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I want to leave work but I'm anxious

Community Member

I've been with this company for almost 4 years and had no problems with my job until roughly end of last year. I started off as casual working how many days I want and when. Then offered to do more hours due to busy Christmas period and working 5 days a week. Ever since then I began struggling with finding work-life balance and having to take out my problems and frustration to my partner which was not good for our relationship.

The problem is when I'm at work I'm the most bubbliest and happy person there - but of course that's a mask. Before the start of my shift I'm crying and frustrated not knowing why I'm crying and after I finish my shift, I come home mentally exhausted. I'm started to be unmotivated a lot before work and anxious when I talk to customers. My brain is filled with overthinking and it's draining me. The other day I was bawling my eyes out and mentally not prepared that morning but ended up showing to work with a fuzzy thought process and blurred thinking. I went up to my manager and told her about my problems and happily gave me the time off for the next two days. How can I tell my manager that I want to leave? I'm feeling burnt out and not progressing in life. I feel like I'm living the same day, day after day until the weekend. The workplace is amazing but I feel like I'm slowly loosing my sparkle and interest in this field.

The one thing that also gets me is that I asked if I can take the day off tomorrow as I'm feeling so anxious and depressed. But manager replies with 'We're down one person because of COVID, if you can still work or even for a couple of hours' despite my situation. I wish I can. I wish my mental state can. I really wish to help but I know once I go in I'll feel even worse especially when talking to customers and have to mask everything. It feels so debilitating.

I want to leave but this workplace has done so much for me and I'm anxious about it. I'm anxious about suddenly asking and also since my partner and I are in the middle of a home loan submission, I can't suddenly not work any more. I'm waiting for a psychiatrist appointment in September as I'm thinking I might have ADHD. I've also been prescribed antidepressants and my right leg was supposed to go under the needle for varicose veins but need to push that back.I feel overwhelmed and burnt out. I don't know what to do..

5 Replies 5

That Other Guy
Community Member

My son just started ADHD meds and it's totally changed his life. I suggest getting on top of that ASAP and seeing if it actually fixes a lot of the other issues. If it doesn't, then perhaps you need to look for a new career, if this one is draining your happiness?

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Tatachoo,

I'm sorry to hear that you are experiencing such burnout at your current job. It's never easy when the environment that you once loved being in becomes a place that you struggle to be in.

You should be proud of yourself for recognising your current mental state and the effects that it's having on you.

Have you tried to talk to your manager about reducing your hours permanently? Perhaps this might be a good way to reduce some of the anxiety and burnout that you are currently experiencing as a result of your current work-life schedule. This could be a good way of ensuring that you don't lose your interest, especially if its an environment that you love working with but is momentarily depriving you of finding fulfilment outside of the workplace.

From personal experience, I took days off here and there when I was having my own issues that I had to sort through and whilst it helped relieve some of that pressure and anxiety around having to be at work whilst I was feeling like that, those feelings only came back when I had to go back in. I recognised that my mental health was my number one priority and as much as I loved the job and everyone I worked with, I needed to take a bit of a step back to get myself back in check, recover from my emotional burnout and I returned back to what I once once working but in a better state of mind. At the time, I knew that I wanted to keep working there but I needed to find some fulfilment outside of work too and feel like I had the time to do that.

Years later, when I felt fulfilled in all areas but work, I realised that it was time for a change and that the environment that I once loved wasn't serving me anymore. It took a long time for it to get to that point and a long time for me to recognise that but once it got to that point, I couldn't shake the feeling anymore and it's been the best decision for me.

I understand how comments like being asked to come in when you are really struggling can be so hard to hear. I know they probably mean no harm when making them and don't want you to feel pressured into fulfilling their request but it doesn't stop those feelings from flooding in anyway. It might be helpful to reassure yourself that you are doing what YOU need to feel better and that the burdens of others are not up to YOU to resolve, especially when you don't have the capacity to do so.

I wish you all the best and hope that you can find a resolution with your manager 🙂

Hi That Other Guy,

I've got my first appointment with a psychiatrist in September that specialises in ADHD adults. It's quite a while away from now so I've been struggling a little. I'm hoping if I do get diagnosed to be able to be prescribed ADHD medication to help. Thanks for your input 🙂

Hi Livi_Mivi,

Thank you for sharing your part, I don't feel as lonely hearing your story. I have yet to talk to my manager about reducing hours as of yet. Every time I see her in her office I end up being so anxious trying to bring it up and end up just asking for a couple of days off instead because I feel like it's too much.

I've mustered up the courage and ending up accepting to got to work later today to do only half of my shift. I know I'm gonna hate myself for going and I'm worried about coworkers being nosy about my sudden disappearance for the past couple of days which was one of the big reasons why I didn't want to go.

I'll try and talk to my manager next week as they're back on and we'll see how we go...

But thank you very much for sharing, I really appreciate it 🙂

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Tatachoo,

I can understand that anxiety around talking to your manager, especially because you don't know what their response will be. It takes a lot of courage to have a face-to-face discussion at times and I always found that the longer I put it off, the more anxious I became. Here are some tips that I found worked best for me: knowing exactly what I wanted to say and practicing what I was going to say; when I took the focus away from what my manager's reaction would be and rather on what I needed and wanted to say then I felt a lot more confident going in. Be open to suggestion; if you don't feel comfortable necessarily asking for the reduction in hours perhaps going in and telling her how you feel, what hasn't been working for you (current hours), what you think would benefit you in the long run (a reduction in hours) and if she has any way that she can think of that would accomodate the change.

There is no shame in needing to take time for yourself, it is actually really admirable that you still have your work at the forefront of your mind and trying not to disappoint or them down. I'm sure your manager and co-workers can acknowledge your incredible contributions so don't disappoint yourself in the process of trying to please or keep up appearances. People are naturally going to feel curious or worried and hope that you are okay. If you don't feel comfortable sharing your experience/reason for absence then I always found it helpful to acknowledge that you were gone before they even ask and that you're back and can't wait to get back into things. Eventually, you might feel comfortable in confiding with others but you don't owe an explanation 🙂

Best of luck with your chat and for your journey!