Losing my job, depression and suicidal
Hi everyone. I'm new here, and just spotted this great forum. I am posting here because I feel very scared and stressed about things. I could go on all night about my life story and mental illness, but I am just going to try and keep it to the point.
Few facts about me:
- I'm female, aged 22, and live in England
- I'm a psychology postgraduate student
- I have been on antidepressants (citalopram) for 9 months
- Saw a psychologist for cognitive behaviour therapy for 6 sessions
- Having counselling once a week at present
At age 16, I attempted suicide, but survived. I then made a promise to myself, a goal which I am attempting to achieve, to become a professional psychologist and help others with mental health problems. Ever since I have dedicated myself to this goal.
I have been suffering from depression and obsessional behaviour for about 10 years, however only did something about it last year (in 2008), after completely losing the ability to cope with work and personal stress, not being able to make my own decisions and constantly crying, sadness, alcohol addiction, which was beginning to make me lose my job. I did lose my job last year, as I drank alcohol at work, was put on sick leave, came back and drank again, then was told I would be going on disciplinary actions, but resigned beforehand. I saw a counsellor for my alcohol addiction and receovered.
After several job interviews and rejections due to a poor reference, I got my current job, as the boss was understanding of my illness and pleased I was recovering (or I thought I was). I hadnt touched a drop of alcohol for months and months, but in March this year, I drank at work, and told my boss. Yesterday I was told I am now under disciplinary procedure, which could lead to a work dismissal, due to gross misconduct. Despite my mitigating circumstances, and been told my work is of excellent quality, there is a high chance of being sacked once the hearing is gone through.
I have been very very upset since this incident, and if I lose this job, I wont be able to get another similar job, my career is over, my family dont know anything at all about the severity of my problems and alcohol addicition last year, or what is currenly happening, so if I lose my job, I dont know how I would explain it to them. They dont really believe in mental illness and I am stigmatised. I feel like a failure and hopeless. I have been making plans to kill myself all day today. I attend to do it when I find out I am definately being sacked (which is about 4 weeks off).
I am scared, very scared, and I have been impulsive in the past, and If I lose my job, it really is the end of me. I dont know what to do, I feel like that my depression is not recovered, and at the same time, I feel like I have been being punished for being depressed. I cant tell anyone at work about my suicidal plans, cos they may think of it as a threat.
I do feel fit enough to work and do things, but just that one moment of weakness I had in March, where I drank alcohol to make me feel more lively and confident at work, I dont know what to do. I have seeked legal advice, and they all say, it could end up as being a dismissal.
Please advise or anything, any support, please, my friends dont seem to understand. Thank you.
This must be such a difficult time for you and I really hoope that you manage to find the strength within yourself to get through this.
Have you tried contacting someone like the samaritans they can be good to talk to when your struggling.
Keep posting here and we'll all do our best to help and suport you.
If you feel like your a real risk and cant keep yourself safe maybe you could go to a and e or some other place of safety. I dont know if you can but you could try and contact the crisis team in your area.
Sorry I'm not much use I'm sure someone else will come along that can be of more help.
You could go to AA - it's not the ideal place but it will give you good peer support. Only you can decide if you are an alcoholic but if your drinking is costing you jobs then it's not good.
Please remember that if you do lose your job it is not the end. It may be the end of that particular job but not the end of anything else meaningful. I know this by personal experience.
You don't say what your job is but it does sound pretty important to you.
I am so so sorry to hear that you are going through an incredibly tough time at the moment and that you are feeling so desperate.
I know things look bleak at the moment and that it seems that there is no way through it. However I have also been through incredibly tough times, where I have lost everything and I thought there was no way out and all I can say is that I got through it. Things have a way of resolving themselves, and I am a better and stronger person for it. Now I wouldn't change those bad times for the world because otherwise I wouldn't be the person I am today, and I am starting to like the person I am now because I have such good friends and a wonderful husband who love me warts and all. If I wasn't myself and not had my history, I wouldn't have them in my life and the deep bonds that I have with them.
