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I had an anxiety attack at work and now have a week off...feel guilty

Community Member

So some personal things have happened through the years: both my parents passed away in 2014 and 2015, my brother sueing us for the inheritance...recently my partner tried a new job to an area with hopes we can buy a house there but the job didn't work out and now we're lost not being able to afford a house.

That all has passed and I work in a job I'm ok with, but difficult to balance full-time work and life. It has been a year and last week was stressful, people kept coming to me about mistakes I made every day, then one day my supervisor mentions a mistake AND that I am working too slow, I lost it.

I ran to the bathroom trying to do breathing exercises, but the body wouldn't listen and tears started pushing through until I just let it out.

I washed my eyes and continued work, but quiet and people knew something was wrong. At the end of the day I called in sick for the next day and saw a doctor who gave me a week off for stress leave, I have already been off a few times this year and seeing a doctor and a psychologist again today but the guilt of not being able to cope is overwhelming.

I keep thinking of the future, where and how can we afford a home without renting? How am I able to function in the real world? What is the point of it all?... I was on medication and it has helped through the year, now taking another medication so I can sleep at night, but anxious dreams still come up though able to fall asleep in less than an hour at least.

I'm trying so hard not to loose it, yes I should relax and it is a disease, but in real life nobody will give you a break and it makes you a loser for it.

I have been thinking of just working as a cashier again part-time, but feel like a loser. Especially since I always wanted to sell my art but nobody buys it even with paid advertisement so now I don't know what to do in my life.

I don't have anything to look forward to, nothing excites me anymore and my passion for life has run dry.

45 Replies 45

Thak you, I do have another appointment and feel a bit sad it all never works out for me. Just having to find something that I'm compatible with has really drained me, let alone just finding a job is stressful enough. But I'm keeping strong!

I just wanted to let everyone know: I gave my two weeks notice today, but let them start it next week so they have time to find someone else.

Everyone at work was very kind and friendly and were extra nice, but I knew deep inside it would all come to a head if I stayed.

I feel a great relief but not fooling myself that the future will be stressful as well, but hopefully not so much. I still feel a sense of guilt I couldn't take full-time work, and afraid if anything in my future happens that I won't be able to cope, but hope nothing like that will happen.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Jessksch,

Sorry I didn't get a chance to get back to you until today.

Well done on handing in the notice. It sounds like you made the right choice for where you are and where you want to be, and I'm glad you are feeling a great sense of relief. As you say, the future will have less stress now that you have the full-time work off your back, at least for the time being.

I understand you're afraid that you might not be able to cope in the future, but let's just start with the here and now. With the right support, hopefully full time work might be something you can look to work towards in the future.

Speaking of which, when has your appointment been rescheduled to?


Community Member

Hi sorry a lot has been going on, I had a talk with my psychologist about everything and she was very helpful . I had a game plan for my future to find a part-time job, but kind of messed up now...

You see, I gave my two weeks notice and was supposed to come in to work those two weeks. I called him the day before to still get off a Tuesday as I had a job interview for a pet shop job! However, my boss was not happy and told me not to come in anymore at all.

I don't mind but honestly sad. I really hope I get this job at the pet shop, has always been my dream but am realistic in that it's not going to be perfect. The amazing part is that it may have potential for a future manager, and if I'm not happy the pets are coming from recognized breeders or not treated well, I can always have the power to change that! ( I was studying a vet nursing degree for a while but then lost it due to me being an idiot and pressuring my supervisors to take more time to teach me, they hated it and got rid of me).

Right now my main concern is not to spend much money till I find a part-time job, but cleaning around the house and doing everything at home while my partner starts his new work.

I guess I shouldn't care if my partner is happy or not, but still don't like his disappointment when he will hear I burned bridges with my full-time job...

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Jesskch,

I'm really glad you managed to have a helpful chat with your psychologist, and it sounds like you have a good plan for this in-between time while you find a new part time job.

I also hope you get this pet shop job. I don't like to put all the eggs in one basket, but I love animals and it sounds like a good place to work. Hopefully you can get it, otherwise I'm sure there are going to be other places too.

How has the last week been for you? Sorry I haven't been able to reply. My housemate is away and it's just me and three animals, so it's been a bit crazy at home!


Community Member

Hi! Thank you so much for the reply, I really appreciate it having someone to listen to me. Things have been pretty busy and good actually: I got the pet shop job and start next week!

Sadly a few other things have been really ruining the good news for me: our dream of finding a house that is affordable has gone down the dumps and we have to now try and be happy with just renting all of our lives.

You see, most people our age move back with their parents for a few years to save up for a deposit for a house, but we don't have that option at all...

My fiance is quite happy in his job as it's very secure and not stressful and he enjoys it, I would never want to take that away from him so moving to other areas isn't an option either...

I feel like he also blames me now for only going to work part-time, though subconciously. He's been wonderful but I feel he's started to resent me for that.

I dunno, mixed feelings of relief,sadness, anger,guilt at the moment.

Community Member

Hi there Jessksch.

