Author Topic: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often  (Read 3758 times)

k290

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 173
  • Age: 31
I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« on: September 15, 2021, 10:42:09 PM »
I work in the software industry, in consulting mostly. In my career there have been times where work has been manageable.
 
However, I'm finding that as my stache grows, I'm starting to job hop more often and take a few months of unpaid vacation in between. e.g. I've only lasted a year at my current employer.

Also if we get hit with ridiculous workloads or deadlines, I'm more likely to call in sick than I was in my 20s, as my mental health takes a beating as I suffer from Generalised Anxiety. This screws over my colleagues as they have to pick up the slack.

I'm kind of afraid that all this will bite me. I would have thought that after 5 years in this industry I'd be more resillient. But I feel like I've become weaker and eventually I'll be living on the street.

I'm incredibly fortunate that I have a reasonable stache built up, so I feel a bit more secure, but I'm not anywhere near FIRE yet. Maybe half way.

There isn't really a question here. I guess I just need someone to tell me I'm not a bad person and a failure. But reading the above it seems like I am a failure because with even having done therapy and years of experience it seems I've gotten worse. And I am a bad person because I know it screws over my colleagues once or twice a year.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 10:46:49 PM by k290 »

Morning Glory

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3124
  • Location: The Garden Path
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2021, 12:20:34 AM »
You are not the one screwing over your colleagues. People get sick.  It's inevitable.  You're not a robot  or some kind of superhero.  Th employer should have a plan for this eventuality.  If they don't,  then they are the one screwing over your colleagues, not you. 

ETA I've seen bosses use this tactic  in the wild and it pisses me off. I'll post a longer reply later.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2021, 12:23:18 AM by Morning Glory »

k290

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 173
  • Age: 31
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2021, 12:31:37 AM »
You are not the one screwing over your colleagues. People get sick.  It's inevitable.  You're not a robot  or some kind of superhero.  Th employer should have a plan for this eventuality.  If they don't,  then they are the one screwing over your colleagues, not you. 

ETA I've seen bosses use this tactic  in the wild and it pisses me off. I'll post a longer reply later.

I mean I'm not exactly sick though. It's anxiety. Cortisol pumping through my veins giving me fight or flight for hours/days. I told one or two people about this and they said I'm not sick so I should be working. But that being said, the doctor gives me a sick note for a couple days and a 2 weeks worth of tranquilizers or benzos, a little bit of counselling but nothing more than what can be said in 15 minutes, then encourages me to do more therapy  because the pills are just a short term relief

And yet other people say that mental health stuff is kind of like being sick.

So I don't really know if its right or wrong. Am I sick or not? I could force myself to work through it. Especially if its right before a deadline. I wish there was a straightforward consensus that everyone agreed on.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2021, 12:36:32 AM by k290 »

Zhiantara

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Australia
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2021, 04:46:56 AM »
Also if we get hit with ridiculous workloads or deadlines...

If the workloads can be described as ridiculous then their expectations are unreasonable.

It's not you. It's them.


Who are these people who told you that you're not sick? If they're not mental health professionals then they don't get to have an opinion. Anxiety is a physical thing that is happening in your body. It needs treatment. Invest in Future You and see a therapist. I did, and life is better. It's hard to take the first step, but it's so worth it.

JoePublic3.14

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2021, 05:11:13 AM »
I wonít say you are a bad person, but I will say Iím glad I donít work in the same organization as you. Though I guess if i was, youíd not be around much or for very long.

You can play the game by your own rules of course, so to each his own. Iíll refrain from any direct comment about calling in sick when you are not.

Will it catch up with you? Likely not, since given your profession Iíd think it would be easy to just keep at it.

TheFrenchCat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2021, 05:21:58 AM »
When your anxiety is unmanageable, you're definitely sick and shouldn't feel guilty at all.  I also think it's better to take a day or two to take care of yourself earlier, rather than waiting till you're completely burnt out by your disorder and need more time to recover.  That's my strategy with my depression anyways.  I do probably push myself sometimes more often than I should because I want the money and I don't have paid time off.  If I did, I wouldn't push myself so much unless I really thought it was necessary and knew I had enough time after to recover. 

life_travel

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
  • Location: Australia
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2021, 05:38:37 AM »
Don't feel guilty for taking time off, try to take it often, don't get to a full , systematic burnout .

