :lol:
    WC

  24. Please correct my spelling errors in the post above the post above this one? I don’t know what’s wrong with me but when I comment on blogs I tend to misspell everything!

    I must be blind, I didn’t see any.
    WC

  25. Hi,
    hmmm — I have a job that would be perfect, if only the people who work around me every day would actually talk to me and treat me like a human being. For my first couple of years here, the people were fine, then a bunch of c-workers left and new ones came in, and everything changed. After a few years of trying to be a part of group events but being ignored, I stopped trying to find any social connection at work and focused on home and neighborhood. I have been in the situation for 6 years now, and yes, it really brings me down sometimes. I stay here for the money, it’s the best job I’ve ever had. But still, I think some people, and you sound like this, thrive on having open, spntaneous, expressive exchanges with the people around you. I am like that.

    This job has changed me — I went from open and kind of giggly and very attentive to others, to 100% detached and silent, at least at the office. It sucks — and I am getting my resume together.

    Hey IBV,
    Sounds like we’ve had similar experiences. I wish you luck with your job search.
    wc

  26. I know I’m a little late in jumping in. But your post sounds like I could have written it. Today I got a written warning at work. Next step is they give me the “final warning” (which sounds like I’m going to be murdered) and then the pink slip. I have been n my job for 5+ years and never liked it, not from day one. I don’t know what else to do. I used to be a writer but this job has spoiled my writing for me. I work on my attitude every day but it’s not helping.
    I don’t know what to say but hang in there. And visit my blog and e-mail me if you want to talk further. We writers must stick together!!! Take care, stay well.

    Hey Sandra,
    Wow girl, do I hear you. I know just how you feel. But hey if the job is murdering your creative energy it isn’t good for you and I’d say get the heck out of there. In my case, I’ve experienced similar stuff which is why I’ve decided to give notice tomorrow. I hate doing that sort of thing, but once I’ve said it out loud it will be okay. Frankly, I’d rather shampoo dogs or be a checker at Trader Joe’s than to do what I’m doing. I need to commit to the writing and let the job just be a job, a means to an end.

    Have you heard about nanowrimo? Maybe if you just jumped into that it would help rev up your creative side and make things more bearable? Feel free to come by any time and email me if you like too.

    We writers must stick together. Amen. Take care.
    WC

  27. Just know that you are not alone. My job gave me sciatica. Now I am partially disabled and it is because of the stress and the sitting. I still can’t believe that I let this happen to me.

    My big complaint is that everything is subjective at work and there are no solid answers for anything. Also, they expect you to worship the company. I only worship God, thank you!

    Sincerely,

    Annette in MN

    Hi Annette and welcome. I’m so sorry to hear that you suffered such a bad physical condition. It’s true that one of the worst things about most work places is that things are arbitrary and rarely based on the productiveness of any given employee, but rather on popularity. I hope that your condition improves and that you find something that brings you joy in your next working venture. Merry Christmas, dear.
    WC

  28. Dear WC,

    I have an update to my situation! I have been praying about this and God told me to just hang in there. Yesterday I was laid off and offered a severence pkg. I am free!! Now I can take a breath and get away from that cult-like company. When I look for another position, I know what I don’t want. The other thing someone told me was to do contract work and that way you move around and don’t stay one place long enough to get in the situation where you are sick of it. I started swimming every day and my sciatica is getting better! Now that I am not working there, I can see if I get better and then I know it was the job making me sick. I googled “signs of a toxic workplace” and it was very enlightening. Check it out and see if you recognize any of the symptoms.

    God’s speed,

    Annette

    Hi Annette,
    I’m so glad that things seem to be turning toward the better for you. Though, a small suggestion – rather than focus on what you don’t want, try focusing on what you do want – e.g. nice, cooperative co-workers, challenging work that gives you a sense of satisfaction, flexible hours or working conditions, an office with a window – whatever you do want. I think that way you will have a much better chance of getting a job that is good for you.

    You might enjoy contract or temp work, it does enable you to have a change and not get stuck in a particular place.

    I’m very happy for you.

    WC

  29. P.S. I am looking for some kind of work-from-home position. Does anyone have any ideas?

    Annette

    There are all kind of at home things you can do. If you like selling you could set up an Ebay store – do freelance writing, if you do books you could start your own bookeeping company. It depends on your skilllset and what you like to do. Check the Small Business Administration’s website and see if they have suggestions – I think too they may have job counselors who could help you.

    Good luck!
    WC

  30. Hello WC-

    This is an update. IT HAS BEEN A LONG YEAR–I have been off work now for 2 months and I am almost 100% better–So I guess it was the job after all. I didn’t mention it before, but they were really playing favorites and playing a lot of dirty politics at work. I am still looking for a new position, but I am glad that I got out of there. Thank you for the advice about looking for the positive things that I want in a position rather than the negetives. I have been doing a lot of reading and soul searching. How is your job going?

