I've got two full-time jobs and depression/anxiety. I'm a zombie. Help me.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (52 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
After graduating from college, I took an entry-level job in a field that I hated because it was the first thing I got. When I was hired, they asked me if I would be able to stay for two years, and I said I could—I didn't really anticipate anything better coming up, and the job gave me plenty of free time and reasonable benefits.
I more or less hated the actual work from the start, but it was an excellent working environment—very friendly people, decent pay, and a great support network—and it wasn't terribly taxing. Slightly under a year and a half in, however, a friend put me forward for a job that I've wanted to do for years, and I started working for another company on a contract basis. It's difficult work, but it's something that I find satisfying, and unlike my other job, I have a lot of opportunities to do larger things within my field. For some measures of dream, this is pretty much my dream job.
The problem is that the dream job is a start-up that more or less wants full-time work, so now I'm ending up doing eight hours every day at my old job, then spending another eight (plus time on the weekends) at my new one. It's all from home, which makes this manageable, but I barely leave the house, and haven't seen anybody but my boyfriend and colleagues in weeks, and I only saw the colleagues twice. My boyfriend is dealing with almost all our apartment's day-to-day upkeep and supporting me emotionally, and it's taking a toll on him as well as me.
After a couple weeks of this, I decided I was going to try to give notice at my old job, and see if I could either phase out slowly or work part-time. When I brought it up, however, they told me that they were “angry” that I would even consider it, that I would be hurting the team and even if I left months down the road they would need to find a way to cushion the blow from me leaving, and that if I were “truly conscientious” I would tell the other job that I had to spend less time on it and stay out the full two years (or more). They said that right now, they “wouldn't even know how to bring up” my plan to anybody else on the team. They did concede that I could have a week off next month to attend a conference that's vital for my new job.
I do feel bad about breaking my (strictly non-contractual and verbal) commitment to my old job, but given that they've just hired several new people who haven't yet taken on any responsibility, I don't share their concern that this will cause long-term damage to the team. However, the way they brought it up makes it clear that if I want to leave on amicable terms, I have to wait several months to do it. Given that my dream job is in isn't in the most stable field, I'm probably going to need references from my old job down the road. At the same time, I don't anticipate being able to keep working at the new job if I can't give them a lot of my time.
But now I don't know what to do. I get enough sleep, but there's almost literally no time that I'm awake when I'm not working. I'm so exhausted that I can barely think half the time without using my boyfriend's Ritalin, I have frequent panic attacks, and spend large amounts of my day crying because it feels like there's no end in sight to this, and I can't imagine working 80+-hour weeks at two separate jobs until July. My normal depression has shifted into me constantly thinking about how weak I am for not being able to manage this, how this is probably what life is supposed to be about, and how the only way out is to kill myself. I wish I could get something like Adderall to help me focus and stay awake, but a part of me also deeply resents the fact that taking amphetamines seems like the only way I can even manage the amount of work I have. I'm not even really thinking straight right now, and I'm not sure if anything I'm saying makes any sense.
I'm starting with a new psychiatrist next week, so hopefully I can at least start taking something to manage my depression. But how do I deal with my work? Is there any way to politely convince my old job to let me cut back? Is there anything I can do to handle the amount of stuff I have now without feeling like I'm going crazy? How do other people with long hours work with any level of efficiency? If I can treat my depression and anxiety will these problems go away?
I'm located in a major metro area in the US, if that changes anything. Anything private can go to my throwaway address, email@example.com.