I am discussing in a neighbouring thread about my situation, having to push on for YEARS through stress, deadlines, anxiety, etc to the point I am struggling even to hold that job ( that I used to do easily).
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/a-simple-job-to-work-while-i-recover-from-burn-out/

I am 10+ years ahead of you, don't be me. I had no choice ( well , felt like no choice) as we had NO FU money and were in catch up mode due to bad investments /losing money and needed my wages.

However, if I was halfway to FI, I would just take easier road, changed jobs, industries or would go part time so pretty much coastFI before the full burnout ( that is now taking more than 18 months to recover from).

Good luck .

Psychstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1262
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2021, 05:43:36 AM »

I mean I'm not exactly sick though. It's anxiety.

The greatest trick the devil pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

Yes, uncontrollable anxiety is sick. Mental health is health. Do not feel guilty just because you employer has designed their business in a way that demands you be at 100% optimal 100% of the time.

Take the time you need to take care of your health. Your future self will appreciate it.

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8018
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2021, 06:06:50 AM »
I'm incredibly fortunate that I have a reasonable stache built up, so I feel a bit more secure, but I'm not anywhere near FIRE yet. Maybe half way.

If you are shooting for $1M and have $500K saved/invested [or something like that] you have a lot of options:

1. Find a way to do the  high paying work in a way that doesn't crush your soul. That might be less than FT or taking longer breaks between contracts or pursuing lower pressure projects...whatever helps. You might be adding less to the portfolio each year, but at a high income level you'll still make significant savings happen.

2. You can Coast FIRE. Find some easy/easier work that isn't stressful and covers your COL. Don't worry about saving money as your Stach is big enough to do the heavy lifting on its own and get you to FIRE.

3. Reduce your COL any ways that make sense to you to get to or close to FIRE now. That could be moving to a LCOL area, travelling, house hacking, etc... There are tons of ideas out there depending how flexible you are and how much fat your FIRE budget has now. You can combine this with either #1 or #2 above to make the target easier/faster to hit.

Bottom line at 50% FIRE you are in great shape and have a lot of options beyond taking as much pain as possible at work to save/invest hard and trying to survive until 100% FIRE. No point getting to FIRE and being totally miserable because you wrecked yourself getting there.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2021, 06:10:34 AM by Retire-Canada »

dcheesi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1112
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2021, 06:15:24 AM »
You've already proven that you can jump ship when you want/need to, and get another position even after a little time off. Maybe you could start to focus on detachment from the job, even while you're still there?

At the end of the day, it's all just "code for cash"; do your work, clock out, go home. If management pressures you to work "crunch time", you can politely decline or ignore them, or just do it the American Way. You don't owe them any more than that.

If you're concerned about leaving your colleagues in the lurch, just remember that doing 35-40 hours of steady methodical work per week is better for everyone than 80 hours of anxiety-addled rush work one week, followed by 0 work when you burn out.

SAR

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 36
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2021, 07:18:38 AM »
I agree with the other posters on not feeling guilt.

What I'd add is that benzos and a bit of therapy does't sounds like it's doing the trick. I'd look into other strategies for managing your anxiety if you have not.

The two that are work and have nothing but good side effects are exercise (I think lifting heavy stuff is particularly effective) and meditation (get an app like insight timer, do 15 minutes a day).

Another place to look is improving sleep and diet--stick to a strict sleep routine, and avoid processed crap.

Beyond that there are supplements that have been shown to have anxiolytic effects. Long-term use of benzos is not a good idea. For example, there's solid research on ashwagandha, which appears to be well tolerated and also helps with sleep. Of course, you are reading this on the internet, so do your own research and consult with your MD.

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=ashwagandha+anxiety&btnG=

Morning Glory

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3124
  • Location: The Garden Path
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2021, 08:40:36 AM »
Anxiety is absolutely a medical illness, caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain.  Agree that benzos are just a short-term fix and some providers don't like to prescribe them at all because of safety risks. I was given an SSRI and trazodone for combined anxiety and depression last year, and those helped. Please don't take any supplements without talking to your provider first.

