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A shoulder for everyone

Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 4:03 pm
by numbfounded
I'm at work today. That is, I'm working from home. That is, I'm at home and I should be working.
Instead I've wasted much of the day when I have no time to spare. I'm so far behind with jobs that there's no real possibility of catching up. I've tried writing lists and assigning priorities but everything is priority '1' for somebody and, over-faced with the impossible task before me I've found it impossible to focus and even pick away at the low hanging fruit.
I'm not here to complain that I'm overworked, of course.
I could sit here and waste more time achieving nothing, I could go and make more tea, I could shift to the bed, call my dog up and give him a hug (which undoubtedly helps)... or I can do an internet search for a safe place to pour things out, whether anybody will read or not, it may help to at least put it out there.
That was my thinking and it's here that I find myself.

There's a lot of background to unpack but the crux of my problem is as follows:

My formal education is relatively low, I did manual, manufacturing jobs and have worked my way up to a Management position. I'm proud of that and in some aspects I'm as competent or more competent than my peers. However, in other aspects I feel like I'm just making it up, like I'm always on the verge of making a huge mistake and the responsibility is crushing.

My employer makes all of the right noises about recognising mental health issues but my Manager (The Plant Manager) is frankly uncaring. He says what he needs to say to keep on the right side of HR but I know from experience that he sees it as a weakness if you admit to struggling and will put a black mark next to your name from then on. I experienced this when going through a relationship break-up in the past and having to find somewhere to live at short notice and admitting that I was struggling to do coursework at home during that period. The response was effectively "man up", though not those exact words and our relationship has been soured from that point. Others have experienced similar and either been moved on or they've moved themselves on.

I desperately want to leave. Again, I'm not here to moan about my job, I'm not moaning about hard work, I have genuine concerns about my mental wellbeing.
It's been building for a few years, I guess but I'm generally the one that other people talk to about their problems. I'm the rock. I'm not supposed to struggle so I've denied it to myself.
In truth I spend too many nights lying awake, feeling anxious about work, money and life prospects in general.
At work, I have no patience for anything. When peers who I have considered friends bother me with questions when I'm already busy I'm short and snappy with them. I have visions of saying, "I can't do it anymore" and walking away.
I can't concentrate any more. Asked questions I struggle to get my thoughts together to answer. Looking at blocks of text or tables of numbers, I may as well be looking at a load of sticks tossed on the ground, I can't get my head around what they mean. I'm making mistakes, I'm falling behind and nobody cares but they soon will because it will impact the business.

My father has cancer. In fact, he has a list of conditions which only appeared as he approached his retirement year. A cruel, cruel blow for somebody who had worked hard all of his life and was just approaching the time to relax. Now he's confined to a chair and it's heart-breaking for me and immensely stressful for my mum who is still working and caring for him at the same time.

My partner was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The impact of this varies, of course but she clearly struggles sometimes and there have been occasions when she's been really upset because her arms have become so heavy she can't lift them.

I have utmost sympathy for all of them and don't want to distract from their issues but it does mean that I'm short of people to talk to.
I genuinely believe that there is nothing that I can do at my current place of employment now that will fix this and it is only a matter of time before something gives and it may be me, mentally. I dream of moving to another job, with less responsibility so I can concentrate on life again but I can't do it because I have debts. Stupid debts, I have nobody else to blame for those either, which also weights heavily on my mind. Granted, it hasn't been helped by a couple of failed relationships where I have decided to walk away and start afresh with nothing and accumulated debts in that process but mostly it has been bad choices and carelessness. I went through a phase of credit card balances creeping up until they were nearly full then I'd switch them to a zero interest card. Unfortunately I had a dispute with a utilities company, my credit rating got hit and that was the end of zero interest.
I don't even know the extent of my issues as I don't feel mentally strong / focussed enough to get everything together, otherwise I may have approached a debt charity but I know it would likely take £25-30k to totally clear it.

Anyway, I didn't come here to talk about money, there are plenty of forums for that. The important thing, for me is simply to get it out there that I feel absolutely trapped and, as much as I do, genuinely appreciate that others on here have far bigger issues to deal with, I feel completely hopeless. I have nobody to lean on. My family have their own issues, I have no friends to speak of (at 42 we've all drifted apart) and I can only envisage myself going downhill from here and quickly. I want out. I want to walk away from my job and relieve myself of this weight but I'll only be inviting financial pressures onto myself and people around me due to the debts.

I dream of the simple life almost daily. I'm happy to live with very little but it's too late for me, due to past mistakes and even selling everything I own wouldn't scratch the surface. I walk out into the middle of nowhere with my dog and think, "This is all I want" then feel like crying when I wake the next night, knowing I have to put myself through it again the next day