I am a 25-year-old woman who’s feeling down and depressed. I am going through a tough time and need some guidance.
I was working as a HR officer in a big hotel industry and was doing really well. I was happy with my work and used to stay busy all the time. But there was one negative aspect of it – my boss. He apparently was a nice guy but he used to shout at me all the time and that too over non-issues and in front of everyone in the office. Initially I used to take this in my stride and did not let it affect the quality of my work. But one day he shouted at me like an animal – it was terrible. I couldn’t take it anymore and quit my job just after being in the company for five months.
I found another job with a good salary and title. But the problem is that in comparison with my former company, where I was responsible for over 500 employees, this company is quite small and low profile. I don’t like anything at my current workplace. I find it all too dull; the work, the workplace and the people.
I feel I made a huge mistake in switching jobs so soon and that too from a high profile company to a low profile one. This has led me to feel anxious all the time. I feel nervous and have lost confidence. My pulse rate has gone up to a 100. I keep on telling myself that I won’t ever get a chance to be in a high profile company again and thus my career is ruined.
After work I just come home and lie down. I don’t involve myself in any activities, physical or otherwise. I start crying over nothing and now I also have nightmares. And on top of all this I was also dumped by a guy who, it turned out, was not serious about our relationship. This happened right after I switched my job.
I visited a psychiatrist without informing my family. He asked me to control my negative thoughts, not stress over issues and also prescribed some medicines. Though my situation is quite bad, and what the psychiatrist said made sense, but still I don’t want to be on medication. I want to control things on my own. But I don’t know how to do it. Please help me get out of this phase where I regret everything.
Dear regretful woman,
What you are feeling is completely justified and natural. You were working at a job that you liked and in a company that you wanted to be in. That was a good combination which not everyone is lucky enough to have. That was taken away from you because of the unprofessional and disrespecting attitude of your boss on whose words, actions, temperament and behaviour you had no control.
Note: You haven’t mentioned if leaving your previous company could have been avoided by complaining against your boss for his unprofessional attitude and behaviour. That could have led to disciplinary proceedings be initiated against him by the company and you wouldn’t have had to resign from your job. Perhaps quitting the job without taking this step was a bit impulsive. May be you should have tried out all the possible options available to you before leaving your last company. This is just as an afterthought to help you understand that if a situation like this ever arises again, then how you can handle it differently.
Lying down, crying over nothing and feeling sorry for yourself is all part of the healing process and is something that is quite natural for you to go through to overcome the trauma of losing the job that you really liked and enjoyed. This is the grieving period and you have to go through it to come out fine and well. Although the duration of it differs from person to person, I would strongly suggest – keeping your issue in mind – not to let it carry on for more than a few weeks. If it does prolong longer than that and you feel no difference then taking professional help to overcome it, is right on your part. But I would strongly suggest not taking any medications for it.
I must commend you on visiting a psychiatrist. In a country like Pakistan, where seeking any sort of mental health is still considered a taboo, taking the initiative to visit a psychiatrist must have taken courage and common sense. Kudos for that.
I also really appreciate and admire the fact that you don’t want to take the easy way out and be dependent on medicines but rather want to take control of things on your own through your sheer will power. One way of doing that is to look at the bright side. I know it’s easier said than done but look at the positive aspect of it – after quitting your old job, you immediately got a new one with a good salary and title. You didn’t have to stay unemployed for long, neither did you have to settle for a job that paid less or had a title that didn’t match your qualifications and experience. Not everyone is as lucky as you after losing a job. In fact, majority of people have to settle for far less after having lost a job in which they had stayed for only five months.
To want to heal without medications, you will have to force yourself out of your grieving. I would strongly suggest that you exercise regularly, pursue a hobby, socialise with family and friends, meditate and pray. Isolating yourself for long periods of time is going to make it all that difficult for you to get out of the depression that you are in.
I would also like to say that you are young, you are qualified and you have work experience. Sooner or later you are bound to find a job that you enjoy in a company that you like. Just keep on looking and stay positive. Don’t give up hope.
Warning: If you keep on thinking of your current company and job as being inferior to your previous one, then that might lead you to underperform. This in turn will negatively affect your chances of securing a position in a better company in the future.
As for the guy who dumped you, believe me you are better off without him. He left you when you needed him the most – after switching your job, when you were miserable. If he couldn’t bear to be with you at your time of need and left you as soon as a crisis hit, then he definitely is not the type of guy you should be thinking of making a life with.
All the best!
Asad is a counsellor, life coach, inspirational speaker and a personal-development expert. He advises on social, personal and emotional issues. You can send him your questions for this weekly column at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ask Asad” mentioned in the subject line and provide as many details as possible.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Express Tribune.