Imagine if you broke your leg. You have a desk job, so you would still technically be able to do your work, but the pain would distract you and you probably wouldn't get much done. Much better to take a few days off. The value placed on presenteeism and martyrdom in our culture does nobody any good. Not you, not your family, not your employer, and not your colleagues.  I am saying this as a person who used to go to great lengths to get to work.

TheFrenchCat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2021, 08:53:49 AM »
I agree with the other posters on not feeling guilt.

What I'd add is that benzos and a bit of therapy does't sounds like it's doing the trick. I'd look into other strategies for managing your anxiety if you have not.

The two that are work and have nothing but good side effects are exercise (I think lifting heavy stuff is particularly effective) and meditation (get an app like insight timer, do 15 minutes a day).


Another place to look is improving sleep and diet--stick to a strict sleep routine, and avoid processed crap.

Beyond that there are supplements that have been shown to have anxiolytic effects. Long-term use of benzos is not a good idea. For example, there's solid research on ashwagandha, which appears to be well tolerated and also helps with sleep. Of course, you are reading this on the internet, so do your own research and consult with your MD.

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=ashwagandha+anxiety&btnG=

I agree with this, especially the bolded.  I also wanted to ask, is the doctor you're seeing a GP or a psychiatrist?  If it's a GP, I'd definitely want to work with a psychiatrist if it was me.  There's medications for anxiety that you can take regularly, so you don't have to wait till it's unmanageable.  But psychiatrists are generally much better with the nuance of psychiatric medications than your average GP.  And if it is a psychiatrist, I'd recommend adding a therapist.  15 minutes really won't cut it in most cases for therapy. 

bacchi

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5926
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2021, 09:09:31 AM »
I'm kind of afraid that all this will bite me. I would have thought that after 5 years in this industry I'd be more resillient. But I feel like I've become weaker and eventually I'll be living on the street.

Others have addressed mental health importance but I'll briefly touch on this.

My entire software "career" was bouncing around from one job to another. I burned out at several startups (even one I helped found) and quit some cush Fortune 100 jobs. I would get anxious and depressed after about a year at the same place.

I finally embraced it, though, and ended up doing contracts with 4-6 weeks in between. (That covers the resume gap: Quit in March, started work in April or even May.)

Point is, you'll be fine if you job hob and take unpaid vacation. You'll still be able to pay your bills and you'll still be able to retire early.

frugalor

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2021, 09:25:19 AM »
k290, find something within your line of work you really like to do.  The job market for software engineers is super hot.  You have to at least find some joy in your job.  Live frugally and park your money in total stock market fund.  Wish you gain financial freedom soon.

Loren Ver

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 866
  • Location: Midwest USA
  • I Retired. Yah!
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2021, 10:45:18 AM »
If you had a friend or family member that your truly loved and respected and they came to you with this issue, in this situation (stash size, job issues etc) what advice would you give them?  What would both your heart and mind tell you to say after you thoughtfully considered it?

That is probably what you should tell yourself. 

Why would you do any less for yourself?

Loren

mistymoney

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 923
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2021, 06:21:00 PM »
I work in the software industry, in consulting mostly. In my career there have been times where work has been manageable.
 
However, I'm finding that as my stache grows, I'm starting to job hop more often and take a few months of unpaid vacation in between. e.g. I've only lasted a year at my current employer.

Also if we get hit with ridiculous workloads or deadlines, I'm more likely to call in sick than I was in my 20s, as my mental health takes a beating as I suffer from Generalised Anxiety. This screws over my colleagues as they have to pick up the slack.

I'm kind of afraid that all this will bite me. I would have thought that after 5 years in this industry I'd be more resillient. But I feel like I've become weaker and eventually I'll be living on the street.

I'm incredibly fortunate that I have a reasonable stache built up, so I feel a bit more secure, but I'm not anywhere near FIRE yet. Maybe half way.

There isn't really a question here. I guess I just need someone to tell me I'm not a bad person and a failure. But reading the above it seems like I am a failure because with even having done therapy and years of experience it seems I've gotten worse. And I am a bad person because I know it screws over my colleagues once or twice a year.

I'm an older and more experienced worker. I look back at those jobs and stressful days and really super regret not taking the occasional mental health day. Why did I let crazy deadlines and understaffing become my problem?

Reframe as rather than stiffing your coworkers, you are modeling healthier behavior them. You are shining a light that you can take a day off even when work is crazy. If more people do, maybe he company will get it together.