    Sincerely,

    Annette

    Hi Annette,
    Thanks for coming back and giving me an update. I’m glad that you have stepped away from the toxic job and are feeling better. Sometimes, we really do have to, don’t we? Yes, I’m all too familiar with the playing of favorites and office politics – it’s sad really that people feel they have to do such things to survive but at least you are no longer a victim to it. I hope you find something that is good for you and makes you feel happy and productive.

    I am currently self employed – and while it can be a bit scary at times, I think it is the right route for me. I am still finding my way but somehow managing. It is very liberating being the master of your own fate, though not for everyone, I highly recommend it to anyone who has an adventurous spirit and some guts.

    I hope everything works out for you, Annette, and please do keep me posted.

    BTW, I’ve moved my blog to: http://writerchicktalks.com and I’d love it if you dropped by. Tomorrow I will be doing a post about the impact of women on the internet which you may find interesting.

    WC

  31. Hey WC,

    I definitely share your anxiety towards work. I have always hated waking up to go to school / work. As a kid I would try anything to get out of going to class. Now, as an adult, I’ve already lost a job (with an incredibly mean asshole boss) due to calling in sick too often. After being fired my anxiety settled and I was fine… That is until my bank account ceased to exist.

    That is about the time I landed my current job. I now work for the ex-president of the company I was fired from. He couldn’t stand the boss at the old company either. My current boss is a great and fair man, I have no complaints about him. BUT my anxiety is back again, this time worse than before.

    This morning after getting out of bed, getting dressed and heading out the door, I started to feel really bad pains in my stomach. It was like someone was twisting & turning it. It wasn’t long before I started vomiting and couldn’t stop. I was hunched over leaning on a cemetery fence. At the moment I was wishing I were one of the many resting peacefully 6 feet under on the other side of the fence. I didn’t let myself dwell on that thought too long before I started to dream of the total annihilation of the entire human species.

    That certainly isn’t logical thinking though so I forced my mind past that line of thinking and pressed onward. I got my morning cup of coffee and jumped on the train. Here I am at work, feeling like crap, wishing I were still home in bed.

    Its not even like my job is horribly stressful, my boss is nice & understanding, and I have A LOT of down time. While two of my co-workers get on my nerves on a regular basis, they don’t insult me or put me down. The thing about them that annoys me is their stupidity and lack of manners & common courtesy.

    If only I won the lotto the other day….

    Hey Dude,
    Maybe you need to go into biz for yourself. It’s not easy but it will probably help you with those strange aches and pains. Or just save up til you have enough money to take a few months off and do that. Nothing is worth your health or your sanity.
    WC

  32. I found this by Googling “My job is making me miserable.” I have anxiety, have trouble sleeping because I’m thinking about work and I don’t feel like trying to engage any of the people I work with in conversation anymore. It’s not the job I hate, it’s the people. I dread coming into work, knowing I’ll be demeaned and talked down to over some little double-standard nitpick because my boss has made me his scapegoat. (I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m at least 8 years younger than everyone, the only female and am the only one who has worked there less than 6 years — I’ve been there one.) It’s so sad that people don’t know how to work in a team or manage a staff and it literally ruins other people’s lives. I try to work harder because I’m scared of getting yelled at for not doing enough, but I try less, doing less creative and enterprising things, just trying to reach the output demanded at me, even if I sacrifice quality. Of course, I’m sure I’ll get belittled over quality now too. Working for jerks is awful. …Thanks for letting me vent.

    Hi Julie,
    No worries, we all have to vent sometimes. Maybe you should look into some type of work that you really enjoy and with people who are easier to work with. I know that sounds easier than it really is but it’s something to think about. Good luck, hope you feel better soon.

    WC

  33. I have stumbled across your website this morning, it is 06:15am and i have been awake since 3:30 this morning unable to sleep due to thinking about going to work today.

    I took Wed, Thurs and Friday as annual leave which my boss was not too happy about but I really cannot face going back.

    I was in a job for 8 years which I loved however due to my boss being made redundant I decided it was time for a change and found a job which on paper sounded ideal however in reality, the job is so depressing, the people are not nice and would stab you in the back at any point to make themselves look good to the boss. Everyone plays the blame game and God forbid if you should spell something incorrectly in an e-mail, they come down on you like a ton of bricks.

    I am the breadwinner in the household and cannot afford to be out of a job however I am taking more and more days off sick and I have already been called into the office to discuss this (no warning was given though) but feel that it will only be a matter of time before this occurs. I am currently looking at new jobs however I am useless at interviews, I have no self confidence which doesn’t bode well when people meet me for the first time but I know that I am good at what I do but cannot even remember my name at interviews.

    Sorry to spout!

