Why I Quit My “Dream Job”

Disclaimer: This is essentially a long ramble of life post…not necessarily edited or pretty to read, but important. Anxiety and depression is different for everyone. What may have worked for me, may not work for you. The symptoms that I had may not be the same as yours either. It is a disease classified by general symptoms, but is unique to each individual.

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Over the past year, I have worked my ass off trying to get my dream job as a social studies teacher. I took extra classes, spent my days researching teaching strategies, and learning as much as I possibly could about my future career. I wanted to change lives and to be a role-model for my ‘kids.’ I accidentally applied for a leave-replacement position in September and about seven hours later, I received an email inviting me to interview the following day.

Holy cow. This was happening.

I went to the interview the next day feeling that I had done pretty well, but couldn’t imagine them possibly hiring me. Another seven hours later, I had an email stating that I was being recommended for hire. I was ecstatic. Finally, I was going to be a teacher, have a job, a great salary, and some financial security. It felt too good to be true.

Fast forward a few weeks later, I walked into the school on my first day. It was incredibly overwhelming, but I knew it was just my anxiety getting the better of me. I would figure it out—this was what I wanted to do with my life after all.

Wrong. Every morning, I experienced anxiety attacks like I had never experienced. I was nauseous and suffered from debilitating panic attacks. I dreaded going to school every single day.

Eventually, I could not eat. At all. For those who know me, I eat about every two hours or so #foreverhangry. This was a new symptom of anxiety for me. I vomited every morning, but seeing as how there was no food in my system, it just resulted in violent dry-heaving.

I begged to be released from this hell. I was told to see how the weekend would go—it would be a 3-day weekend so maybe I could collect myself and become less overwhelmed.

Wrong again.

The anxiety level was the same: vomiting nothing in the morning, unable to eat, only able to consume water.

Quitting was not an option. I needed a job. I needed money. And I had only given the job a week—who quits a job after a week? Quitters do. Lazy people do. People who don’t want to work.

What would people think of me? I was so desperate in wanting to become a teacher. I cried about it. Stressed out about it. Begged and pleaded to just have a teaching job. I envied those teachers who were reluctant to return to school this year because of how badly I wanted it.

My boyfriend’s parents would never understand why I quit this job. They would just see someone mooching off their hardworking son—someone who was lazy—someone who couldn’t crack it, cut it, whatever the phrasing may be. I would essentially never feel welcome in that home.

All those years of tension between his mother and I that had been slowly chipped away at resulting in a more civil relationship would be gone. I would, probably, go back to being called “the girlfriend” instead of by my name. I would get criticized by his family because they wouldn’t understand this disease.

Friends would think, “why doesn’t she just put on her big girl panties and suck it up?” “What is her problem?” Maybe they would convince Paul to leave me in fear that I was holding him back.

I knew my family would understand. They deal with this disease everyday themselves. I knew they didn’t want to see me quit, but they understood and would stand by me no matter what.

I went to the doctor on my Monday off. I almost had both her and the nurse crying with me because of how miserable and confused I was. My blood pressure was through the roof, but I was calm at the time so I can only imagine what my BP was when freaking out. My doctor prescribed me a higher dosage of my normal everyday medication and a low dosage of Xanax.

Tuesday morning, I woke up shortly before Paul did for work. I laid there in dread of how I would feel today, what I would do, what this week would hold. I waited a little while longer to take a Xanax to make sure that it would still be in affect when I was at school.

I tried to go back to sleep, but couldn’t. The Xanax should have taken effect already, but I felt no difference. I was reluctant to take another one because I was unsure how I would be affected—would it make me so drowsy I would be unable to drive?

I tried to power through it. I took a dose of nausea medication (even though I wasn’t feeling nauseous). About 10 minutes later, I was throwing that back up. I started shaking and crying—freaking out. This medication was supposed to work. It was supposed to make everything better, but it wasn’t. What was wrong with me?

Why wouldn’t it do what it was supposed to? How on earth am I supposed to function like this? This isn’t living—this isn’t even surviving.

I called my mom, hoping that she would answer, despite the fact that it was almost 7 in the morning. I told her, “I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this. What am I going to do? I can’t live like this. It is unbearable. I’m going to end up in the hospital if this doesn’t get better.” My mom was able to calm me down a little bit and told me that she would support me no matter what.

I called the main office and utilized a sick day. I called my mom back and said, “I’m coming home. I’m not ready to deal with the fallout of my decision.”

I fell asleep while packing my things—woke up and drove home.

I wrote a letter declaring my resignation. My family comforted me. I tried to talk to Paul about it—he explained that he had accepted my decision, but would not help me quit this job. It hurt to hear that from him. Paul has always been one of my biggest supporters. I knew how much I had disappointed him. That was one of the reasons I went home; I couldn’t face his disappointment and worry.

Later that night, I was able to eat some food. It was good to feel like I could eat again, but I worried for how I would feel the next morning.

Slowly, over the few days that I spent at my parents, I was able to get back to almost normalcy. I was able to eat more and more each day, but still had to take it easy.

I returned to our apartment on Friday. I was nervous to see Paul and have to face the reality of what the next step would be. We talked about how we both felt and what our next step would be. We still have a lot to work on together, but we’ll get there.

Right now, I am taking some time to put myself back together, heal, and reevaluate.

8 thoughts on “Why I Quit My “Dream Job”

  1. Hang in there. It wasn’t the “right” job. Much like a relationship,, it can look good “on paper”, to the world, or whatever, but if it’s a harmful relationship you need to take care of yourself & move on. You made the right decision! Your body told you that. It doesn’t mean you won’t be a teacher. This job wasn’t right. There are other jobs. You will find the right one. At least you know now what you DONT want. Wishing you the best of luck!

  2. Wow. This post is an individual pouring out her disappointment and frustration with her illness and self and you chose to only point out that she made Paul sound like a dickface. That shows me that you totally didn’t get it and should probably stop reading this blog. She didn’t make Paul appear to be a dickface . She stated how it is, which sounds a lot like Paul was going the tough love approach and that they talked about things and are in the process of figuring it out. I think you are the dickface and part of the problem with the stigma towards mental health.

    1. Thank you, Peggy, for explaining the post in a way that hopefully some people will understand. I, in no way, meant to make Paul look bad or his family. These are simply my anxiety-ridden thoughts that I wrote down. This is how my mind works and how I believed Paul’s family would think of me based on MY past experiences with his family.

      Paul was incredibly supportive, but not in the way that I had hoped, which is totally fine. He was going through his own issues at the time, and I understand and respect that. We both had to focus and take care of ourselves.

  3. Wasn’t the teaching position in Newark or Camden or some other inner city locale where 2nd graders are recruited for gangs and as drug runners??

  4. Wow. Not even about him! You have no feelings if you say something like that to make her feel worse real nice especially when she knows that you are apparently a friend of Paul’s. Real mean.

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