It's quite a saga you've been through. I know I'm late to the party as it seems you've been posting about your situation since April and I'm just now reading about it all, but I just wanted to say hi and offer my warm thoughts toward you and all that's been happening for you.

I'm glad there have been people here for you to check in with throughout your leaving the previous job and trying to get seen by a psych. That was a rough road huh. I also have a history of trying to hold it together in a job and my body not just co-operating with what I'm trying to be. What a shame that even with the process of leaving and looking for relief there had to be that last painful and uncomfortable interaction with your boss getting cross because you needed a day off for the interview. At least maybe that can provide you with an extra confirmation that leaving was the right move because even the transition out was unaccommodating right to the end.

I'm noticing a theme throughout your posts of a knee jerk response toward guilt. In my experience this tends to indicate that you are good hearted person because you care about how you affect others, so cudos to you for being a kind and responsible human. Have you considered along the way how to differentiate when guilt serves a useful purpose and when it is only hurting yourself and not helping anyone? The good you want for others which manifests as guilt, is good that you deserve for yourself as well. ❤️

There's also the way your situation is affecting your partner, and (separately) the way you perceive it affecting him. I'm not going to presume to know what you should do or what you have tried, I just wanted to offer my empathy about it. I would guess you have probably had conversations about it all with him. I wonder if there are any helpful creative approaches to getting an accurate picture of what is happening for you both and what you can do about it to help the both of you. I absolutely have experienced the intricate complications of adding a relationship to the mix of mental health struggles (and the twists they add to life) and am not going to pretend it's simple or easy.

I do tend to appear and disappear from these forms at times because of my own struggles so need you to know that if and when I become silent it's not personal (and also doesn't mean I've stopped hearing you, possibly just that I'm unable to respond.)

I would love to hear how you find your new job. ❤️

Community Member

Oh my relationship with my partner is wonderful! Of course he has been depressed about not being able to get a house and the job he hoped for didn't work out, so it has been difficult for us. I have been trying to not loose it in front of him as he became more and more depressed, and then started having the break down at my work due to all that pressure as well.

However, we had been talking, and he know ususally when I get depressed I say I am depressed , I need a moment and go take a nap and sleep. Usually the next day or a few days after I feel better, and if not, I make an appointment with my psychologist. This is what I had done and she was the one who talked to me about if I can only work part-time and made me realize I was just pushing myself like everyone else.

Today we talked because yesterday he brought up another friend who bought a house, but only because they moved back in with their parents to save money. I told him this and this morning when he came back to work he told me he realized this job he has is just too good and stable that he doesn't want to quit. He said he realized we have to rent now for our entire lives, and we both don't have the energy to invest in an appartment only to get a house when we reach over 50...just seems pointless.

It's sad many that I talk to on reddit believe that the problem is me working part-time, but even us both working full-time, in the expensive city we live in, we weren't able to afford it. Everyone always says "start out with a small property then move up from there" but it just seems so stupid and pointless when everyone else back in the day got a house with one income alone!

I am depressed in a way because no matter where I turn, yes, we are seen weak in society and I hate that I couldn't stay at this job and force myself to continue with it.

Community Member

Thanks for explaining a bit more about how you feel and what you are going through. It sounds like coming to terms with the acceptance of having to change your goals is a big deal for both of you, which is quite understandable!

I didn't mean to make you feel like I was saying you didn't have a wonderful relationship with your partner. I was just responding to these couple of comments you made:

"I guess I shouldn't care if my partner is happy or not, but still don't like his disappointment when he will hear I burned bridges with my full-time job..."

"I feel like he also blames me now for only going to work part-time, though subconciously. He's been wonderful but I feel he's started to resent me for that."

It sounded a bit like maybe you had thoughts and feelings about your perceptions of his thoughts and feelings that you hadn't told him or weren't sure how to approach in a way that was both reassuring for you and considerate of him at the same time? I know those can be difficult dynamics to navigate. But if I'm misunderstanding you, that's fine too, I apologise.

Either way it really sounds like you've done some really important introspection and rearranged your life in important ways that are in line with the values you've had to priorities, which is very challenging to pull off so good job! And if I'm hearing you right it's really hard to deal with other people's opinions when they might not understand why your priorities are arranged how they are because they might not have experienced the direness of what it's like to need to do things that way and why.

Community Member

No need to apologize! If anything it was also how I worded things, my guilt and frustration of it all, I always feel like people never understand, and mostly they don't or want to. Not that everything is perfect, my partner is great, but he's been through a lot of very very very stressful situations and can't understand sometimes how "little" things can get me down.

But I have learnt to stand up for my feelings, but it still doesn't make me second-guess myself all the time, so many people are going through much tougher circumstances and see a way through, I must be too weak for the world is what my mind sometimes says.

Not to mention we have still been looking at houses and appartments, I should really stop, it makes me anxious.

Then I told my new work I could start on the 19th for my two weeks notice from my old job (even though they told me not to come in anymore, I wanted some time to relax) I get a message this weekend asking again when I can work and told them the 19th I'm available. Now I'm stressing if they really want to give me the job or not.