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  • Life crisis - please help!

    Hi all,

    I have been thinking about posting this for the last week or so but haven't had the nerve to do it. A glass of wine later though and here we go...

    I haven't been too well for a long time now, and last week it got to the point when I went to my doctor. I have had some blood tests and am awaiting the results, but basically she and I think it all comes down to stress.

    For a long time now I haven't been happy in my job, but it's taken until now for me to realise just how unhappy I am. Now it's to the point where I feel ill at the thought of going, I get very upset in the mornings and the night before and I'm not sleeping properly.

    The problem is I don't know what else I would do. I have my ideas - crafts / mosaics would be great but I can't earn the money to pay my bills, plus it's not a regular income, so I'd never know day to day what money, if any, I would have.

    I have been looking into doing some sales rep work - hence the Avon post, with the possibilty of reducing my work hours at my full time job and making up the extra income with this. I really enjoy dealing with people and have been told before that I would be good at this type of work, but again nothing is guaranteed in terms of income. The poblem is would this solve anything - I'd still be in my current job, just for less time every week?

    I have also thought about talking to work to see if I could do a slightly different role, which may or may not make me happier, but I figure it's worth a try.

    The things that worry me is that I've just moved to another company (same job) and I feel bad being so new and bringing this up with them.

    We have also just bought a house and have more bills than ever before, but at the moment we can manage as long as I stay in my job and earn the wage I currently do. We do manage to make some savings every month, but this acts as our 'safety net'.

    I have talked things over with my OH but I don't really think think he understands - he says that he doesn't enjoy his job either but at the end of the day people have to work to pay the bills. If I make him sound harsh, he's not, and he does try to be supportive, but I think he finds it hard to see where I'm coming from.

    I think maybe I just need to sound things off a bit by posting this and I have spoken to others and got advice, but I just wondered if anyone else could offer any?
    Katian Mosaics

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  • #2
    awww hun, i have to say i understand, i dont think ive ever really enjoyed a job, well one i really did but got made redundant have you thought of maybe trying an agency? i used to really like working for one as i could chop and changed and "try" jobs out before commiting, other than that i really havnt got much adive sorry just big xxx

    Last edited by 0103media; 24-11-2008, 10:57 AM.

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    • #3
      I suppose if you are looking for a job where you can work to your own hours, like avon, there is also, kleeneze (delivering), bodyshop/ann summers (parties).
      Or if you are looking for just a few hours, what about school crossing patrol (lollipop lady) or an out of school club? Both of these pay reasonably because they are odd hours
      MISI -


      • #4
        I would need something full time really I think, as we need the money. I would like to try the sales rep work but it's a risk - you can't gaurantee you're income. I have discussed this with my OH but he feels I couldn't really reduce my hours at my current job to do this, as we might not get the money to compensate for the loss in wage.

        I couldn't really do my ft job and the sales though - I think I would be even more stressed!!!
        Katian Mosaics

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        • #5
          Hi, Stress is the hardest thing to find a cure too.

          Job wise I have found a part time job with DHL as a self employed home courier, you are on a retainer per day and the most parcels I've had to deliver is 25 a day. You are self employed and can deliver any time you want, what ever fits in with you. It worth enquiring if they have any vacancies, I have done avon, mary kay, klenezie etc they do not give you the wage you are looking for, in my experiance.

          Having this job for me has made up what I'm not making from the down turn in people spending at fairs and markets.

          The other thing I found with stress is that it can trigger depression, for me it got to the point where I would rather stay in bed and my outlook got very negative.
          Depression is a chemical thing in the brain and taking medication (not prozac!) for me has really helped me cope with the day to day stress of living and surving and providing for my family of five.

          I hope you find your answer, just know you are not alone.


          • #6
            Aww Katie, I really feel for you hun, I do. It happened to me two years ago, I was so stressed with my job & getting more & more unhappy & my DH was like yours, he couldn't really understand. I think unless you've felt this way, it is hard to understand. I don't want to scare you, but I think you're right to try & tackle this one way or another as i didn't, I kept plodding on until my body told my stop & I had a breakdown. I suffer with depression, so it wasn't the first time it had happened, but this time it was def. the stress of the job that finished me off. Initially I took time off work, but after a couple of months I knew I just couldn't go back to the job & gave up altogether, which was such a relief. My DH was wonderful & said we'd find a way to mange. It's not always been easy, but we have managed.

