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ADHD at Work

I just don't want to work, period.

I’m so physically and emotionally exhausted. I’ve been struggling in every area of my life and I really want a break. I have such a difficult time committing to anything! When I start feeling anxious, upset, annoyed or can’t seem to articulate my thoughts and feelings, I just want to give up. My relationships suffer and I end up feeling even worse.
I’ve done okay with keeping jobs for the last 14 years but it was not easy! I’ve been treated with very little respect because I have made mistakes, not followed through on my job responsibilities, etc. I’ve always had a hard time with letting people know that I don’t understand how to do something - too prideful! Obviously that hasn’t helped me but its just the way I am. I always play nice and I believe people have abused that.
Anyhow, my concern at this time is that I feel extremely disconnected with my daughters, husband and just about everyone because I’m truly not happy on the inside. Having to go work stresses me out - I just hate it.
I’m at the point where I want to run away for it all but I would feel so guilty and look weak to my daughters.
It’s just so hard.


It sounds like you do not value the skills, talents, loyalty and courage you so clearly have.
You have worked hard to ‘do the right thing’ for others or for duty. You need to appreciate yourself for that. And reward yourself by doing some things which deep down you have felt were too frivolous or too self- centred. 
This can be fun to contemplate but it is also practical for if you look after yourself, doing just a few things which make you feel good, you will become happier and stronger.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Mar 21, 2013 at 5:22pm

Thanks, I have my ups and downs. It’s just hard to be everything for everyone. Not sure where I learned this along the way but I feel like if things ate not perfect, then they are not right. I need some positive people in my life but I’m somewhat of a loner- I push people away .

Posted by SHJ125 on Mar 22, 2013 at 1:26am

I’m the same way with the difficulty articulating when I’m feeling anxious and stress. I also make lots of mistakes and its killing me because I feel I’m not good enough. I’ve been eating my brain out thinking about what people think of me at my school and externship. I just want to get away and not have to perform for anyone and just be happy and free.

Good luck!

Posted by Hallie on Mar 22, 2013 at 5:05am

Ditto on the performance anxiety, Hallie.  In any type of situation, if I smell so much as a faint hint of expectation or judgment from someone I’m interacting with, my brain shuts down on the spot.  So annoying.

Posted by adylu on Mar 22, 2013 at 5:21am

If you don’t HAVE to work, then take a break and see if your stress level goes down. Don’t think of it as “running away from everything” and being “weak.” Think of it as taking care of yourself and being strong enough to do something to better your life and those of your family. Your daughters and husband might all be thrilled if you had more time and energy for them and were happier yourself. I quit my job 22 years ago and never went back. It was making me feel suicidal because of performance anxiety, perfectionism, my mind going blank whenever I felt stressed - my frustration at never having enough energy after working all day - not for the housework and certainly not for anything fun for myself. And I didn’t have kids yet! I think a lot is expected of women, if they’re all going to have a career and a family and take care of most of the household stuff, too. I just am not made for that - too spacey. I would have rather been broke than work full-time (part-time would have been possible). But I ended up doing volunteer work and raising a fine, well-adjusted son, making better meals, keeping the house and yard up and doing a lot for the kids around me whose parents were all working.I had time to keep my sanity. I don’t think everyone is cut out to have a full-time career on top of a family. It was too much for me. Just another perspective.  You sound pretty depressed and I think you’re going to have to deal with that, first.

Posted by pnwsuzie on Mar 23, 2013 at 3:28am

Thanks for your response everyone! That performance anxiety thing is no joke - my brain doesn’t handle it well at all.

@pnwsuzie - You have the life I want!  I would be much happier doing volunteer work and focusing on my kids, home etc. The only thing I would probably struggle with is not being able to shop. I’m somewhat of a shopaholic . I’m on fashions sites for at least an hour a day. It’s how I unwind believe it or not. I check them out on my breaks (when I have time) at work and def when I get home mostly. I am impulsive so there are times i will whip out a cc because I just have to make that purchase.  I said all that to say, I would be extremely happy to be relived from the stress at work but would probably need to get some help for this habit. It’s like my drug! Lol. Addictive personality…

Posted by SHJ125 on Mar 23, 2013 at 1:54pm

I so understand where you’re coming from. I would love to just walk away from the 9-to-5 world. The stress of it all just overwhelms me pretty much consistently.

I wonder how much of a “disorder” my ADHD is. In a much simpler, more concretely contextualized life, where my actions had very real, tangible consequences (don’t put up enough food for winter? UH OH NO FOOD!) with a lot of interdependence and community, I think I’d be more successful.

And, you know, once I get my poop in a group, I may be able to organize my life so I can take steps towards being a little less tied to the typical work world. Right now, it’s my only option, and I’m hanging on by a thread.

So… know you’re not alone.

Posted by kayesskay on Apr 02, 2013 at 11:33pm

Just wanted to chime in here… I know exactly how you feel.

I’m a software engineer, web developer, IT guy, and overall technology generalist. I love technology, making things, taking things apart, etc. I fit in very well with the hacker, maker, DIY culture. My favorite toys as a child were LEGO bricks, Erector sets, etc. So, I naturally gravitated toward the technology sector for work.

That being said, with all of the administrivia, politics, and the like that has come along with the standard 9-to-5 working world, I’m just about ready to give it all up and become a Mennonite. I have a difficult time with mundane, seemingly pointless activities in the workplace. SMART Goals, weekly status reports, performance reviews, meetings upon endless meetings… all of the cruft that gets in the way of doing actual, meaningful work. If that’s what I need to deal with in order to be a professional technologist, I’ll readily shun technology and live in a gregarian, communal farm setting.

I’ve had my share of run-ins with rulers of the corporate hierarchy. The HR department is not my friend (no matter how charismatic and alluring they may seem). I’ve lost jobs because I couldn’t keep up with the demands of the corporate setting and I’ve buckled under the pressure. I burn out, become depressed, and my anxiety becomes highly sensitized. When this happens, I can barely bring myself to get out of bed. One time, I couldn’t. I stayed in bed, hiding from the industrial world in the safe, empty void under the cover of a soft blanket. I’ve been accused of “flaking out” on more than one occasion.

You just have to keep pressing on. You can’t give up. You’re much stronger than that. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here on this board.

Posted by cparker15 on Apr 14, 2013 at 3:50am

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