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My Anxiety And Depression Was Overwhelming, So I Quit My Job. Here’s Why

quit my job because of depression

My anxiety became overwhelming, here’s why I quit my job because of depression

By Olivia Mulligan

I used to think that people with depression were negative people. I thought that people with depression were the ‘I can’t do that’ or ‘I’m not good enough for that’ kind of people. The glass half empty kind of people. My assumptions were wrong because I am none of these things and I suffer from depression. 

10 October 2017 marks World Mental Health Day, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. My decision to share my story was not an easy one, but by doing so I hope to do my part in raising awareness of this illness.

I can say proudly, with a sparkly ego – I am a positive person. I believe in myself and I also always try to see the best in others. I’m adventurous, creative and kind. I’m athletic and I’m determined. My downfalls are the fact that I have terrible hand-eye coordination and very poor general knowledge.

I also have anxiety and depression.

I feel the need to always introduce the ‘anxiety’ first and foremost, as this is what came first. Through the exhaustion of worry and debilitating panic attacks came the depression – I saw a scary life unfolding before my very eyes – one where social occasions, decision making and even just facing another day became too much to bear. This makes me sad because I know that deep down, I love life. I am spontaneous and free. Why can’t I be that person anymore?

i quit my job because of depression

Why I quit my job because of depression: my story

My friends listened but I didn’t want them to

You see, the real me is (was) the positive, happy-go-lucky, adventurous girl, but the illness that had (has) consumed me creates an overwhelming feeling of panic, loneliness and failure.

Having a support network is vital for anyone suffering from mental health issues. However, having people that love me, for me, was (and is) the hardest part. I know that it is good to talk and not to bottle things up, but being truly open and honest to my loved ones about the very dark place that I was (and am) in, well that breaks my heart. They know and love the fun girl, the adventurous girl, the ‘I’ll give anything a go’ girl. I want to be that girl, not the girl who struggles to take care of herself and who is deeply sad morning until night.

This decision to quit my job and move back in with my parents so that I have a solid support network, is not failure, but rather, it is taking the scenic route.

I’m not a quitter but I quit my job

I’ve literally never quit anything before. Never quit my studies, never pulled out of a race or an event, never given up on a relationship (only been dumped, well done me).

Because I’m not quitter, I didn’t want to throw in the towel. But my loved ones begged and pleaded with me to take time off to recover and heal. (Even though my problems had not come from my job. I liked my job. My job gave me purpose).

My loved ones persisted.

I ignored them.

My loved ones persisted.

I ignored them.

My loved ones persisted.

I finally listened.

A couple of months ago, I handed in my notice and I quit my job. Not to go onto a bigger and better career. Not to start again and train up in something new. I just quit. Quit to nothing.

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing, I kept telling myself. What a catastrophic failure.

The reaction from my colleagues really shocked me

When my colleagues caught wind of the news that I was leaving to focus on my wellbeing, I strongly predicted their reaction:

“Oh no. Poor you!”

“Bless you, hope you get better soon.”

“How sad that you’re leaving.”

Oh how wrong my predictions were. Rather, every single person that I encountered at work, greeted me with the following reaction:

“I’m so proud of you!”

“Congratulations! Well done!”

“That’s amazing. Wow. You’re so brave.”

I was shocked. Genuinely shocked. Why am I being rewarded for quitting? Quitting is failure. But surely, all of my incredible, intelligent colleagues – they can’t all be wrong.

They’re not. It has taken a lot of thinking time and processing but I have realised that they are right – it genuinely isn’t failure, but a huge leap forward towards happiness and fulfilment.

It’s not failure. You’re taking the scenic route

Because I truly want to get better (I don’t quite know how) but I know I want to recover more than anything right now. I am doing my very best to keep reminding myself that this decision to quit my job and move back in with my parents so that I have a solid support network, is not failure, but rather, it is taking the scenic route.

It may take me longer to eventually get to where I want to be (because, quite frankly, I have no idea) – but this longer process has the potential to be beautiful and exciting.

I am still a long way from feeling stable and secure, but the shocking and heart-warming reaction from my colleagues, has really helped me start to see some brightness in the future.

Keep talking. Keep supporting.

All my love,

Olivia xx

Daisy also bravely wrote about her own battle with anxiety. Here is her story.

If you would like to talk to someone about your mental health, you can seek support using the links below.

If you live in the UK: here

If you live in Australia: here

If you live in the US: here

If you live in the Hong Kong: here

Read about World Mental Health day, here.

i quit my job because of depression

Why I quit my job because of depression: my story

Why I quit my job without a backup plan: depression uk

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