DSGamer Down Under (Australia) and back

Awww DS, I'm so glad to hear things have been (overall) moving in a more positive direction. The new kitty is such a cutie too! <3

bekkilyn wrote:

Awww DS, I'm so glad to hear things have been (overall) moving in a more positive direction. The new kitty is such a cutie too! <3

Thanks. She's at that age (3 months) where she's so ridiculously small. I love pictures with her because I'm like this giant man and she's so tiny. We look like the most unlikely pair.

Awwww ds. Glad you're doing well. And yes, the pics are adorbs.

That's great news.

Great update! Your house looks awesome, and very dry!

Congrats on home ownership!

Glad to hear you're doing well DS. That house looks super cozy btw.

I think I'm going to take the advice of a couple of GWJers and use this thread to talk about my struggles.

Currently I'm in a major wave of anxiety and physical (twitching, sensitive / burning skin sensations, insomnia) symptoms caused by attempting to quit an anxiety medication a few years ago.

I took last week off of work after work stress really got to me. I talk about it in the anxiety thread here. And in the work thread here.

Basically, two months ago the project manager on my main project at work quit and my company failed to fill the position. I tried to take over the duties, but got overloaded really quickly. The customer is also really demanding. While this was going on FIVE other people in my office quit. So we've gone from an office of 12 people down to an office of 6 in a couple of months. It feels like everything is really unstable here.

Worse, it feels like my boss is either checked out or doesn't have the backing *he* needs to do the things he needs to do to support the team. Which, of course, doesn't make me feel supported which then feeds back into my anxiety and my current state.

The point of this post is that I'm supposed to fly to a conference in about ten days and I'm not feeling good about that at all. I don't know if I want to be with this company long term. I'm struggling to sleep right as it is. It's in Vegas which is all loud noises and loud lights. I'm worried I'll be overwhelmed and ruin what little stability I gained this week. All for a company I don't really want to work for anymore.

Any thoughts on what I should do?

Refuse to go, and find another job. Start punching the clock, put in your time, and try to leave work at the door as you leave for the day. Easy for me to say though... finding a job brings anxiety as well...

DSGamer wrote:

All for a company I don't really want to work for anymore.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Refuse to go, and find another job. Start punching the clock, put in your time, and try to leave work at the door as you leave for the day.

Gotta agree.

When work is making you sick, you need to stop that work.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Refuse to go, and find another job. Start punching the clock, put in your time, and try to leave work at the door as you leave for the day. Easy for me to say though... finding a job brings anxiety as well...

I agree with Leap, including about how it's easier said than done, even if it is the right move. When the company isn't taking care of you or your team, it's probably easier to change jobs than fix the culture there.

Good luck, bro!

Agree with all that that. In fact I quit my job just recently after a week of getting treated like crap became the last straw in a long horrible year. Friday I take my red swingline stapler and let the place burn.

Yay, good for you Yellek!

DS, there seems to be good reason why all those other people quit. You don't need to make yourself into the sacrificial lamb for this cause!

The unfortunate thing is that my boss seems very understanding of my stress / insomnia right now. He didn't flinch at me taking last week off and asked me if I needed time off this week as well. He just hasn't done anything to make me feel supported in the day to day job when I am in the office.

bekkilyn wrote:

Yay, good for you Yellek!

DS, there seems to be good reason why all those other people quit. You don't need to make yourself into the sacrificial lamb for this cause!

It's not that I'm making my self a sacrificial lamb. It's more that because of everything I've been through the last 5 years I've lost confidence that it would be an enjoyable process to look for a new job or that it wouldn't cause its own worse stress.

But yes, I think about it a lot that other people have come to the same conclusions I have on their own.

Thanks everyone who replied so far. I really appreciate it.

When I quit my FT job (oh my....back in 2001), I made a pros and cons list of reasons to stay or go. The reasons to leave were stronger. Then I gave the reasons a 1-10 scale to see if that changed anything. (The commute...45 miles one way...was a reason to leave, but it only was a 3 on the annoyance scale.)

I have never regretted leaving that job.

We also were able to get by on my husband's FT job and I started adjuncting at a local college for some money, but no more 3 day inservices each semester that resulted in me coming home and sobbing and drinking in the shower.