I am so sorry that you don't feel you can speak to your family. I too was met with disbelief and stigmatism. My family refused to believe I had a problem even though some of my family have/had mental health problems. I believe from experience that when it comes to family they would rather choose to believe that way because either they are scared of what they do not know, or they don't want to admit there is a problem because they want to believe their child/sibling is perfect and are trying to avoid the potential pain and anguish that can come along if they do admit it, or they feel that it may be a reflection on them or the way they brought you up, even though that may not be the case. However what I do know is that any loving parent would rather admit that their child has a problem and help them rather than having to attend their funeral because they attempted suicide as a result of feeling unable to discuss it with them. I know it is hard but you have to be strong and if you think they can help, I would try telling them. If you don't feel you can do it verbally then why not try printing out your post and giving it to them, explaining that you approached this forum in desperation as you felt you had no one else to turn to and right now. Explain that what you need is their complete understanding, rather than being labelled or having your problems dismissed by them.
Dollit is right, most people I know who have 'recovered' from an alcohol addiction have said that it is a lifelong fight, and the minute they think they are 'recovered' is the day when they are vulnerable to drinking again. I know one person who has not drunk in over 20 years, and does not think she will drink again but she still goes to a group like AA because she realises there is a vulnerbility there that will be with her for life, and she still needs to take her 'medication' in the form of attending a group to prevent a relapse.
Don't beat yourself up about your relapse, the trick is not about not falling off the horse, but learning the skill to get back on it again.
With regards to your job, they may be more sympathetic and you might have more of a chance of keeping it if you say that you have sought help again for your drinking. They were sympathetic to you once, and I think most people realise that it is not easy giving up any addiction and you can be prone to relapse. However if you are operating machinary or are in charge of others and your drinking poses a risk to others then they may have no choice, it might not necessarily be about their views of you as a person. I lost my job because I was off sick for a long time and I was devasted, however now I realise that it was the best thing, in hindsight I now know that my job compounded my problems and that I was miserable there. I now have a potential job offer in a completely different career that I really enjoy! If I stuck at my previous job I would never discovered that you can work and actually enjoy it!
With regards to your impulsiveness, well at least you realise that you are prone to being impulsive and realising that actually gives you strength, because you can now take the time to form strategies to help you. Speak to your counsellor about it and see if you can both find strategies to keep you safe if the worst should happen. It may also be wise to discuss your situation with your GP and see if they can offer some form of help to help you get through this difficult time.
I know it is hard to stop worrying but there are forms of meditation and mindfullness exercises you can do to help stop these thoughts spiralling. What you are doing is catastrophising (and this is not an insult, I do it myself alot!). You are imagining the worst, and thinking your life/career is over. However nothing has happened with your job yet, you may be worrying unecessarily. Mindfulness is about being in the moment, because alot of human misery is caused by thinking about the past and fearing the future rather than what you are doing in that moment. It's about focusing on the here and now and on the tasks that you need to do. Just take it day by day, from moment to moment.
Please keep posting on this forum, there is a huge wealth of support and understanding here.
why not try cbt on line try www mood gym it helped me
remember you are not alone .with your illness. and many people have recovered
Last edited by zamanmsnuk; 17-05-09 at 02:10.
im sorry to hear what your going through
you need to try and think positively, i know it's not easy as i also suffer from depression but you can do anything you set yourself i tryed to be a psychologist but i was too dumb lol. i was made redundant a month ago and it did hit me really hard but i know no matter what happens i will find something else and the same goes to you. i know your probabily thinking that it is going to end in dismissal and that it will be the end of everything as you know it but it's not true, you might not lose your job and even if you do if you put your mind to it just like you did to become successful in the first place you will find something else. you don't need to drink to be confident you are confident and your clearly intellegant.
just remember that you can do anything you set your mind to and if you do ever feel suicidal just think of how your family and friends will feel if you went through with it, has anyone close to you died before, how did it make you feel and remember that's how they will feel if you were gone. that is one thought that gets me through the darkest of times.
i hope that i have helped even just a little and hope everything works out ok for you.