            I became a Cambridge Diet Counsellor a few months after that, I'd done the diet myself 9 months previously & so was able to become a Counsellor & that has worked so well for me. I don't earn loads, but as I was only working part-time previously, I didn't have high earnings to have to try and make back, but the reduction in income was worth it compared to the total & complete lack of stress I now have.

            The one thing my headteacher (I was working in a school) said to me was that she wished I talked to her before it got to the point it did & that she could have perhaps done something about it. So I think it's really worth talking to your employers, if they don't know how you're feeling then they can't help. It doesn't matter if your new there, they should still want to help you, most decent employers would rather have a happy worker than a stressed one, you're no good to them if you have to take two months off work!

            Maybe a way forward is to initially reduce your hours & make up your wages with somthing like the DHL delivering, just to ease the pressure a bit but not make you worry about the money too much. And then take it from there. Or see if there's a way you can make a bit more from your mosaics, perhaps make smaller, cheaper items & do party plans or something like that.

            If you want to talk more to me, please pm me & I'll give you my number. It's a horrible place to be in & I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, nevermind someone as lovely as you are.

            Take care of yourself & keep talking to people, to your employer, the Dr, your OH & the forum, don't bottle it all up inside & don't think that anyone will think the worse of you because you're struggling - it can happen to the best of us

            Jan xxx
            "Human beings, who are almost remarkable in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so" - Douglas Adams

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            • #7
              As an employer I have in the past bent over backwards to help a stressed employee. My business partner and I did everything we humanely could do to help this person, even let her use our phone to call for job interviews for jobs she did want to do! She's now decided she like hairdressing and is staying!! The point being, definitely speak to your employers, hopefully they will try and help you as much as we helped Teri. Also remember they can't sack you if your doctor signs you off sick with stress, especially not if you have asked for their help to resolve the problem. Hope things start to get better for you, sometimes talking just helps, especially talking to strangers who can give you a totally unbiased opinion. Lots of hugs, Selina


              • #8
                Can't add much to what has already been said, other than I sympathise as I know stress is an awful thing. It is also something that is very difficult to put into words. Do hope that you manage to sort things out and feel less stressed.


                • #9
                  This is such an important subject to talk about. I know about this from 2 angles. I recently worked in HR for the local Police Force, and stress and depression are such common factors. Employers are very good at dealing with this and there are so many avenues of support - perhaps contact your HR Dept to ask. We used a company that spe******ed in offering advice about all sorts fo things, and HR themselves should be able to at least chat to you about possible alternatives.

                  In consultation with Doctor and HR, you may be able to work some sort of restricted hours agreement while you find things difficult. ( Not all employers offer this though )

                  Also, from a personal point of view, I was in the same position. I worked for a company in a job I grew to hate within the Civil Service - needless to say the benefits and pay were very good, but I was crying every day before work and after, and really struggling with life.

                  Not for everyone, but I took the decision to quit. Got full time agency work in the interim till I found something else. Best decision I have ever made - almost instantly I felt better. And timing was not great, OH just started new job and 2 months before we got married, but it was a decision I made for me and only I could understand how much I needed to do it.

                  Not sure if i've helped at all, but knowing you're not alone is everything



                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your support - I reall need that at the moment and it really helps to 'talk' about things.

                    I spoke to my mum earlier who has suggested I make an 'appointment' to see my manager a.s.a.p. and be honest about how I'm feeling. I want them to know how it's making me feel and find out if I can change roles. There are vacancies at work and I have asked about them before but hopefully if I'm more honest about things it might give them a push to move me.

                    If I can do this and see how things go I think that will help. And if it doesn't maybe I need to look at what else I can do...

                    I would really like to reduce my hours and fit other things in but it's the money that's the problem... wish it wasn't!!!
                    Katian Mosaics

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                    • #11
                      I can't really add anything to the very good advice given , just really send you a big cyber hug ((((((((((( katianne)))))))))))

                      Stress can have terrible knock on effects, it sounds daft and obvious but while you are at this point in your life make sure you make time for yourself, even if it's only half an hr a day it walking the dog,soaking in the bath with a good book or even painting your nails , stepping off the hamster wheel of life for a short time can be invalueable. I know it doesn't help with the work situation but it could help with the stress.