    Lisa x

    Hi Lisa,
    I feel your pain and know just what you are talking about. Being dependent on your job and unable to quit does make it even more difficult too. If you want my advice, I would say first find an activity outside of the workplace that really makes you happy, inspires you, makes you feel good about yourself. This might give you more balance and help to reinstill your self esteem. Nothing destroys us quicker than when we turn on ourselves, you know? Keep looking for a better job – or maybe even contact your old workplace and see if they might want you back or would consider hiring you on a consultant or project basis. That might cover you until you can find a decent job that doesn’t make you feel like crap.

    Good luck – hope it all works out for you.

    WC

  34. Uhhh, I am having the same experience right now. I was/am in the same boat as you were with the energy being sucked dry and wondering if it is just me being a baby or something more.

    I have been thinking it over and tommorow I am going down to corporate and putting in my two weeks. I really do need a job for all of the same reason you mentioned minus the dog and cat. However, I have been thinking, it is probably more important to be happy than to have money. I will find a new job someday, hopefully sooner than later.

    The other thing with my job is that is is industrial work in a factory. It is boring, repetative and also the morale on the floor is very low due to the way corporate treats us(as in, you guys are replaceable so why should we treat you with dignaty or respect)

    Well anyway this job pays decent around 30,000 a year but I figure that there is always jobs out there waiting tables or tending bar. As far as these hospitality jobs go, I have always enjoyed them.

    Anyway, screw this job. I don’t want to work for a corporation that makes substandard food that isn’t healthy and have to work with people who are constantly pissed off. I want to write, sing and act. Those are my dreams and I am going to follow them.

    All the best!
    Johnny Justice

    Hi Johnny and welcome.

    Yes, jobs really can suck the life out of you and it’s always a quandry about whether to stick it out or go for something that just makes you happy. I juggle with that constantly, as do most I think.

    I think that people in general just want to feel appreciated and the nature of most jobs is such that that isn’t any part of the equation. Whether it’s an oversight or people are just too introverted into their troubles or just don’t give a damn, I don’t know – but I do think people would be happier and do better in their jobs if someone just said, ‘hey, thanks for your hard work today.’ I think it would make a huge difference. I wonder if anyone would ever try it though.

    Good luck with your artistic pursuits – dreams are the things that make life worthwhile.

    Writer Chick :)

  35. I work from home and there are times when I feel the same way as you do. So it can’t be someone sucking my energy. When I think in retrospect what the root cause could be for feeling apathetic and unmotivated, I believe it’s the job itself that puts you in this mood. Do you feel as though you’re providing ‘value’ to your company?

    When I have a busy day and have challenging issues, figuring them out and resolving these issues gives me job satisfaction. It ultimately provides momentum in whatever task I plan to fulfill going forward whether it be something chore related or recreational.

    When I have a slow day, I’m not being challenged and I’m bored. This puts a hamper on my performance and I feel unproductive which carries over to my personal living.

    Bottomline, I think a healthy mind is what keeps most of us motivated.

    Hi Pattie,
    Thanks for your thoughts on this. You make some good points, especially about productiveness vs lack of productiveness. When I wrote this post I was working for a doctor’s office and I have to say it was one of the most stressful jobs I ever had. I was very productive but there was little to no job satisfaction because what I was trying to do for the practice was not wanted – it’s a long story. But it’s also at this point ancient history. Mostly I wrote this post I think to let others out there know that they weren’t alone in this and I have to say I think I accomplished my goal because I have many comments on this post over the last couple of years. My advice – if your job is making you sick you probably ought to go find another one if at all possible. No job is worth your health.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.
    WC

  36. I feel you. I worked in Higher Education with the most entitled, ungrateful people. I left mid-year because I could not take the crying, the hospital trips, the jerks and their kids. I could go on and on about that population, but I won’t. So I decided to job search mid-year because I needed to be in a different setting that allowed me to work along on projects, that paid well, that took me very far away from drunk teenagers and allowed me to take care of my fiance and I. I had an “in” and was basically handed this new job. I started about 4 months ago and I hate it. I get little to no interaction with people (something I used to love about Higher Ed), the commute is hell and I sit in front of a computer 9-10 hours a day wishing it was quitting time. I see no sunlight because there are no windows. I get into work when it’s dark and I leave work when it’s dark. It’s depressing. I took this job because I felt like I was making a sacrifice for my fiance and I – I thought I was contributing positively to our future. But I come home cranky, angry and depressed. I’m no fun to be around and I take it out on him. I spent three years in an abusive relationship. This man, my fiance, is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I promised him that I would make him feel loved each and every day, I’ve already broken that promise. If I leave this job who knows if I can find something with similar pay and on top of that my “in” will be very, very unhappy. But if I don’t leave, I fear I will ruin my relationship. I feel so lost. How do I know if it’s the job making me miserable or if it’s me?