Trust me, 20 years from now, you'll regret the days you pushed yourself into the office rather than the days you didn't.

SunnyDays

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2198
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2021, 08:56:14 PM »
You need to take a break from work for however long it takes to get your anxiety under control.  Youíre having a mental health emergency - donít try to power through or find go-arounds by job hopping.  Anxiety doesnít go away on its own.

Agree a psychiatrist would be best - they have the most knowledge of suitable meds for your particular symptoms and may also be able to provide CBT, the gold standard treatment.  Benzodiazepines are only meant to be short term measures for immediate relief until longer term meds, typically SSRIs, kick in, which can take up to a month.  Or even longer, if the first one or two you try arenít effective, which is not uncommon.

Anxiety is a medical issue and needs to be treated as such.  Itís not a character flaw or personal failing.  Get the help you need now, before depression becomes an issue as well, as it tends to do.  Things can get worse, so donít delay.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8468
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2021, 09:01:39 PM »
Your work is clearly unhealthy for you and you are increasingly losing your capacity to cope with it.

If therapy somehow convinced you that this reaction is wrong or weak, then you should demand your money back.

You are very, very obviously working beyond your adaptive capacity. That doesn't make you weak or bad, it means that like every single other human being in the whole world, you have limitations, and you have been forcing yourself to exceed them for a long time.

Me advice? Get a MUCH better therapist.

Sibley

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5474
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2021, 08:09:30 AM »
I agree with SunnyDays and Malcat. You have a mental illness, you do not have it under control, and it will destroy your life if you let it. Get better treatment. If you need to change fields to get your illness under control, do so (I suspect that you do need to make a substantial work change). Good luck.

wageslave23

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 879
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Midwest
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2021, 12:41:47 PM »
You've already proven that you can jump ship when you want/need to, and get another position even after a little time off. Maybe you could start to focus on detachment from the job, even while you're still there?

At the end of the day, it's all just "code for cash"; do your work, clock out, go home. If management pressures you to work "crunch time", you can politely decline or ignore them, or just do it the American Way. You don't owe them any more than that.

If you're concerned about leaving your colleagues in the lurch, just remember that doing 35-40 hours of steady methodical work per week is better for everyone than 80 hours of anxiety-addled rush work one week, followed by 0 work when you burn out.

Haha the American way clip is awesome.   I keep telling my wife she shouldn't be exhausted by the end of her shift (she's a nurse).  She's not going to get fired for doing a bad job and she's not going to get a raise for doing a good job.  So just do the minimum to get by and don't try to make up for poor staffing/management decisions.  As her work has been affecting her health,  I think she is finally coming around and implementing my advice.

thesis

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2021, 01:10:01 PM »
I've been very fortunate with my software jobs, such that I have yet to work for a place in which I feel any compulsion to work more than 40 hours a week. On very rare occasions I work *gasp* 42 hours, but that's it. I hope this trend continues, but I don't know the future.

Is it possible that your resume is attracting you to the wrong employers? I hate to suggest this, but it kind of reminds me of when somebody keeps dating the wrong people - either they are somehow attracted to the wrong people, or they are doing something that attracts the wrong people to them. I mean this respectfully, but seriously. People in low key jobs tend to stay in low key jobs, and people in high pressure jobs tend to stay in high pressure jobs, and I find this very curious. It sounds like you need to find the right job with a better work/life balance. I get tired of my job sometimes, too, and tend to move on every 2.5 years, but I don't feel particularly anxious about the workload. In fact, mostly I find it boring, but then I think I do make less pay for what I would call medium-paced jobs. Could it be that you are being paid a lot by a company that expects a lot? Would a small pay cut perhaps compensate for that? Just some questions to think about.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4758
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2021, 05:38:29 AM »
I will echo other who said you are not managing your anxiety well by heading to the doctor for rescue meds but not doing the work in between.

Although in my opinion you are indeed genuinely sick, at the same time yes this may bite you in the butt. I once worked with an engineer who always called in sick whenever there was something critical for his project- like a manufacturing changeover. Then other people had to come in and cover for him. No one minds covering for a sick coworker but it was every single time..... and he got let go.

