I am currently in a position where I don't know what to do and I am feeling very very low.
The problems and stresses that I have been having at work have been getting worse and now it becoming more prevalent that my company is trying to push me out, bit by bit.
I don't live to work, but I put everything on doing a good job as that allows me to sleep at night and feel like I have a purpose.
Things haven't been great at work and there have been a number of circumstances as a result of people and pointless company policies that have prevented me from getting certain tasks done. As much as it isn't healthy, I come home and vent at my partner to try and figure out a way I can resolve it, but I know I am fighting a losing battle and it seems to be that I am being lined up since disclosing my diagnosis and have been having more time off and shutdowns at work.I hit the tipping point today where I nearly threw in the towel My boss accused me of doing nothing and not being organised or having a plan. This is after seniors constantly change their minds, causing me to have to rewrite the strategy documents and adjust budgets accordingly. No one will make a decision or even stick to one so I am left trying to figure out what the hell I am supposed to be doing as there is no guidance or support. In addition, the company constantly changes, moves my desk without warning, has new people coming and going like it's going out of fashion. I can't keep up and there is no logic to anything they do! I am currently wading through legal battles to try and get projects over the line and comply with upcoming legislation, but because no else can be bothered to do this, it falls onto me. In addition, because people can't be bothered to understand the details of a project, they often can't understand why something is being held up, so I am accused of complicating things, holding things up and being incapable of doing my job. I admit I am not perfect and I am not the easiest person to manage, but all this on top of making no adjustments for me at work has just become too much. On top of this, I have to attend a day long meeting off site tomorrow and they have booked my train tickets for me even though I said I would do this. They have booked it from the different stations I normally get the train from and have opted for the most convoluted route, that have multiple changes rather than a direct train, which is cheaper and quicker. In addition I have been told I have to go for social drinks with the colleagues afterwards, but I am in no fit state at the moment to deal with anything, especially work colleagues in a social environment!
I tried to tell my partner tonight that I can't do this anymore and I have had enough, but he accused me of giving in and letting them get at me. Again, I am told I am over complicating things, being too sensitive and just need to log things and get it sorted. Quitting is not an option apparently.
I'm too exhausted and too much at breaking point to keep this up. There is just too much change and too much going on in my life right now for me to make sense or sort things out. I have no space at home anymore and I rarely get time to myself. I am being accused of going on about being autistic even though I am trying to ask for help, which I find bloody difficult at the best of times.
Tonight I felt so low that I actually had suicidal thoughts and couldn't dismiss them as being stupid and over the top. This scared me and I don't know what to do to make people realise that I am on the verge of snapping. What must I do to show people I need help without them viewing me as weak, being over dramatic or an excuse to throw antidepressants at?
Hang in there. I don't have much in the way of useful advice other than to say that this sounds very similar to something I went through about two years ago. I ended up quitting my job and completely changing careers and am so much less stressed at work now.
While this may not be the answer for you, I do remember feeling like I just completely couldn't cope with the situation at all and there was no way out and I didn't know what to do -- and reading your post just now brought that all back -- so I just wanted to say that it is possible to get though it. For what it's worth, you are not alone.
first off, I’m not an autistic adult myself, merely a parent to a young autistic child. However, if my boy ever had half the stresses and feelings you’ve put into your post just now, I’d be doing all I could to remove him from that situation. What support network do you have available to you? Parents? Support worker? Friends? Because, I hate to say it, but it doesn’t sound like work or your partner give you any when you so desperately need it. I’m afraid it sounds like changes need to be made, and they need to be decided and made by yourself. I know that really doesn’t help at all.
But let’s just focus on a positive. My husbands biggest fear for our son once he’s older Is that he’ll never find employment and be able to seek a ‘normal’ life. Lets just take a minute to appreciate that not only are you out there, but it sounds like you have one stressful and highly demanding job. The fact that you’re doing this is amazing to begin with. Don’t let the wrong job/employers take that away from you.
Please seek help/ support from someone who can offer it. And remember what’s you said t the very start of your post... you don’t live to work
Reading your post sounded exactly like myself three years ago and brought back the memories of all of the feelings you describe, it's a horrible place to be and I agree with the posts above in that something has to change for you. You seem to recognise and know this yourself but I know it's a big step from 'knowing' you need to remove yourself from the situation and then actually doing it!
For me, the decision came when I'd gone beyond breaking point and it became a stark choice between carrying on like you're 'supposed' to do, not letting 'them' win, 'man-ing up' (and all of the similar so-called advice I received at the time) or walking away to salvage what was left of my health. I decided to rescue my health and I've never regretted it - despite being 'advised' that i would. Quitting IS an option, sometimes it's the best option.
I can never remember names so I can't attribute these quotes properly but I think they're useful:
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
"If at first you don't succeed, try try again. Then give up, there's no point being a damned fool about it!"