    Hi Angie,
    Wow, what a story. I feel for you…I don’t know what kind of work you do but is it possible to do it as a freelancer or to telecommute? A lot of employers are allowing people to do their work from home, particularly if most of their work is connected to things that don’t require interaction with other staff or clients – or the interaction can be achieved via phone or email. Or perhaps they would let you telecommute three of your five days per week? If so, you could avoid the drive a few days a week. If you needed some sunshine, you could set up your workspace near a window or take a break mid-day and take a walk. You’d probably feel more comfortable being in your own environment, etc. which might ease the stress. Although working from home does require discipline and there is no one forcing you to work so you’d have to be able to keep yourself productive. Why not talk to your boss about this as a possibility?

    On the other hand, since you say you miss interaction with people it might be that whatever you are doing just isn’t suited to you and you need either another job or an outlet which gives you that access to interaction. I suspect from what you said, you are intelligent have some serious skills and are probably capable of parlaying those skills into a business of your own. It’s something to consider – albeit not easy in many ways, but very liberating and gives you so much control over your life.

    In my experience, the majority of people who have trouble with jobs do so because they are entreprenuers and are trying to be employees. The old square peg in a round hole syndrome. So, something wrong with you? I doubt it. It’s probably just that you should have your own business or work in a field where you have much more control over your work and production than you currently have.

    In may case, I opted to freelance. It’s not easy and sometimes I long for the security of a job, the regular paycheck, etc. However, overall I am happier, doing work I am good at and enjoy and feel much more in control of my own future.

    Thanks for your comments and hang in there, you will figure it out.

    WC

    1. Someplacenthemidl | Reply

      Sigh..
      Right now, sitting here, I’m on the verge of tears…again. I cried myself to sleep last night, and perhaps in my mind I have done it a thousand times, all because I hate my job. I don’t hate the people that I work with but I hate the endless paperwork that comes with the job.

      Last night I typed my resignation and saved it to my computer. I usually get satisfaction when I know that I am just about to finish something very difficult and I see the light at the end of the tunnel. There was no light, and the tunnel appeared longer.

      My boyfriend and son have been my comforters since I started working in September. Since then I have done nothing but complain on a daily basis about the paperwork and the constant feelings of being overwhelmed.

      As I read the blogs I began to feel that there was some shred of hope for those of us who want to switch, but have reservation. I have financial obligations as well, and to quit would only put me further behind.
      Working for myself right now isnt an option, because it would put too much of a financial strain on our family and I dont think that I could take knowing that I caused it.

      Is there any rest for the weary?

      Suggestions?

      Hi there – I really do know what you’re talking about and I have absolutely been there. And given the economic times even considering quitting a job, any job gives a person pause.

      You say you have written your resignation – if so, I am assuming you have secured another job or some type of work? I hope so – given the scarcity of jobs right now it might be wise to get some other work secured before you quit.

      In terms of dealing with the stress of your current job, I can make the following suggestions:

      1. Exercise – even if only a daily evening walk – the space will help alleviate your stress
      2. Learn how to put it in a box – even if your job is terrible it is only one aspect of your life. Leave the office at the office, no matter how much it bugs you. Focus on things that you love, like…gardening, family meals, funny movies, reading, whatever gives you some peace and satisfaction. Why let the job take over your life? Also, don’t make yourself available for job stuff on your dime. Turn off your cell and disregard texts or emails about work during non-working hours. Believe me, the headaches and baloney will all be there the next day – no point in taking it home with you.
      3. Save money – stuff your mattress or your savings account but put away as much as you can. Besides it being a sensible thing to do, if you have a cushion should the worst happen, you’ll be less stressed out because you aren’t completely left hanging.
      4. Laugh as much as possible. Rent movies, talk to friends who make you laugh, find humor in your pets or your own foibles. It’s good for everything from your skin tone to your frame of mind.
      5. Look for other work that won’t stress you out. I know, easier said than done. And too, we all have a monthly nut we must come up with to pay the bills, etc. Even finding two jobs that are lower stress and you like might be a better solution. I used to do that because I liked flexibility. I found two part time jobs that I loved, were easy to deal with, and allowed me a more flexible schedule. The other upside was that even if I lost one of those jobs I still had another and knowing that gave me a little confidence and security.
      6. Find something you can do that will create an income stream. Yes, going into business for yourself is tough. Lots of us try it and lots of us fail at it. However, if you can find a way to develop an income stream in your off time, over time you may be able to build it up to a full time gig. Even if you don’t, it’s extra income, you have total control and there is an indescribable joy in making money from your own creative wits. Just about anyone has some talent or ability that they can turn into money on the side. For example:

      Bookkeeping
      Space re-organization
      House cleaning
      Gardening
      Special recipes or dishes (think jellies, jams, candies, cakes)
      Photography
      Writing
      Helping or caring for children
      Dance
      Editing
      Proof reading
      Teaching some skill or talent

      Everybody has something they are good at. Find something you are good at and like doing and run a weekly craigslist ad offering your services. The ads are free and if you get work then you’re ahead of the game, if not, you’ve lost nothing.

