When your job comes at the expense of your mental health

Hello hello hello!!

When I started this blog I wanted to use it as a tool to reflect on my own experiences, so today I want to talk about something that I’ve been going through recently: the emotional and mental toll of working a job that you hate.

I’ve had a job since I was 14 years old and I’ve had the experience of working in a number of different fields and settings. I started out working in fast food, tutoring, and baby-sitting, then moved my way up to more skilled positions in corporate offices and even research settings. Recently though, I’ve had to return to work in the fast food industry due to the poor job market in my current city. Unfortunately, this turn of events has not only had a hugely negative impact on my income and financial stability, but also on my overall mental health and emotional stability.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been struggling a lot to stay on track with my recovery from an eating disorder and I’ve also been experiencing moodiness and anger almost everyday. I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on until I noticed a pattern: my bad moods, anxiety, and eating disorder urges tend to happen on the days of the week that I have to work.

After a month of working for this restaurant I have finally realized that my recent decline in mental health is not a result of something internal; rather, it is stemming from the unhappiness and dissatisfaction that I have with my new job. I spend 8 hours  taking food orders, making food orders, and listening to people complain about the smallest errors which often have absolutely nothing to do with me. This means that I spend half of my waking hours on days that I work dealing with people who are often rude, demeaning, disrespectful, and critical.

I’ve endured this type of work before, so it is certainly not a new experience. In fact, I have spent nearly 7 years working in the fast-food industry, so I knew what to expect when I started the job. However, the first time I worked in the industry I didn’t really know what else was out there. I had never experienced the feeling of respect from an employer before. This time around is different because I’ve worked jobs that I absolutely loved and I’m no longer ignorant to the fact that not all jobs make me miserable. This makes it a lot harder to endure the 8 hour shifts of hell because I know that there is a job out there that I would absolutely love.

Thankfully, just when I was starting to reach my breaking point with the job that I’m currently in, I lucked out and got an interview with a great organization. A few days later I got the call that the job is mine and I will be free of the food service industry in a matter 6-10 shifts. HALLELUJAH!!

It was only after getting the call and signing my contract with my new employer that I realized how much my fast-food job was bringing me down. I’ve been absolutely miserable for weeks and I’ve come to realize that as my therapist says, nothing is more important than your mental and physical well-being.

So, if you’re stuck in a job that is making you feel miserable and maybe even causing your mental illnesses to worsen, maybe it’s time to consider kicking that job to the curb and finding a new one!! Happy job hunting!!

Ayla

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