I think I am losing it

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    I am posting here because I can’t think of another safe environment. I can’t talk to anyone because all I get are trite comments.

    I moved on to a new project within my company. This project is extremely demanding and stressful. I work with numbers and the work is highly error prone. I am taking over from someone else’s role and though I have tried my best to understand everything that is going on, I feel there is so much more that I don’t have a historical context for. I had to an analysis this week, and I submitted it this week. Now, when follow up questions have been asked, I feel I performed it incorrectly because I didn’t dig enough deeper to see what historical assumptions were made. I feel really stupid. I’ve lost sleep over similar worries all week. Always worried that something that I did will be wrong. My work doesn’t endanger lives, but I still don’t want to make mistakes.

    Most of my jobs have been like this, spent worrying about the mistakes that I may have made. And then worrying about the consequences – being reprimanded or being certified stupid. My stress levels are really high because of this. I plan to quit my job in another 10 months or so, but then I don’t see anything to do afterwards either. I have no interest in the work I do and the jobs offered to me have been similar. People ask me what I want to do, I don’t know. I tried to switch my line of work but it wasn’t successful and I don’t see any paths to do that now. I don’t know what I want to do or what I will do next. I feel at such a dead end that I can’t think of what will happen next. I can’t figure it out.

    I’ve tried mindfulness, but I’m just not able to keep up with the practice. I posted here because I wanted to let off some steam. I really don’t want to live like this anymore, always in fear and always pretending to look interested in what’s going on.


    I can relate to a lot of what you say arguseyed.
    I have change jobs and careers countless times. And I will always find something wrong with the job I am doing right now. My job currently doesn’t pay much. it is a concern as I approach retirement. But it is job that very much suits my temperament. In other words there are a lot of boxes ticked and only a few negatives. The question is, how important are the negatives? I’ll need more cash to get my car serviced soon. What shall I do? And so problems persist. My conclusion is, there is no perfect job. And the jobs that pay well, you are usually paying the price. Like the stress you are going through. I used to get stressed out as a teacher.Money and hols were great but my anxiety levels were through the roof. I’m too old for that **** anymore! 🙂
    I never had any kids. I wonder for some people, if they have kids, they put up with any crap to feed and shelter their family. It gives them a purpose to put up with the stress at work. So if you have a rich and rewarding private life, it gives you some relief from the pressures of work. Life makes more sense. For me, I need to enjoy my work because that is where a lot of my life meaning resides. Not all, but I think you know what I mean.
    I might be the only one recommending getting really drunk just once, so you can stop worrying about your work. Alcohol short term can help. Long term is a big no no.


    Dear arguseyed:

    I went back to our past correspondence so I can better reply to your current thread.

    For a person very anxious about making mistakes, I can see why having a job that is ” highly error prone” would be very uncomfortable for you. Following logic, a job that is way less error-prone would be more fitting to you.

    The anxiety about making mistakes, making choices, is making your life very difficult and has been making your life difficult for a long, long time.

    The origin of this anxiety, from your previous thread is in your childhood. Quoting your words:

    “the notion that I wasn’t smart enough, didn’t work hard enough and when I did make decisions (small minor ones) there was disapproval… I think it was the disapproval on my mom’s face.” Ongoing disapproval as a child is still hurting you.

    And, unfortunately, there was more than mere disapproval: there was a vacuum of sorts. You wrote:

    “Even now when I want to go out she says don’t without any apparent reason. Maybe, she wants me to help her in the house, but then she never says anything about that…”

    As a child you had no choice but to guess as to what was happening, or why and what it is that you are supposed to do. There was no clear guidance, no clearly communicated expectations. So you didn’t know what to do. You were understandably confused and lost.

    And you learned that no guidance was coming to you: “I would not go to her or would think a lot before going to her with my problems unless it was being physically ill. I still don’t go to my parents for any problems because I know they will never understand and they cannot give a relevant solution…” There was no guidance, no help and still, at 34, there is none, not from your parents, not from others.

    You wrote about your childhood: “All my needs were taken care of – food, shelter and education. But, emotionally I was never appreciated and my negatives were magnified” You needed emotional caring, attention, guidance and you did not receive it- that is the vacuum you grew up in and the vacuum/ void/ lack you still suffer from. Do you agree with my assessment so far?

    Will write more once I get your answer and any further thoughts you may want to share.



    Dear jock and anita,

    Thanks for your replies. I have been very busy at work and didn’t get a chance to check the forums back again. With this particular issue, my team told me that it was fine since we had not finalized the whole analysis. A similar situation arose last week, but I wasn’t as anxious. I don’t like the way things are done out here and that adds to a lot of anxiety and frustration.

    – it is possible that as a child I did not receive the support that I needed. However, that’s in the past and I need to be responsible for how I feel now. I’m not sure I would blame my mom for this. She did the best that she could do. It doesn’t help me in my current situation. I think my health may also be affecting my anxiety.

    Thanks again for your replies. It’s good to know that this is a safe place to look for support.


    You are welcome, arguseyed. I hope your health improves. Post anytime.

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