      I guess overall, my suggestion is to find ways to be proactive. We have a lot more control over our lives than we often think. The job sucks, I get it, believe me. But you don’t have to live that way forever. You can change things, from the job you work, how you earn money and your overall quality of life.

      Good luck.

      Writer Chick

  37. Better to post late than never! Reading this has been very comforting because I find myself in a similar position.

    When I first started at this job, I felt happy and I liked the people here. But after time, I had a few major betrayals at work. For example, we have an “open door” policy at work, and I had met with HR to talk about something private involving the stressful relationship I had with my boss, and found out that she’d told my boss what I’d said because she pressured her into it. That took a long time to get over. Then, we had a major system crash that caused all of our files to be deleted permanently. I was put in charge of the impossible task of recreating all of my personal files and many common files from scratch. It was miserable. I came in early, stayed late and worked on weekends to repair them. I had constant nightmares about all the lost files and my feelings of helplessness. Then at my annual review, my boss said, “I don’t have any complaints about the work you’re doing. I think it’s fine.” There was no “thank you” for repairing the files, no acknowledgment for it at all. I got a 2% raise.

    On a daily basis, he condescends me in his witty Yaley way, and my other boss–a twitchy, high-strung and lazy woman–makes it a point to only yell at me only when other people are around to hear. Most recently, I printed about 500 holiday mailing labels for my boss. He lost half of them (which was not surprising) and then blamed me in front of the other staff members for not ever having printed them at all.

    Lately, I talk back and snap at everyone, feel defensive, and spend most of my day feeling paranoid. I cry on a whim. The awful way I feel at work is actually starting to manifest itself in physical ways now. I’ve noticed that when I have to interact with anyone I don’t like, I start to sweat. A lot. It soaks my shirt. I feel like I could be sick to my stomach on many days. I can’t sleep. There have been days I get home and just cry in the bathroom so my husband won’t know how unhappy I am.

    I really do feel crazy when I’m here. I actually started tearing up on the subway on my way to work one morning last week. Every Sunday night I start to feel panicked. My adrenaline rushes like I’m about to be shot. I just feel helpless. I know I need to get out, but we can’t go without my income and both my husband and I get health insurance from my job, and I have waking nightmares that I quit my job and then my husband gets in an accident and we go bankrupt trying to afford his medical bills, and it’s my fault because I’m the one who quit and lost the insurance for us.

    I fantasize about quitting all the time. I know I’m going to have to. I’m not blaming the job completely for my unhappiness, but I think people who say there’s no way a job could affect you like that are just full of it.

    Hi Lisa,
    You know when I wrote this post I had no idea there were so many people out there experiencing the same predicament. I can really relate to your experiences, particularly the betrayal of trust as well as the lack of appreciation in going above and beyond to fix a problem not of your making.

    Also, in this economy deciding to get another job is risky. The job offers are not frequent and probably there are so many more applicants per job then there have been in the past. Plus, job offers when they come often don’t offer the same income and benefits.

    For me, the solution was to strike out on my own and develop my own business. This is not an easy solution by any measure, unless you are some genius and happen to invent the next great trend, etc. and succeed overnight. Though I’m of the belief that even overnight successes take years to really hit it big. And though, I’m earning less money than I was at my job, I am infinitely more happy, sleep well and am no longer depressed. All good things.

    I don’t know what type of work you do but maybe you could try the following to see if it will at least lessen your stress over your job:

    1. If possible for you to work from home, see if your boss will agree to your working 1-2 days a week from home. You will still be doing the work but you won’t have to deal with the stress of the office politics and may even accomplish more.

    2. If the work from home try is successful, see if your boss would consider letting you work exclusively from home, only coming into the office when you need to attend meetings, clients, etc.

    3. If working from home is not possible, see if there is some type of sideline work you can develop from home, such as, bookkeeping, web copy writing, research, tax return preparation, writing ad copy, desigining brochures, business letters, writing resumes, etc. You get the idea. Most everyone has some talent that they can parlay into income. If you like taking photographs perhaps you can run a Craigslist ad and shoot weddings over the weekend?

    4. Revamp your resume and start sending them out while maintaining your current job. They needn’t know you are looking and while you still have the security of the income and benefits coming in, you can take your time in interviewing for potential jobs.

    5. Go back to school and learn a new skill that can ease you into a new career field.

    6. Aside from work, find things that make you happy, especially things that make you laugh, which is the ultimate stress reliever. Also if you are occupied with acitivities and people who make you happy and feel good about yourself you won’t be thinking about the job when you aren’t there.

    7. Write a journal of all the stuff you hate about your work. It’s not for anyone but you. Give yourself an outlet to vent about the stuff that is bothering and upsetting you. Getting it out even if only for yourself does help alleviate some of the stress.

    8. Start walking. Every night after work. Take your dog, your husband or your friends. Taking a walk is not just good exercise but it can also relieve stress, take your mind off work and take you out of the work mode into the non-work mode.