If you think there's anything to be gained by going to the conference (networking possibilities?), I'd go.

Didn’t quit yet. Got the trip canceled.

DSGamer wrote:

Didn’t quit yet. Got the trip canceled.

Well that's a start!

You've been around the block enough to know this, but never forget you can just casually investigate new job opportunities while you're in your current position. I think finding a new job while unemployed adds a lot of stress and sense of urgency.

Good luck!

DSGamer wrote:

The unfortunate thing is that my boss seems very understanding of my stress / insomnia right now. He didn't flinch at me taking last week off and asked me if I needed time off this week as well. He just hasn't done anything to make me feel supported in the day to day job when I am in the office.

Sounds like you have the wrong boss for you and perhaps you need to communicate your problems with your boss with your boss.

With so many people quitting there's clearly issues with the company. The question is who is causing these people to quit?

DSGamer wrote:

Didn’t quit yet. Got the trip canceled.

Nice! One less stressor.

Don't sweat the insomnia. It'll take care of itself, eventually. Do what you can to improve it, but if you fight the insomnia it'll only get worse. It's a little like anxiety in that way. The more you fight it, the more it'll bite back. Melatonin. Meditation/yoga. Reading before bed (no screen time). Use a blue light filter thing on your phone. Etc.

As soon as I read five other people quit, instantly thought that there sounds like an unfixable problem and you can feel no regrets about leaving for elsewhere. I totally understand that looking for a new job when the current one you have is draining you 110% is real difficult. Take care.

Was one of the people that left the person that had the unsuitable office dog?

Lol. No. Good memory. He has gotten the dog somewhat under control, though.

I had a somewhat normal day yesterday. No major physical symptoms. I slept for a 6 hour chunk last night for the first time in 3 weeks. I'm a little more stable right now and feeling very thankful for my family and all the support I've gotten here and elsewhere. My wife returns in 2 days and I'm very thankful for that as well. I'm worried about this happening again, of course, but I'm going to try not to worry about that today and be thankful for current stability instead.

garion333 wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

The unfortunate thing is that my boss seems very understanding of my stress / insomnia right now. He didn't flinch at me taking last week off and asked me if I needed time off this week as well. He just hasn't done anything to make me feel supported in the day to day job when I am in the office.

Sounds like you have the wrong boss for you and perhaps you need to communicate your problems with your boss with your boss.

With so many people quitting there's clearly issues with the company. The question is who is causing these people to quit?

Yeah. I think no one is feeling supported. And everyone is feeling like there's too much to do and not enough support. Not enough people doing the same work so you're not an island. I have some thinking to do about how to proceed. For sure.

garion333 wrote:

Nice! One less stressor.

Don't sweat the insomnia. It'll take care of itself, eventually. Do what you can to improve it, but if you fight the insomnia it'll only get worse. It's a little like anxiety in that way. The more you fight it, the more it'll bite back. Melatonin. Meditation/yoga. Reading before bed (no screen time). Use a blue light filter thing on your phone. Etc.

Right. I already do some of that. I've been using a blue light filter for years. I do some meditation, but not enough. I've definitely doubled down on spending time trying to be more mindful the past 3 weeks. I will try to do more.

My sleep hygiene is pretty good overall. No TV in the bedroom for decades. I usually try to shut things down an hour or so before bed, but I've locked that down these past few weeks even tighter. Including wearing blue light blocking glasses starting around 9 or so and making sure I've eaten dinner by 8. It seems to be helping.

And I'm trying not to fight it. It's been a lifetime battle for me, though, so sometimes my mind runs away with itself.

I was using blue light filter Twilight until I started a job where I have to turn my phone completely off every day at work (security procedure, and I don't have a car I can leave it in), and I'm never going to remember all the time to turn it on every evening. I even moved it to the front page and I still just can't make the habit. Annoying.

Twilight doesn’t come on automatically?

Not on the phone I have now, no. Oppo r9s. Wasn't turning my good old Nexus 5 off every day so have nothing to compare it to.

Also I lied, I didn't move it to the front page, I must have just thought about doing it. So I will give a renewed go to turning it on every day.

