Ill or ‘lazy’? Mental Health at Work

I read somewhere that thinking “everyone else feels like this – I must just be lazy and/or inept” is actually a common experience and a part of being depressed, which makes a lot of sense and momentarily made me feel a little less bad about myself. Honestly I try really hard, all day every day. Some days are more successful than others. But a lot of the time I can’t shake this idea that maybe I’m not even unwell, maybe I’m paying therapists for nothing, maybe I’m just useless at life and looking for an excuse.

That’s how I’m treated at work (side note: the fact I even have a job adds to my sense of ‘maybe I’m just being lazy’ because I know some depressed people can’t even get out of bed in the morning). I’ve been on performance-based action plans since I got there, basically. Action plans to do with being more confident, and getting involved when there’s a conflict situation rather than running away and having a panic attack, you know, all things I have a huge amount of control over
I’ve tried explaining things to them but no one listens or particularly cares. I wasn’t even referred to occupational health when I started having 2 hour long panic attacks with really severe physical symptoms. I’m obviously unwell but I’m on my own with it. My doctor just said ‘you’re stressed’ and wouldn’t do anything, either. Again, I think ‘maybe I’m really not that unwell? Maybe I’m just being pathetic.’

I mentioned my ‘inner saboteur’ in previous posts, a little part of me that really hates me and thinks I’m rubbish, and encourages me to do things. Not to prove that I can do them, but to prove that I can’t and am rubbish, useless, pathetic – that I’m none of the things I want to be. I’m shy, insecure, anxiety-ridden, depressed and have been bullied since I was young. I have had some terrible experiences with men. So what does the inner saboteur tell me to do?

What better way to provoke a full-on mental breakdown? WHY DON’T YOU GO AND WORK FOR THE POLICE? It’s perfect!  Not in an office, either. Front line. Gotta be front line.

Proof, if proof were needed, that I’ve lost what little remains of my sanity.

So anyway, I’m getting to a point where I’m probably going to have to leave soon, before I’m pushed out. Because my mental health just doesn’t allow me to perform at the level the job requires. My problem now is that I’ve somehow stuck it out for over a year and my confidence has been so crushed by perpetually failing at everything for 15 months that I legitimately think I can’t do anything well any more. I’m worried I’ll walk away and then I really will just be a lump in bed, wondering why I’m still bothering to be alive. I don’t want to end up there. I don’t know what to do.

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2 thoughts on “Ill or ‘lazy’? Mental Health at Work

  1. Try not to be too hard on yourself. I just told my husband that I feel like I sabotage everything especially my employment. I have had 15 jobs in the last 10 years. It is so difficult for me to keep a job. And you are so point on about people not understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comment, it helps to know that other people do understand and also have similar experiences! It’s easy to feel really alone with it, and to just get stuck in an endless guilt cycle. I’m not very good at being kind to myself, but I’ll keep trying 🙂 Wishing you all the best in your own journey!

      Liked by 1 person

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