You have to take care of YOU

Today, I made a huge decision that has really been a long time coming. I have been working a job that has without a doubt been the most emotionally, physically and mentally draining position I have ever held. This position took the greatest toll on my mental health, and brought my anxiety to an all time high and took me back into a depression that I worked so hard to get out of. One might ask, why did you stay for so long if you were so miserable? Well, let me explain.

As for most people, job security is important. I live in a small town in Georgia where jobs are limited. When I was finally given the opportunity to work for a major company at decent pay, I jumped at the chance without thinking twice. What intrigued me the most was the fact that there was opportunity for growth. I knew that over time, I could move my way up and do something really special within the company. But my fatal flaw with this job was that I care. I care way too much. I find that in the healthcare industry, it is so important to have people working these jobs that actually care. Empathy is such a critical part of this job as we are dealing with people's time, money and health. I speak to countless people day in and day out who are tremendously sick, have lost a loved one, have lost access to their healthcare, etc. The reality is aside from caring, sometimes thats all I really can do for these people. And the weight of this truth has been more than I can handle.

I was constantly encouraged to stay at this place of employment by management because they believe I truly am good at what I do and that they need more people who care as much as I do. And despite my extreme anxiety, I excelled. I got raises, was recognized as a Subject Matter Expert, assisted in the training classroom, was used for peer to peer mentoring for new employees and trusted with other duties for my team. All of the encouragement made me feel guilty. Beyond the guilt, I felt obligated to fill this role everyone else saw and assumed I was doing well in. But, it got to the point where the anxiety was almost debilitating, and I could barely get out of the car each morning to walk into work. I finally decided I need to take care of myself and most importantly my mental health. And so, I made the choice to move on.

I am so blessed to say I found a new position that I know will be a better fit for me and my personality. It is also directly related to the master's degree I am currently pursuing. To stay I am beyond thrilled for this new beginning would be an extreme understatement. I am proud of myself for sticking it out as long as I did. I pushed through my struggles so that I could still do whatever I could to help every single person I spoke to on the phone each workday.

Please don't ever be afraid to make a choice that will benefit your mental health or peace of mind. There is no reason to be ashamed when things don't work out the way you or others think they should. God's timing is always perfect and he will always come through for you. Have faith, always!

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