A question for anyone who’s listening…

Does there ever come a point where it simply isn’t worth it to keep fighting your anxiety anymore?

This is the dilemma I’ve been facing lately. I keep reading supportive messages about how it will get better. About how the panic attacks will end and I’ll be able to cope just like I did before the anxiety took over my life. About how I’ll be able to enjoy my job again, not feel anxious, do the things that scare me and get over the negativity that environment fills me with.

But lately it hasn’t just been those situations that trigger my panic attacks that make me anxious. It’s anything to do with work. It’s seeing those people. It’s feeling like they don’t support me. It’s knowing that I’ve done everything they have asked of me and more, outperformed my coworkers and gotten the qualifications, but still not received the promotion I’ve earned.

This is a part-time job that was great while I was in school, but I really don’t need it anymore. It has been a source of pride for me, though, and I love the opportunities I’ve gotten. I just don’t want to have to live with the idea that I gave in to my mental illness if I leave now.

I guess this is my question to anyone who’s listening:

If you remove yourself from the thing that triggers your anxiety, does that mean you are letting the anxiety win? Or does it just mean you’re taking positive steps to your own mental well-being?

I would love to hear what you think.


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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

6 responses to “A question for anyone who’s listening…”

  1. jlstanding says :

    Wow, that is a really tough question. I think if, anxiety aside, something is bad for you, then you should leave it in the dust. Does the job make you happy in any way? You said it yourself that you don’t really need it. That’s aside from your mental struggles. Maybe you are just ready to move on. It’s anxiety if you want to quit and stay in bed all day to hide from the world. It’s a healthy decision if you are just simply ready to move on.

    • janinerussell says :

      I guess that’s my problem. I love the accomplishment. I love the people I work with. I love the opportunities for doing awesome things. But lately I think I’ve been dwelling so much more on the negative things. The stress, the injustice, feeling like I’m taken for granted. Too much pressure. I used to do this job because I loved it. But now I stay because I feel like I have to. And I can’t seem to separate the anxiety from the other things going on.

  2. sofiebergh says :

    Janine, dear. Don’t let your pride get in the way of your happiness. Many illnesses make peope have to change jobs. What if you had amputated a foot? Would you have stayed just so that you wouldn’t let your illness win? I don’t think you would have. But since it’t a mental illness, you think that it’s your own fault for having it.

    Don’t be too proud to make yourself happy. Quitting can be a really good thing! It frees your mind and your time from things that don’t make you happy and leaves you open to things that can make you happy.

    I think that you will be able to fight your illness. I think you will win. I just think it will take time. And I think it requires you removing yourself for a while from the activities that trigger your anxiety.

    If you could do anything else in the world, what would that be?

    Is your answer something that can be done? If not, how can you, in a realistic way, achieve the same feeling?

    I hope to hear how you are doing after making your decision to stay or leave.

    Make yourself happy, Janine! I’m rooting for you!

    • janinerussell says :

      You’re very right. I never thought about it that way, but I do blame myself for my mental illness.I feel like I should be able to overcome it. I should be strong enough to cope, strong enough to not let my fear drag me down. It’s a shame I can’t talk to anyone I work with about it. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a problem if I didn’t need to keep it a secret.

  3. Victoria Sawyer says :

    Janine! I hear you loud and clear! I have many of the same issues with my career and anxiety. There are jobs i know I can’t handle because I know I’ll be too anxious to perform. It sucks so bad to know that your career life is derailed by anxiety!

    That being said, there are some additional ways to cope. One way I’ve found recently is taking Magnesium Citrate. I’m not sure why…but taking it everyday seems to take the edge off my anxiety. It may be worth a try to at least get you through this time until you can find another job.

    I also don’t believe you should feel bad about taking care of your health first and foremost. There are jobs out there that will be a better fit for you. I do know it takes a long time sometimes to find that perfect job and it’s a struggle between choosing a job that makes you feel calm and a job that gives you pleasure or is exciting/interesting to you. I struggle with this every day. Stay safe? Or do what I love? It’s a very hard decision to make and it has definitely made my career more difficult to manage.

    I actually wrote a blog post over on my site about both Magnesium and about how frustrated my career/anxiety make me. I think one of the hardest parts is seeing other people succeed and knowing that they don’t have anxiety holding them back, so the sky is the limit for them. I imagine a lot how wonderful that feeling must be. I can’t imagine the freedom of that. I have had anxiety for just about 22 years now! So most of my life.

    I think all I can really do is compromise with it by finding the job that is interesting and also safe. It’s not ideal and it’s not what others can do, but I think feeling miserable every day with anxiety is not the kind of life I want to live. I just can’t do it! And I’ve been through spurts of it here and there, where even things I was okay with before are suddenly not okay. But it does get better. Meditation, calming techniques, Magnesium, all can help bring things into a better semblance of order.

    I wish you luck!! There are those of us out here who feel the same way. You are not alone!! And I am sure you can find a way to make it work. Best to you!!!

  4. lexborgia says :

    I don’t know Jan. Like you, I decided to finally do something about it: I take medication. The anxiety hasn’t vanished but I have more drive. Do I still feel discomfort around people? Yes. I’m still terrified of closed spaces. I still experience moments of crippling depression. Trust is the magic word, I guess – I don’t trust the world I live, but I live in it, so my approach these days is they (the world) will either deal with me, or not. I don’t need their approval. But the pills are great. No therapy; I’m terrified of analysts, their couches in their little rooms. Built a nucleus of trust and expand it slowly. I think our greatest fear/ anxiety trigger is people finding out… and turning away from us (been there). Kill the secret. You are who you are.

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