    Again, these are just things that have helped me. They may or may not help you. Just know that apparently there are a lot of us out there who have gone through or are currently going through this and that no, you aren’t crazy.

    I really hope things turn out okay for you. Thanks for your heartfelt comments.

    Annie

    1. Wow, Annie! Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to read what I said and offering so many helpful comments. It certainly helps to know other people have been in this situation before and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you and Happy Holidays.

      Hi Lisa,
      You’re very welcome sweetie – I hope maybe one of the suggestions is helpful to you. I truly understand your plight and wish you the best of luck in sorting it out. Life is simply too short to be miserable all the time. Happy holidays to you too. Hope Santa brings you something nice.

      Annie

  38. I just found your blog and am astounded at the immediate connection I felt to your writing. It must be the right time in my life for coming into contact with you and your thoughts. I too worked in a stressful job for more years than I care to admit and finally reached a breaking point. I’m now self-employed and although financially shaky, healthier in mind and body than I’ve been since my 20’s!

    Hurray for your courage and that of others to say “I’m just not going to do it anymore!”

    Hi Karen,
    Wow, what a nice thing to say, thank you. I’m discovering that there are a lot of people who have gone through what you and I have gone through on the job front. I wrote this post quite a while ago, yet still people comment on it and share their stories of stressful work situations. I’m glad that you joined the ranks of the self-employed. It is a little tough, especially in the beginning but man I don’t think I’d ever go back to a ‘regular’ job anymore.

    I hope to see you again.

    By the way, what kind of business did you end up starting? I like to network with people so maybe we could do that.

    Writer Chick

  39. Hey W.C ,

    I am actually in the same position as you. I work as a medical receptionist for a Gastroenterologist. I’m 21 years old with 8 years of experience in medical reception working for my father at his clinic. Since I started this job, I have felt nothing but exhausted all the time, i have 0 motivation to get out of bed in the morning. When I finally make it to work I am such a wound up ball of anxiety that I can’t get ANYTHING done in the office.

    I would quit tomorrow however he had me sign a contract and I’m not sure what that contract said about quitting. I am not going to put finances before my health and well being. I am a mess right now and everyone can see it, I need a new job but I am nervous that he would sue me for having to hire someone else on such short notice train them and everything….I don’t know what to do

    Hi KH and welcome,
    Oh dear, it sounds like you are dealing with some serious stress. And that really isn’t good for your health at all. Although the job market is pretty tough right now, so just up and quitting may be a scary proposition too.

    If you are concerned about the contract you signed and don’t feel you really understand what it all means, perhaps you can find a legal aid services organization that can to help sort out the terms and any liability you may face. Also, there is probably someone at your local labor board who can help you. I don’t believe there is any state in which you can be sued for quitting – however, often if you do not honor a contract you incur some sort of liability in terms of severance and/or benefits packages. Regardless, if you are truly contemplating leaving, I’d strongly advise you discuss your options with a professional who understands labor and contract law.

    I’d also advise that you look into the job market and see if you can secure other employment before you leave your current job. If you are knowledgeable about an area of medicine and are good with words you may want to consider writing articles for medical blogs or something of that sort. Since you’ve worked in the medical industry for so many years perhaps you can look into medical billing and/or transcription as an alternative career?

    Aside from that, be sure to take good care of yourself. Eat well, exercise and get enough rest. Also try to get involved in an activity that energizes you and makes you happy in some regard whether it’s gardening, furniture refinishing, dance lessons, walking, hiking, cooking classes – something where you can interact with like minded individuals and that you can look forward to. I know when you are stressed and exhausted all you want to do is go home and crawl into bed, but often that makes things worse. If you can find a way to at least make another part of your life happy and and energizing it will help you handle some of that stress anyway.

    I wish you the best of luck.

    Writer Chick

  40. Way over the edge | Reply

    Amazing how long this thread has run. A common situation, among many different folks. Including me.

    Not that I’m a job jumper. I have an exceptional work ethic, and am always rewarded in the workplace for what I accomplish. I’m treated well here, and respected for the contributions I make. I’m a skilled and seasoned worker, and seldom make mistakes when I choose a job.

    But here I am. Drained of life, sanity, and willingness to continue in what I do. I’ve made many good aquaintences and contacts here, who are reminding me how important I am to the department I work in. But these same folks warn me of what happened to the previous staff who have held this position over the years.

    1 died of mysterous illness that came out of nowhere. 1 was granted an insanity disability: permanent, I’m afraid. 1 just stood up one day and left, never to be seen again. Are you seeing the pattern? (and there are more….heaven help them)

    Be darned if this isn’t hitting me too. The energy drain of working for this semi-psychotic staff is wiping me out. I’m exhausted (though in excellent physical health). I can’t even imagine another month of this, and I’ve only been here two years. I have no personal life, because I don’t care to deal with ANYONE when I come home. The commute is a nightmare, and the job environment just adds to the fun.