2 months later and there's no movement to hiring a project manager. The PM we do have who eventually shouldered the work is starting to feel the strain. I haven't quit yet. I probably should, but I'm anxious about looking for new work and I'm anxious about change in general right now. I've only been stable now for a little over a week.

Rather than dominating multiple threads I want to ask some advice and be a bit more specific about something I've been dealing with.

WARNING: Possible triggers below

For 5 years now I've been tapering off of an anxiety medication. The process is long and painful and filled with pretty awful side effects. I'll spare describing them for now, but in my case they're very painful and at times debilitating. Life has been a slog for a large part of the last 5 years.

Lately I've felt better, but I've been frustrated by my job and I stared looking for a new job. The problem is that I literally have amnesia in parts of my life. This isn't the "fun, lighthearted amnesia" you see as the premise of a video game. Forgetting things is awful and it has serious consequences to relationships, career, etc. This is roughly what I'm suffering from.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubme...

This is the key part.

Benzodiazepines, shown to affect memory, can produce anterograde amnesia (i.e., a loss of memory for events occurring forward in time). Following the ingestion of a benzodiazepine, short-term memory is not affected, but long-term memory is impaired. The memory loss may occur because events are not transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory and thus not consolidated into memory storage. Information stored prior to the ingestion of a benzodiazepine is not affected.

So basically because of a medication I was put on, I've suffered severe memory limitations that make it hard for me to recall long term memory at times. My wife will describe trips I don't remember or memories we made that are literally not memories I have any longer. I've learned to live with this. I assume the best I can do is take my life one day at a time and that I'll likely die early and that will be a mercy.

As far as work goes, I can do my job. In fact I think I'm quite effective at my job. I just can't recall things off the top of my head the same way other people can. I need to look things up frequently to jog my memory. So I struggle in verbal job interviews, but do great when I have the ability to refresh my memory. And I'm good when I'm on the job.

From basically 2004 through 2014 I was on a large dose of this medication, so along with memory consolidation problems, I basically got no REM sleep. Things have gotten better (in terms of memory) since I began coming off the medication, but coming off the medication is an entirely different nightmare. Here's just one story explaining that.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/n...

I personally know many of the people in that article. We're a fairly small community. I know the people they're referring to who have considered taking their lives. People talk about it all the time, unfortunately. That makes it a tough source of support, which is why I lean on GWJ so much. Sometimes I have to take a break from the people who understand my situation the best.

And, unfortunately, I know the people who have followed through and given up. I'm still here. That's about all I can say about that some days.

Anyway, the only way my brain will fully heal, as I understand it, is to come off the medication. And that process is one that's ongoing. In the meantime I have to figure out what to do about my career and looking for work in the future.

Days like yesterday when I interview are a punch in the gut. I was put on this medication. I trusted my doctor. I don't know what I could have done differently to avoid those 10 years that were mostly wiped out. I spend a non-insignificant amount of time trying to relearn parts of my career so they're more fresh. That generally helps, but it's a lot to relearn and I obviously can't replace the day to day experience I've forgotten.

Imagine sitting in a job interview and someone asks you a question like, "Can you think of a time when X happened and how did you solve it". I want to be able to answer, "No, I literally can't. Because it's gone".

I'm trying to figure out the best way forward. Should I start applying for less senior positions? If I do, how do I explain why I am the way I am? Should I talk to a specialist and see about getting accommodations? I've been muddling through the last 5 years and I got lucky to land in the position I have, but I have no idea how things go after this position.

I don't know what the roadmap is for someone like me.

I don't know if I have any helpful suggestions, DSG, and god knows I share 'em if I think I have any. I'm pulling for you!

I don't have any good suggestions to you, except to be honest. Your memory will never work like it used to, but you're still a functioning, quality employee. You have value and it might take you a while longer to find a job than someone who doesn't have the same memory impairment.

I don't have any good suggestions either. Some of my thoughts on the matter are the fact that you have been employed, and clearly solved those types of issues when the did arrive else you would have been let go many times. Not only that, you can talk up your ability and drive to push through those problems when they do arrive, in part because you can't remember and have to learn "new" things all the time.