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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

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Jess,


Yeah it's been a terrible week of weather for me. My dog Alfie hates it so it's a daily struggle to get him outside to go to the toilet, and then he takes forever and I just get soaked!


It really sounds like you're quite drained and need that extra recharge. I understand you feel really guilty about it, and I did too when I thought I was slacking off. But I think there's actually a lot to be said for how mental health problems can really just sap you and make it hard to work or do even the most basic of things. Rest can be a bit of a blessing, even if they make us feel really guilty.


Haha. I'm with you on playing relaxing games and not stressful ones. I actually got really into solo board games because it's something quite tactile, and a lot of them are quite puzzle like. It's a nice way for me to unwind, experience the physical sensation of moving things around a board, but also be mentally stimulated by doing something challenging, but not tiring. Sounds like a bit of a contradiction now that I say it, but it works for me!


I hope you have a more relaxing Friday and weekend, and you feel a bit better. If you don't mind me asking, is that a pig in your profile picture? Where's the picture from? I like the colours.



Community Member

Hi, Sorry I haven't been replying as often, I wasn't in such a bad way this last month really and I feel so selfish not trying to help others out in that time!


I sincerely hope everyone is doing well and you as well James. Hope the last month has been easy and lots of time to relax!

It has been great working at the pet store lately only 3 days a week, though my guilt overcomes me some times

that I am not working hard enough 😞 Sometimes the store is so quiet I draw, which is enjoyable, but I don't want

the business to suffer either...

Anyways, I had a bit of an issue today: My partner works the night shift and currently is working back in his old job, but he has to wait till he's made permanent again. So that means he has to get back into the "good graces" and not take sick leave or days off, work overtime etc...which is taking a tole.


He gets angry if I don't have the place organized and I retaliate and he says he's sorry but it gets to me some times...I know we just have to hold out another 2 months of this, but it does upset me, especially since I still

try to hold on as much as I can.

Unfortunately I had a look at Facebook today too, and saw all the girls were having a meeting when they said they would invite me next time, and they didn't...I was so upset, I deleted facebook now.


I still think of suicide always the day before work, but I know I feel better after my two days are over and I can relax again. it still sucks because I feel so tired still during my days off that I sleep for 8 hours at night but then need another nap of 3 hours during the day.


Dear Jessksch,

Thank you for posting to the forum community for support (and for sharing with us) tonight. We're sorry to hear how difficult it's been for you - particularly as you've been struggling both at home in your relationship and at work - so much so that you still think of suicide the day before work (even though you know you will feel better after your two days are over, this must still a very overwhelming place for you to be in).

We just want to remind you that we're here to talk/chat anytime if you want to pick up the phone... We're here for you 24/7 (ph: 1300 22 4636 or online chat here). 

...There’s also our friends over at the Suicide Call Back service on 1300 659 467, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.... should you ever need - please don't hesitate to reach out!

We're reaching out to you privately, just to check in with you.

Stay safe, Jessksch and take care.

Kind regards,

Sophie M


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Jess,


Oh no, I'm so saddened to hear the last month was really bad. Please don't feel selfish at all - this is a community and there are no expectations at all of anybody. People come and go, but the community is always here as a safe place for everyone.


Thank you for the well wishes! Relaxing wouldn't be the word to describe the last month, but some months are just like that, and then we move onto the next and hope it's a bit better, lol.


I'm glad to hear the pet store job is going well. It can be nice to have a bit of routine in our work life when our personal life can be so up and down. But I'm sad you feel guilty about aspects of working. Is that something you've spoken to your psychologist or doctor about before?


Ah it sounds like you're still under so much stress 😞 That really sucks. Deleting facebook for now was probably going to be a good move, even just in the short term. We need to get rid of as much stress as possible, and really focus on the relationships that give us more strength, not less. There's always time in the future for the more stressful friendships, if we choose to engage then.


Take care for now - we are here for you.



Community Member



I wanted to apologize for my last post it had some aspects that may have been triggering to some people and that is the last thing I would want to do. Sometimes we forget how powerful words can be to those who read them.


I am doing better again mentally, I do get extreme ups and downs and I try not to affect the people around me with it, but sometimes words are a way to vent.


I am quite happy with the job and only working 3 days a week but lately the stress has been getting to me that retail jobs aren't doing so well. The business seems to be failing as sales are low and the guilt of not being able to do anything is getting to me. I just don't want to end up with a job with individual kpis or one that is stressful.


Probably just a cashier in a grocery store is fine for me, but it's hard to get a job like that I think when you are older and overeducated.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Jess,


That is okay. I am not sure if anything was removed, and if so, you can rest assured that the moderation team have your well being and the well being of others in mind. I am just grateful that you feel comfortable posting your thoughts here at all, and ultimately, suicide is something that a lot of people grapple with in many forms.


I'm glad to hear you are doing better recently. The ups and downs is something I'm really familiar with, and something I found hard to get used to, and to then learn how to manage. I think words are a good way of getting it out so it doesn't build unhelpfully either way.


I think that's a really reasonable concern to have, regarding work and what opportunities are realistically available. While I think there are always going to be great places who would potentially even be looking for someone a bit older and with some experience working, it seems harder to find. Personally, I try not to dwell on those kinds of concerns on my own too much. For me, it's particularly around buying a house in an expensive city. It's a very reasonable concern, but dwelling on it just makes me feel worse. I think some people like to put really firm plans in place, but I find it easier just to have slightly more generic goals that I can work towards, and which will help me regardless of whether my long term plan works or not. At least then I can feel like I'm doing something useful, but also not getting too bogged down in specific plans that are hard to predict.


I hope you are having a nice week so far.