    Of note: when I take a few days off, I’m almost my old self again. Even being off over the weekends makes a huge difference. Obviously, that is the “tell”. Because as soon as I go back to work, full of energy and ideas, I come home wiped out again….needing to veg and meditate just to get up enough stuffing to head back again the next day.

    Yep, time’s up. Won’t be at this much longer….I refuse to croak because of a job.

    Uncanny how a workplace can just chew you up and spit you out.

    Hi Wayovertheedge & welcome,
    Yes, it really amazing how long this thread is – when I wrote this post I had no idea how much company I had. Sadly.

    Since you didn’t say what type of work you do I’ll assume you don’t want to mention it – but it’s obvious that whatever your job is, it is very stressful. It’s sad that your predecessors were done in by the job and I hope that doesn’t happen to you. All I can say is that nothing is worth your health and your sanity – know what I mean?

    It sounds as though you are very good at what you do, perhaps there is an adjacent industry where your talents can serve another company that doesn’t drain and depress you.

    I will say though, in my case it wasn’t the job itself because I could easily perform the duties of the job and did them quite well, in fact. What was killing me were a couple of the people on the staff, they were slackers, gossips, lazy incompetents whom the owner was unwilling to fire. Consequently they could do whatever they wanted and worked tirelessly at creating dissention among the rest of the staff. It was really incredible. And I realized that being in the environment with these sharks is what was really killing me.

    Though the job was well paying I left – haven’t made that much money since. However, I’ve lost 40 lbs, am in good health and life is pretty good really. So there is life after an oppressive job.

    I wish you the best of luck in sorting this out.

    Please feel free to come back and let me know how things worked out for you.

    take care,
    Writer Chick

  41. yes, it totally is amazing how long this thread has run. As I read through each article, odd but in a sence it gave me a little peace, peace in knowing that I am truely not alone and a hope that something greater is being prepared for me.
    I also have grown weary in my work place, it started as a promotion but ended up with a position I did not apply for. Very hard work but I grew to love my job and I realized my purpose was not about myself but a greater purpose to help others.
    It was demanding, overwhelming but such as many others you do what you have to do to get the job done, including things that you should not do, working over without pay, taking work home and working late hours, neglecting your family, working when you are sick, neglecting your health by believing a dedicated person would do this, yes I begged for help, the promises never were fulfilled.
    My health started to decline, physically and mentally I noticed a pattern with other employees being ill, some terminated. I questioned if it was just being overwhelmed or if it was something more.

    I knew of complaints that the buiding we were working in had poor air quality and possible mold, well being very concerned I brought to the attention of management along with a list of employees and the ailments they suffered ,some very serious. Needless to say, their are many days I wished I never had tried to fix a problem bigger than myself.

    I went from being a dedicated, dependable hardworker who never had any trouble with management for eight years to having to account for my every move, I had to fight to keep my job for three years because of illnesses, it did not matter if I had supporting medical documents, they were determined to get rid of me.
    I was devastated to a darkness I had never experienced, but to make it short, in that darkness I realized we have a spiritual power that we must give into and depend upon.
    I realized my problems were because I cared more about what others thought of me than myself.

    I empowered myself through reading and learning what my rights were and I concentrated on a higher power and realized I was protected.

    For everything their is a season, I realized your strength does grow out of your struggles. I learned put NOTHING before your health, your family and the things that bring you joy.
    I worked for the state, but I realized to most corporate companys you are just a number and you are replaceable, so why work and allow a job to consume your idenity.

    Yes do the best you can and give respect to management but don’t loose who you are, and no money does not matter, yes you can be loaded but too sick and tired to enjoy it.

    Sometimes the greates joy comes from things that are inexpensive and free.
    I fell very hard and stayed in a dark place for a couple of years and too anyone that may be in that same place, let me encourage you their is hope and it starts within yourself. Believe in yourself and those old dreams.
    Yes I am still with the company, almost 12 years, we moved to a new location, but its still crappy, older than the first. As a physician told me, you are just one person in a pool of many, if you die they have someone in line to take your place the next day.

    When I was almost out of my valley, I had a dear friend to committ suicide (they say) I realized ,life can be over in a second, so live for the things that bring you joy, not happiness, happiness is like the wind, it comes and goes.

    I believe we are equipped with many hidden talents and its okay to want to explore them and make them grow.
    One day I will work for myself and I will be a huge blessing helping others and if I have another friend that is in distress, I will not be so consumed with my job and the lows it may bring.

    Sometimes it not that you are ungrateful ,jobs are very hard to come by lately, but like someone stated in another post , I also believe if you have an entrepreneur spirit , it is so hard to be satisfied working for someone one else and not exploring your dreams.

    I commend anyone who takes a leap of faith…

    Sorry to take up so much space, but writing is the easiest way for me to express myself.

