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Self sabotaging and can't stop

Community Member

Hi there,

this is my first post here about anything so as you probably can all imagine I'm freaking out.

I've always had depression for as long as I can remember, even before I was diagnosed or even knew what it was. I'm 23 and been on antidepressants for about 6 months, first time being medicated.

I took a long time to know what I wanted to do after school, did uni for 2 years and failed a bunch of stuff because of depression and a lack of interest or drive in what I was doing, ended up moving home to get a shitty kitchenhand job that I ended up falling in love with and after 3 years knowing I wanted to do a chefs apprenticeship. At that job I had an extremely close group of friends but felt I had to leave due to a few reasons and even to an extent excited to leave and start afresh somewhere new. But that's been hard as hospitality hours make it difficult to socialise outside of work and I definitely rely on my friends probably too much to help keep me well.

But long story short I ended up getting an apprenticeship at one of the best restaurants in my town, and have been there for just over 2 weeks, I was really excited and anxious as shit but pretty keen for it all because I know I'm capable and ready to start my career.

I ended up being really sick on the last Friday, but i went to work for the lunch shift, but didn't go back that night because everyone said I was too sick, I also couldn't go for the Saturday. We close on Sundays and then on Monday, not being sick anymore, but I slept through my alarms and just couldn't go. I was too anxious to ring up and say what had happened plus not knowing how to articulate it to my boss. Tuesdays I normally have off which brings me to today Wednesday, I'm so freaking depressed and anxious about it, I've been lying in bed for 3 hours now trying to get up and I can't, I want nothing more than to get up and go in and confidently say sorry about Monday but I'm super depressed, should have called up, it won't happen again but I physically cannot make myself move from this bed. I know the longer I leave it the worse off I'll be for it at work, if I even still have a job there. I don't know if this is self sabotaging, or my depression is getting worse or what it is, to a point I've always been able to go to work no matter how hard it was but now I can't seem too.

I don't know what to do or if writing this will even result in any help but I'm at a total loss and feel paralysed.

5 Replies 5

Community Champion
Community Champion

hello ilobsiudpo,

Welcome to the forums. We're a totally safe place here and, unless that's you're real name, I don't think anyone is going to be guessing who you are. We're an anonymous board and good on you for having the courage to speak up.

You sound so anxious and beat up about having missed Monday. It sounds like there's a lot going on but you also know what the right thing to do is, which is to get help for yourself. Like you say, things are getting pretty rough and there's only so much we can rely on friends because even if they're really kind and supportive, they aren't professionally trained.

Have you ever spoken to your GP or a counsellor? I realise you said that speaking to us here on the forums was hard so I imagine it'd be even harder in person. But because they're professionally trained, they know how to help and they do want to help.

In terms of work, if this is a job you really like, I'd just apologise for Monday and say you were really sick or something. Pass it off and apologise for not letting them know on the day. Since it's a new job, it probably isn't the best time to tell them about your mental health troubles unless they are clearly going to be supportive.

Instead, pass this off but use it to help you get help. With a GP or counsellor, you can speak about strategies to make sure you turn up to work on time each day. Perhaps later down the track you can talk to your supervisor, but for the time being, it is best to hold yourself accountable to getting to work on time.

I'm 25 so not really much older than you, so I know what it's like to have to struggle with mental illness while just starting work. It's super scary because you don't want to stuff up your career, but properly managed, it is possible to balance both.


Hi James,

Thanks for the reply. In an update I did go to work and apologised for not having been there and said I was sick. In turn my boss was real suss on that and asked what was wrong, I just said that I was unwell and very sorry it doesn't happen often and won't happen again anytime soon, was just glad to be back and ready to get stuck into it.

Again she sort of pushed it and then half jokingly said that I looked hungover and better not have been drinking. I assured her that I hadn't and then said I have hayfever if my face looks puffy and then because she was being pushy I said to be honest that I struggle with depression and something went off with my medication but that it has never happened before and won't again and I had a dr appt that afternoon to deal with it.

She suggested that I go home because I was upset but I was only upset because she made me talk about it. I said I didn't want to, I just wanted to get into work and she sternly was like no go home and ring me after you talk to the doctor.

So that's what I did. I rang her afterwards and said things were good I'd like to go back the next day and again assured her I wanted the job and everything. She said that she didn't think it was going to work out and that they couldn't have an unreliable apprentice. We went back and forth like that and pretty much she didn't want a bar of it.

I'm totally devastated to say the least. If I had been spewing over a toilet for days there wouldn't have been a problem but because it's depression it's unacceptable. I don't know I think it's pretty dumb and unfair. I'm pretty numb to it at the moment.

Awww I'm sorry to hear about that. But I think you should know that it was really brave of you to get back on the horse and go to work and for that you should be proud of yourself. I know how terrifying it is and how bad the shame can be, don't be too hard on yourself. It sucks that she didn't understand your illness, sometimes people are just ignorant. I'm sure you can find a workplace with a more current understanding of mental illness: as an illness like any other.

Thanks Princess ❤️ I really want to try and go out tomorrow and talk to a few places and get back out there if I feel up to it because I hate not working so much. When I have a job, or at least people there, that I really love I find it a lot easier to deal with everything, especially working in hospitality I definitely use it as a way to cope. I describe it as in the same way some people love and use exercise to help cope with depression, I use a busy service and get those same good feeling endorphins, I don't know it's weird.

But I guess it just wasn't meant to be at that place and whatever comes up next will hopefully be more in the right direction for me.

In other news the doctor I saw was not my usual GP as she was too busy but he was very good, and just happened to be a mental health specialist as well. I'm nervous as I've only been on antidepressants for about 9 months and it's my first time being on them but they clearly are not working very well so I'm being put on some different ones, and I'm obviously nervous that they won't work but it's some different and hopefully a step in the right direction. I'm also going back on Monday to set up a mental health plan which is good, it all made me feel very supported and at least that I wasn't alone in it all for 10 minutes.

Good on you for realising that having employment is an important part of maintaining good mental health. I am struggling to find a job due to having time off work this year. It’s even hard after you’ve been doing the same job for fourteen years, to keep that job after an episode of depression. It shouldn’t be but there is still discrimination out there.