If you need accomodations, ask for them. I believe anxiety is considered a disability and you'd be covered under the ADA. But of you keep proceeding as you are I don't think it will end well. Your coworkers will get resentful and you manager will definitely notice. It's much better to get ahead of it and tell them what is going on and ask for help.

That said maybe this job just isn't for you. It might be worth the paycut to have a more steady but less stressful job.

Cool Friend

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 504
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2021, 01:25:29 PM »
I agree with SunnyDays and Malcat. You have a mental illness, you do not have it under control, and it will destroy your life if you let it. Get better treatment. If you need to change fields to get your illness under control, do so (I suspect that you do need to make a substantial work change). Good luck.

+1. I just got home after having a full-blown panic attack on the train to work. I haven't had one in years, and this is by far the worst I've ever had. And I'm getting treatment--SSRIs, benzos (thank christ I had them on me at the time), regular counseling. My therapist described my work environment as not just toxic but straight up abusive. I'm having to face that I need to quit as soon as possible, maybe without even a new job lined up.

You're not a bad person, you're not lazy, and you're not weak. You and I have an illness and "productivity" doesn't matter for shit until we take better care of ourselves. I'm writing this for myself as much for you, because like you, I tend to blame myself and try to "power through."

FatFI2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 379
  • Location: California
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2021, 03:19:16 PM »
I'm kind of afraid that all this will bite me. I would have thought that after 5 years in this industry I'd be more resillient. But I feel like I've become weaker and eventually I'll be living on the street.

Wow this really resonates with me. I'm mid-30s, 1/2 to FI, losing my edge, pathologically anxious, decent corporate performer but worried (irrationally) that I could become unemployed and end up on the street.

Unfortunately I can't recommend psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy because a year of that actually made my anxiety slightly worse. Diet and exercise is great and, although it helped my cholesterol, it didn't have a noticeable impact on my mental health.

You'd have to work against your fear, but the best thing might be to quit/use FMLA and take a sabbatical to relieve this constant pressure for at least a few months. I know someone who had severe work-related anxiety. After a panic attack that led to physical injury, he spent three months on retreat in a cabin and, years later, he says that the retreat saved his life. You might come back from sabbatical to a lower salary or less prestigious company, but that's a far cry from "living on the street," which is just your anxiety talking.

In all honesty I should take my own advice here, but I'm still working on a few things with the hope I can recover in situ.

life_travel

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 226
  • Location: Australia
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2021, 09:00:05 PM »
I'm kind of afraid that all this will bite me. I would have thought that after 5 years in this industry I'd be more resillient. But I feel like I've become weaker and eventually I'll be living on the street.

Wow this really resonates with me. I'm mid-30s, 1/2 to FI, losing my edge, pathologically anxious, decent corporate performer but worried (irrationally) that I could become unemployed and end up on the street.

Unfortunately I can't recommend psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy because a year of that actually made my anxiety slightly worse. Diet and exercise is great and, although it helped my cholesterol, it didn't have a noticeable impact on my mental health.

You'd have to work against your fear, but the best thing might be to quit/use FMLA and take a sabbatical to relieve this constant pressure for at least a few months. I know someone who had severe work-related anxiety. After a panic attack that led to physical injury, he spent three months on retreat in a cabin and, years later, he says that the retreat saved his life. You might come back from sabbatical to a lower salary or less prestigious company, but that's a far cry from "living on the street," which is just your anxiety talking.

In all honesty I should take my own advice here, but I'm still working on a few things with the hope I can recover in situ.

I am in a similar predicament , but I actually made it to my mid 40s before I lost my ability to do complex work. Yes, I think I have to admit I lost it , maybe it will come back? I had a few months off last year , due to Covid which literally saved me from ending up in hospital , and I thought I've done all the right things , and came back 2 days a week. 2 days!! It's a dream, right? ( I have something else that I make little money off, but it's very physical).

Nope, after 2 months even 2 days became unpalatable , I can't grasp new concepts, everything takes SO long for me, my memory is shot, I can only concentrate on one thing at the time, and job requires multitasking. Anything remotely stressful (little things like I didn't know how to use new phone system) throws me into state of panic and my mind literally goes blank, I can't even find words , let alone managing demanding clients.
But then when I am relaxed and doing something I am confident in, I get the glimpse of old me ( confident, fast learner, quick thinker, ambitious) but it's very fleeting.

