There is so much I could talk about right now relating to my depression and how terrible it is right now, but this blog would take so long to read and I don't think I can even type for that long. Let's just say that I should honestly probably be seeking emergency help right now and that the only reason I'm not doing that is becuase I have roommates counting on me to move in tomorrow and my family is going through a REALLY hard time right now. I don't want to make life harder for everyone else. Instead, I'll talk about something that's really been bothering me lately and I have no idea how to go about the issue.

I may have mentioned this in previous blogs, but for those of you that don't know, I've worked in a public library for the past 3 years (my anniversary was two days ago). For the first two years, I worked for a quaint little branch in the system which resided in a small, isolated country town. Our relationships with our patrons were personal and friendly, it was safe, I got to use my creativity frequently because the place wasn't big enough to have a full staff, and becuase the staff was only 5 people (with only 2-3 people working at a time) we were like family. Even after going through my whole suicide attempt last year, work remained a pleasant escape. Well, because of my brother's unintentionally abusive and violent tendencies [as a result of his autism], I felt the urgent need to move out. I decided to take a full time position at the main branch of the system in the city 7 months ago. It's the same position I was working at the small branch but it's quite different here. The tasks that I'm allowed to do are very limited since there is a full staff available to do all the fun stuff. My job is mainly to handle people's accounts, transactions, items, and fines. That doesn't sound too bad at face value, but this branch is in an area of high crime and it has a very high homeless population. Staff members have been verbally, physically, and sexually assaulted by patrons in the past. I currently have a stalker and am not allowed to exit the building alone because of it. We work for peanuts and we work like robots. If you're not an authority figure or a manager, no one notices you. I feel so invisible and unimportant there.

This has made my depression so much worse. When I first took the job, I knew it wasn't going to be fun like it was at the previous location. I even knew that it might not be good for my depression. However, I wasn't expecting it to affect me this heavily. There are so many nights now where I cry before falling asleep because I am dreading work the next day so badly. Sometimes I even cry when my alarm goes off and I instantly start thinking that I would rather be dead than go to work that day. I never get any sleep because I'm so stressed out about it. At night, when I'm laying in bed trying to sleep, I feel anxious and count down the hours left until I have to be up for work and I become so obsessed with the clock that I can't get any rest. I actually check my alarm repeatedly for at least a half an hour straight because I'm paranoid that it won't go off and I'll lose my job. There have been times at work where I'm biting my cheeks until they bleed because I'm trying not to let the tears spill over. Sometimes I'll have to go hide in the bathroom because I absolutely cannot deal with people at that point. It's too much. I really don't know what to do about it.

I tried looking up tips online and a lot of websites said to talk to your manager about it to get approved for mental health days. I know there are a few staff members in the system that have had to take time off now and then for their illnesses but I'm afraid that the company won't see mental health as being as important as a heart defect or something else…physical. I can't help my disease and even though that's a common known fact with depressoin, I just don't have faith in them to understand. My manager is nice and gets to know her employees, but it's also not like she's buddies with everyone. She's still very business-minded so I have no idea how she would react if I told her that I have severe chronic depression that is beginning to really affect me at work.

Has anyone else on here ever had to have that conversation with an employer? I may just have to talk to my doctor and/or counselor about it and see what they think I should do. I've been told, in the past, to work somewhere that I truly enjoy, regardless of the pay, but now that I'm renting a home, I need the money desperately. I can't just work somehwere for fun. I feel so stuck and it scares me and it's breaking me.

1 Comment
  1. elf 5 years ago

    Proanamia,

    So sorry that your work situation has gotten so bad. I agree with Liz about looking for another job in a similar smaller situation. Having a job you like will make life so much more bearable. Unfortunately you are not able to go back to your previous job since you have commitments to roommates.

    Talking with your manager is risky. You should have protection with employment laws, but I am not familiar with them. And not every employer follows the laws. So, it is risky. But, not saying anything is also risky. I would probably go ahead and have the conversation, but I have not ever been in a position where I had to do it.

    Good luck,

    Elf

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