    Hi Jz & welcome,
    I think there is a lot to what you said and it sounds like you came out of it a better, healthier person. I’m happy for you. And I’m glad you found this a place where you could express yourself. Thanks so much for your insight.
    Writer Chick

    1. Dreaming of my escape | Reply

      Writer chick,

      I just found this post and I have read all of the comments here. It is amazing to me that so many others have felt this way. It’s actually kind of a relief. I have made a goal for myself to quit my current job in the next year (by my 30th birthday). I hope I can last that long and I’m going to try my best. I’m saving my money and thinking about part-time jobs I could get tp supplement my own creative business. I really want to pursue my dreams of having my own freelance photography business. Just thinking about it lifts my spirits. I’m ready for less money if that means more fulfillment out of life. My job started out okay but I have just kept getting more burned out and I’ve been here three years. My bosses really are nice people and so are my coworkers but I’m sick of working in an office pleasing everyone else but myself. I had a warning a couple of weeks ago, where my bosses had a bit of an intervention with me. They told me they knew I was unhappy and that I’m a different person the. I was when I started the job. They said I am the one they count on to bring light and cheer to work and bring our team together, but that something has happened and I am not able to do that any longer. It was disheartening to hear that my act of not hating my job when I really do was being seen through. I had to lie and tell them that I appreciated their concern and that I was stressed (I was from too much work, but it’s more than that) and tell them I will do my best to cope. I knew from that point that I cannot continue faking and that it was time to put a plan into action. My boyfriend is amazing and very supportive and it helps a lot to know he understands me and encourages my pursuits. I’ll get through this I just have to tough it out because l need the money and insurance for now. It sure helps to have the light at the end of th tunnel and working on building up my photography portfolio. I’m going to be buying a professional camera in the next few months as well.

      Thank you so much for your original post. I am inspired to keep fighting and I feel better knowing that I’m not alone.

      Hi Dreaming & welcome,
      When I wrote this post I had no idea there would be such a big response but it does seem that many people are going through what I went through and what you are going through now. I wish you the best of luck with your budding photography business. I am sure you will succeed because you sound very determined to do so. It really is true, we can accomplish what we put our minds to, you know? And then you can be your own light instead of providing it for people who really don’t give back – know what I mean?

      Be strong. :)
      Writer Chick

  42. I used to be that happy, friendly guy that loved seeing friends and meeting people. My work allowed me to live, not that I’ve ever been financially comfortable, and I was just going along with life’s adventures. People would invite me to strange and different events and I always accepted – midnight ghost tours, a Snoop Dogg and Iron Maiden concert, and even wedding receptions involving strangers. I was the fun one, the one they called, the one they wanted to see. That was a lifetime ago.

    A few years ago I lost a lot of weight…for me, anyway. Fifteen kilos, or about thirty two pounds. I was looking great and feeling good about life. My wife was always taken on an adventure – an unusual restaurant, a small theatre show, parties and music gigs and all the rest. We never had much money, but we were always invited to things, and we often went without thinking too much.

    In the last six months I’ve gained all that weight back. The last movie I saw in the theatre was almost a year ago. And on our recent road trip with my wife to Sydney for new year’s eve (I’m from Melbourne), we had an argument about money, a topic that, though we never had much of, was never a point of contention in our nine years of marriage. Now, it’s just another thing that weighs me down.

    I no longer have friends. My career aspirations have all evaporated after years of being convinced that having an Arabic name in a Western country is the main roadblock. I no longer live but simply subsist. I go on without thought, without feeling. I am dead inside, a hollow shell of a man, and I am slowly losing everything that made me who I was. I have indigestion conatrantly, have suicidal tendancies intermittrently, and my brain feels like stone. If i weren’t such a coward, I would be deep underground by now. Yet, for some stupid reason, I go on, thinking and hoping that…well, I don’t know anymore.

    Recently I went to see my doctor because my wife told me that my work is affecting me, that it’s brought about my depression, that stress will manifest into all sorts of health problems if i don’t get help. And although I am scheduled to see a therapist next month, I just want crawl under a rock and vanish into emptiness.

    I suppose I’m not the only one who’s gone through this.

    Hi Hassan,
    I’m sorry to hear you are going through such a tough time.and perhaps seeing a therapist will help you. I hope so. I do understand the feelings of depression and the effect that can have on your life and relationships. And I’ve definitely had times in my life when I felt very depressed. I can tell you in my case the things that helped were exercise, learning a new skill, improving my diet, getting a lot of sleep and focusing on whatever good things were in my life (and sometimes that was hard, and maybe it was only that I had a wonderful pet or the sun was shining.)

    There is one other thing that you may be interested in. There is a site called mindmovies.com – you’ll have to go to the site to see what they are about because it’s a bit hard to explain. But they are all about focusing on the good and practicing gratitude. They even have 6 free mind movies you can download and watch. I will say they help me and I try to watch them every day (they are only about 4 minutes long each).

    In the meantime, be kind to yourself, and take care of yourself and your loved ones.

    I wish you the very best.

    Writer Chick

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