                      Really hope things work out for you xx
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                      • #12
                        I'm on your side too hun. Been there, done that and worn out the tee shirt! Still taking the tablets and still having good days and bad days.

                        My depression start through the stress I was dealing with at work. I lost my job (by mutual agreement with my employers) because I was off sick for almost 18 months with no sign of my health improving. OH was so supportive that I often felt I didn't deserve him. We struggled financially for a long time and I had terrible guilt trips about that, which in turn triggered off bad patches and the whole thing just seemed to go round and round in circles.

                        Whilst my hubby fully supports me no matter how bad I get, I have lost all my (supposedly) close friends except one and my family try to understand but don't really. One thing it has done is bring me closer to my mother. As a teenager our relationship was strained to say the least but becoming a mother myself greatly improved our relationship. We now talk about everything and whilst she doesn't understand my depression, she accepts it and supports me in any way she can. My father is a little harder to deal with because he just can't understand why I gave up such a good job after working so hard to get it! I used to work in Child Protection in Social Services.

                        Talking about how you feel does help - there will times when you wonder how, but bottling things up only adds to your struggles.

                        I have no idea what kind of wages you are used to earning but before I finished working I seriously considered packing it all in to go and work in a supermarket! Anything seemed better than going to work, day in, day out, to a job that was making me so miserable. And when I looked into it, some of the supermarkets pay some pretty good wages. I never did go down that route as I eventually just accepted that I was too ill to work at the time.

                        What I would suggest is that you look at finding yourself ANY job that is less stressful. You get used to less money and you just manage somehow.

                        Do go and see your doctor - at first I was so scared to see mine cos I was worried that they just hand out prozac like smarties and I'd end up like a zombie but it just isn't like that, my doc is wonderful about my illness and is so supportive.

                        You should also talk to a benefits advisor because if you are too ill to work you could be entitled some financial help. Apply for everything that you might be eligible for - the worst they can do is say no - but you might find out that you are entitled to some things and you may not be as bad off financially as you thought you'd be.

                        The good thing about my illness was that I had more time at home to make jewellery and as OH was working a market stall, we eventually decided to go with my stuff the stall. It hasn't always been easy but we do make a living out it (not a big one) but I now have something that money just can't buy . . . . job satisfaction. I don't have all my marbles but thats another story!

                        I wish you luck whatever you decide to do. As everyone else has said, you are not the first person to find yourself in this situation and you definitley won't be the last.
                        Last edited by auntynet; 23-11-2008, 09:31 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Wow, you are all wonderful. This has been going on for almost 3 years and I finally feel like I can start doing something about it. Before I have always brushed it aside and blamed other things for the way I was feeling or tried to change things about my life in the hope that it would help. At the end of the day, things haven't changed in terms of how I feel and I can't go on feeling like this.

                          It really helps to know I have so much support behind me
                          Katian Mosaics

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                          • #14
                            I feel for you as well - I am a firm believer that jobs are just jobs and are something we all feel that we have to do because that's what everyone else is doing - but in many cases I think people could survive on less money. If you are going to be so much happier without having to go to work, then you can't put a price on that anyway! I hope that you get somewhere when talking to your manager. Let us know how you get on.

                            Helen x

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                            • #15
                              You already know that I completely understand where you're coming from Kate and that I was there too a few years ago...including the crying as I drove into work and I'd deliberately not schedule any appointments first thing so I had more time to 'pull myself together' and get into work. As you're still feeling the same after swapping employers I guess it's given you that wake up call that it's the job in general and not just where you're working. I was lucky that my line-manager knew I had grown to dislike the job and was happy to support me. Also because you're working for a government agency I think they are pretty hot on employee rights and will try to work with you to make things better regardless that you are new - especially if recruitment and retention is a problem like it was at my place. I did find it much easier going part-time and one of my collegues did the same when stress started to get to her too (spoke to her last week and she finally left a few months ago).

                              And I really don't want to sound flippant but have you been on Kudos and any of the other programmes? Whenever a client didn't show I'd be on there generating ideas of other jobs I could do and also searching the job websites - you can get away with it in your job

                              Good luck with the meeting with your manager, I think it'll really help to get it all out in the open
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