Rationalizing Depression and Hopelessness

There are plenty of days when life feels so incredibly overwhelming in its abstract and concrete abilities to suffocate the soul. Life is shit and beautiful all in the same blob of time, this conveyor belt with tall walls surrounding that we’re trapped on from birth until we part.

My life has become my job, and I’m not even any good at it. Regardless of what or what wasn’t told to my new boss during her interview process, she’s very quickly seeing that I can’t keep up – at least not at the level I’d need to be at for my title and compensation. She swooped in and minimized my role either hoping I’d quit or be productive enough to be worth keeping on, at least for now, and I’m trying but it’s all a big cluster.

There are bits and pieces of my job that I’m good at… but so much of this role is all sorts of wrong. The saddest part is that many of the pieces that I’m actually good at have been removed from my responsibilities, leaving me with basically a project management role which is just about the worst possible outcome in terms of any hope I’d be able to continue to add value over the long term. Some days are better than others, but I know my time is not long in this particular position/company.

I don’t mind failing, it’s the recurring inability to break free of this cycle and do something entirely different that is chipping away at my  sanity year after year. I envy people who seem to love their jobs, and I envy those who have jobs that they’re just good enough at to do and spend their life focusing on life. If I had a semi-clear image of future happy me I’d charge ahead in that direction, but no matter where I look, all I see is me failing again and again.

Boo hoo sob story… I know, but it’s just I want to feel like I have something to offer, like I can make enough money to live and safe for retirement and not be in a role where I’m trying to keep a thousand moving parts straight, laughably attempting to be a good communicator, and feeling that jabbing embarrassment of being found out for a fraud, even though it seems the only way to get ahead in the world is to ‘fake it until you make it,’ as they say.

Every day that goes by, the more I find myself sinking deeper into depression… deeper into hopelessness where there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Best case scenario I’m able to have children, I am so stressed out about my job that I can’t be a good mother, my husband divorces me because I can’t hold a job to contribute to supporting our children (and myself), I’m alone and a failure and poor having spent all of my savings and my children won’t talk to me and I end up homeless or living with a family member who doesn’t really want me there and that’s my damn life. That’s my future. That’s what I see and no wonder I’m so fucking damn depressed.

I thought maybe saving a certain amount of money would make the depression go away, but somehow the more money I save the more I feel the weight of it’s ability to disappear overnight. I can’t help but question why I should continue life when the future is so bleak, even if there will undoubtedly be sprinkles of memorizing and inspiring moments to come. I know I can’t end my life, between being to afraid of death and not having the balls to do it, but it seems like the most selfless act I could do, to prevent the harm I will cause in the future by merely being alive.

Or maybe I just find another career that I don’t suck at so much. . . . .

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6 comments

  1. Mel says:

    I too have felt trapped in a job that I hated, while also on the verge of being fired from it. The feeling of impending doom was torturous. I was still living with my parents at that time, so I figured I’d save my sanity and ego, and quit before I was fired. I reasoned that protecting my then dwindling sanity was worth giving up all claims to unemployment.

    Huge props to you for sticking it out as long as you have! You are so much braver than I was. There is no easy decision here. You and your husband probably had something in your vows along the lines of, “for richer or for poorer,” so perhaps he wouldn’t mind supporting you until you find your footing.

    1. Joy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      🙂 Thanks. Husband wouldn’t support me until I find my footing, but I also have $470k+ saved up and he has less than $100k, so really I have the money to support myself if needed (though I may have to sell some stock.) I’d be fine for a while, I just don’t want to quit… I’m a lot of things but one thing I’m not is a quitter.

  2. Jenna says:

    Maybe this is a stupid question but why don’t you just quit your job and deal with your depression? You clearly have the money and it seems to me that no matter how much money you save or what job you have, your life will continue to feel like total shit until you address your underlying depression.

    1. Joy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      Good question. The honest answer? Well, there are a few reasons —

      1. I don’t believe I can actually “fix” my depression. It’s one of those things that I just live with – it’s part of me, and it’s not going away. I also think I should be able to address my depression while working — lots of people successfully do that.

      2. I’m scared shitless I won’t be able to get another job again and given that I’m fortunate enough to making a very good salary now, I know that the endgame is that if I get laid off/fired I’ll at least have saved more money before that happens and get unemployment to at least cover my rent for a few months if I really do need to take the time to get help for my depression.

      3. I have the money to do this, sort of, but not really. I’m starting to save specifically for having a few months unemployed later this year if I need to take a mental health break.

      4. I’ve never quit a job without another job. I know it might be the best thing to do, but I can’t bring myself to do it, especially not when I’m in a role where I can just get through another few more months and save more for my family’s future.

      Maybe these are bad reasons, but this is why I haven’t done this yet…

      1. Azure says:

        I’ve dealt with anxiety/depression and career struggles too, and I think your current strategy is the best strategy for now. I wouldn’t quit–I think that would just exacerbate your feelings of hopelessness since finances are one of your trigger points. Could you pursue therapy while working? I agree that often depression can’t necessarily be “fixed.” Sometimes it’s a natural response to a bad situation, and that situation can’t always be remedied right away. But you just have to take whatever steps you can in the meantime and then sometimes the situation changes and things get better. Life can be surprising sometimes.

  3. Jenna says:

    I can relate. I hate every job, think I suck at everything, always have imposter syndrome and fear life will only get worse no matter what decisions I make. I feel frozen!

    I’ve read a lot of your posts and I really think you should address your depression…now…and focus on JUST that. No job is going to make that the depression go away. Money won’t change it. Bringing a child into the mix is definitely not going to help either.

    Quit your job and go to therapy every day if you have to. Seriously. You are in a financial position that most people would kill to be in and regardless, you have more choices than you think. Your vision and decision making is clouded and the depression will continue to taint everything in your life if you don’t do something about it.

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