I am on stress leave for a couple of weeks, and I am seriously thinking of resigning. Without anything lined up. Yikes.
The issue is I find hard to even apply for other jobs due to anxiety.

So I think I ( and you guys) need to put FIRE aspirations aside and just look at the health first. Because if you have no health, well you're f*cked.




dcunitedfan

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2021, 10:37:22 AM »
I'm in my 50s and struggle with this too at times.  I find stress magnifies all problems greatly, sometimes making them seem worse than they actually are.  Yes, we often find that our brains don't work as well as when we were younger, that's a problem too.  Both of these can be mitigated.  Try to look for ways to tackle the self-inflicted stress and the changing mental acuity separately.  If you're stressed, it will make executive brain function harder than if you aren't stressed.  And the stress problem can be handled a number of ways; you have to try to find methods that work for you.  As for the aging brain issues, much as pro athletes have to find ways to change their game as they age, you may find that you can find ways to still be effective without having the exact same cognitive capabilities and habits from when you were younger.

And yes you may ultimately find that even if you get better at managing stress and working effectively, it still isn't enough.  Nothing wrong with finding a different job that is more manageable, if that's what it takes.  Or taking some time between jobs to decompress.  I've done that a few times over the years and it does help.  What you don't want to do is spend a lot of time feeling trapped.  You never really are, you just have to reassess.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8468
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2021, 10:51:03 AM »
^Yes!

You are never as trapped as you feel.

Cool Friend

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 504
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2021, 10:51:02 AM »
^Yes!

You are never as trapped as you feel.

[Fortunato had entered the chat]

FatFI2025

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 379
  • Location: California
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2021, 02:22:54 PM »
So I think I ( and you guys) need to put FIRE aspirations aside and just look at the health first. Because if you have no health, well you're f*cked.

I think you have to weigh it. I recognize that my job has a good work-life balance and above market compensation because I excelled for the first several years and had a lot of luck. It would suck to walk away from that for a mental health sabbatical and then rejoin the workforce with a 30% pay cut and a couple extra years to FIRE. But relating back to OP's first message, a 30% pay cut wouldn't put me out on the street if I were desperate for a break.

^Yes!

You are never as trapped as you feel.

I can relate 100% -- appreciate the reminder.

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2283
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2021, 08:04:24 PM »
I take medication for my anxiety and it has been a major positive impact for my life in regards to work stressed. It can take me from ďover the edgeĒ anxiety, down to ďnot giving a f%#<ď pretty quick.

That being said - how much sick time do you have? How much are you taking?

Anxiety can certainly be a justifiable condition to miss work, but if itís becoming frequent I believe you should speak to you employer if itís to the point that itís majorly impacting your other coworkers.

Many companies justifiably do not run with enough extra staff to have people that are frequently out without little to no notice.

GreenToTheCore

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 400
Re: I feel like I'm running away from work anxiety more often
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2021, 01:31:22 PM »
I am in a similar predicament , but I actually made it to my mid 40s before I lost my ability to do complex work. Yes, I think I have to admit I lost it , maybe it will come back? I had a few months off last year , due to Covid which literally saved me from ending up in hospital , and I thought I've done all the right things , and came back 2 days a week. 2 days!! It's a dream, right? ( I have something else that I make little money off, but it's very physical).

Nope, after 2 months even 2 days became unpalatable , I can't grasp new concepts, everything takes SO long for me, my memory is shot, I can only concentrate on one thing at the time, and job requires multitasking. Anything remotely stressful (little things like I didn't know how to use new phone system) throws me into state of panic and my mind literally goes blank, I can't even find words , let alone managing demanding clients.
But then when I am relaxed and doing something I am confident in, I get the glimpse of old me ( confident, fast learner, quick thinker, ambitious) but it's very fleeting.


I am on stress leave for a couple of weeks, and I am seriously thinking of resigning. Without anything lined up. Yikes.
The issue is I find hard to even apply for other jobs due to anxiety.

So I think I ( and you guys) need to put FIRE aspirations aside and just look at the health first. Because if you have no health, well you're f*cked.

This is dead on with what I've been feeling. It's been difficult to communicate the differences in work ability and sad to think back on what I used to be capable of.

Thanks everyone for sharing their experiences, it's been a big help in moving forward.