My boss at the time actually said to me when I quit, "But you can't just quit! What are you going to do instead?" I don't have the words to describe how good it felt to say, "Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all, that's the whole idea." Not because of some sort of revenge or anything on my boss, but because it actually felt as if I'd literally lifted a weight off myself to realise that I didn't HAVE to have a plan. I just took the time I needed to recover and repair myself. It IS time well spent. (Although my bank account hasn't fared as well as I have from the experience.)
I’m sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough time, it’s good that shared what’s happening/how you feel. Many people have similar thoughts when coping with so much and we hope you’re okay.
If you are unable to cope with the distress or despair, it’s very important to tell someone about your feelings or thoughts of suicide. Call your GP and make an urgent appointment. Your GP can make sure you get appropriate help and support.
If it’s outside your GP hours call 111 to reach the NHS 111 service: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Emergencyandurgentcareservices/Pages/NHS-111.aspx
The Samaritans also provide confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day on 116 123, or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIND have information pages on coping with self harm or suicidal feelings based on the experiences of people who’ve been through it that you may find helpful.
If you are very close to doing something to hurt yourself - call 999 now or go to your nearest A&E department. There should be someone there to support you and make sure you get ongoing support.
If you need help with an autism related issue, our helpline can be emailed via webform https://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/main/questions.aspx or they’re open Monday to Thursday 10am-4pm and Friday 9am-3pm on 0808 800 4104.
I hope you find these links useful.
Thanks Hannah. I have had to take some time out just to recharge the batteries and gain some perspective. In addition I have looked at how to address some issues, albeit this is a work in process. How did you find the transition into a new career?
I don't have any support network, other than my partner on a daily basis and I visit my parents from time to time, but they again don't like to talk about me having issues.
It's seen as a shame on the family.
I guess I set my expectations very high of myself, as up until a year ago I had no diagnosis so assumed the reason I couldn't do things like other people was because I was weak, slow to adapt or just not cut out for it. I don't believe being autistic should ever hold you back, but I also realise I have different limitations to most. Because I portray that I am keeping it together so well, no one notices that I am struggling until it is too late and even then I normally withdraw as I am unable to ask for help or I just want to be on my own. I also don't express stress or distress like other people around me, so again, no one notices how I am or how I am dealing with things.
I have spoken to work to see about what they can do to help. It has been not a lot so far, but I am pushing to show I won't let things hold me back as I am as capable as anyone else, providing I have the right things in place.
You are right and we do put ourselves through repeated situations in the hope things will just change, despite the outcome being the same. I appreciate my work probably isn't the best for me at the moment, but I also think other things are contributing as well. I have looked at moving jobs, but I am so burnt out, I just don't have the energy to deal with them at the moment, on top of working.
I have decided that with my current health problems and numerous medical appointments on the horizon, moving jobs will probably be too risky, as a new employer would questions sickness and medical appointments and probably get rid of me as a result. For this reason I have decided to stay where I am and ask work to try and support me more. I aim to put some money aside, should things come to a head and I have to walk away. The aim is to try and address some of my medical complaints, get extra support and save so that I can be in a good position to move to a new job or look at other options. As always, it is easier said than done, but it seems the best option at present.
Well done for making the decision to walk away from damaging job. That takes guts to do, especially without a plan!
Thank you Ayshe.
Time off and perspective both sound good. Can you ask for unpaid leave? Might they prefer that to you going off long-term sick with stress?
My boss accused me of doing nothing and not being organised or having a plan.
Sounds like your boss has done nothing about your situation or helped organise any plan.
What form would a 'reasonable adjustment' take? Mentoring or training? Someone in the company acting as an advocate so you can explain to colleagues what can change? Is it the GDPR being a pain?
Sorry for delay in replying -- I have also been dealing with various crap in my life!
I've always loved food and cooking, and I saw a job advertised for a chef, so went along to the interview being completely honest about the fact that I'd never done it professionally before... Wasn't expecting much but my now boss said that my passion for food showed through and she got the impression that I was motivated enough that what I didn't know I would learn on the job -- and I have.
I was previously a manager, which was a position I got promoted into somewhat against my will, and despite saying repeatedly that I wasn't good with people... So it was a complete change and I also took a massive pay cut to do it -- which luckily I was in a position to be able to do -- but I really love my job now and I come home at the end of every shift feeling happy and satisfied and with an immense sense of accomplishment.
I can only speak for myself, but I have found over the years that practical tangible things where I can see the results of my work are much better for me. If I've shifted a stack of firewood I can look at it when I'm done and see what I've accomplished. If I have to get some unmotivated staff to meet some productivity targets, I might have a spreadsheet when I'm done proving that I've done it (unlikely!) but I never really got any sense of accomplishment from that...
Also, my boss now is somebody who I feels listens to me. If I come to her with a problem, we discuss it, come up with a solution, and implement it. In my former job, I would go to my boss with problems and I just got endlessly fobbed off.
I guess maybe the best advice I have is to not be afraid of change. And this is coming from somebody who in general hates change and does everything possible to avoid it! But if things are that bad, something has got to go...