Thank you for your replies, sorry this message is late, I wanted to be in the right frame of mind to post a message.
Update: I told Occup Health counsellor about my suicidal intentions and that I have made plans, and she had to break confidentiality, but I dont mind, as she is telling my GP about it today. I am seeing my GP first thing tmrw morning about it. She recons I can get an immediate psychiatric assessment, although I doubt that will happen. Last time I told my GP, he just said go to A&E if you feel like doing it. The counsellor is really sweet and supportive she wants to implement some support plans on the day I find out about dismissal (or not).
In reply to the posts here:
I visited A&E twice last year due to suicidal thoughts, lets just say it was a scary experience when they locked me in a room with a nurse and doctor. However something good did come out of it and I had an immediate medication change, which made me feel better.
AA - I dont think I am an alcoholic, I do not drink, only rarely. Last time I drank was 2 months ago. BUT when I do drink, I drink wine and I get addicted and dont stop. I just love the flavour, smell and what it does it to me soooo much. I am skint and plus I avoid places that sell alcohol (which is very hard to do!).
Telling my family would just give me more stress than I already have, I rather not do it, and NEVER, as it would just be a big burden on me. Plus I just cannot tell them.
Lots of people have told me about meditation, relaxation and mindfulness techniques, but I just feel like I cant do it. It will probably take time, and I am probably not concentrating hard enough, I also can never seem to get a quiet environment. But I will keep trying!
Tbh, I am sick of CBT. Its an overrated therapy approach. I have lots of knowledge about it and currently doing a course on it. I have had about 6/7 sessions of it from a clinical psychologist, and honestly I just did not like challenging my negative thoughts, cos I always found more evidence FOR my negative thoughts than against.
I was telling the counsellor today, that this disciplinary hearing is just another life stressor on top of others, which has made me want to kill myself. I have already thought it out, how Im gonna do it and everything. I really am a burden to everyone, particulary at work and my friends. I so badly want a baby and be in a relationship, but I need to get better, be strong and like myself first. Which really does seem impossible. I dont want to neglect my child, which is something I might end up doing if I continue to have depressive episodes. Therefore I rather die now, so I dont make a mistake and make other peoples lives a misery because of my actions. Sorry for the morbidity, but that is exactly how I feel.
Thanks for all your kind words.
You have made some progress if you're getting to see your GP and tell them how awful it is going to A&E and that it makes you feel worse.
Sorry to bring this up again but what you said about alcohol - when I do drink, I drink wine and I get addicted and dont stop. I just love the flavour, smell and what it does it to me soooo much. I am skint and plus I avoid places that sell alcohol (which is very hard to do!) - that sounds a lot to me like a person with a drink problem. It's not how often you drink or what you drink it's why you drink and how you drink. And yes I am an alcoholic so I'm not preaching on this.
Thanks, but the idea of AA, sitting in a group, talking to people with probably worser drink problems than me, sounds dreadful. I know I use alcohol for all the wrong reasons, we have briefly touched up on this in couselling. I have attempted to make replacements in the past year, which include: drinking lots of red bull, or coca cola, having sex with strangers, anything that would give me a bit of a rush, make me more alert and temporary happiness. Unfornately these things are ruining my health.
I really dont know what to do, as I dont have any spare time to fit extra appointments, particulary as my boss has put me on a timesheet (like im back at school) and is pissed off when Im late due to appointments.
There seems to be no solution, no hope?
You don't sit in a group talking to people with worse drink problems. You sit in a group of people who have drink problems and are helping one another to stop. You can get one to one support in the form of a sponsor, you adopt a group so you can get to know people.
I know it's a pain in the arse trying to find time but sooner or later you get into the position I was and it's amazing how quickly you find time when you've been told you've got less than two years to live.