Erica, 27, left her job after a breakdown in the bathroom.
“In retrospect, the burnout accumulated over a two-year period. I was constantly complaining to my family about how much work was being dumped on me.
When I first started, I prided myself on having a solid work-life balance, but I started taking on more projects and suddenly I didn’t have time left for myself. I love photography and it always helped me balance whatever stress I had at work, but as I moved up the corporate ladder, more responsibilities came on.
Soon, the quality of my work started declining and I was falling behind in projects, which only made me more stressed.
I was also aware that I was neglecting my family and friends – and because I have social anxiety, the guilt consumed me. I noticed the steady decline in my emotional and physical well-being, but I couldn’t find the time to relax and regain my composure.
I handed in my resignation letter on a whim, after having a meltdown in the bathroom for the fifth time that month. I didn’t have another job lined up and if I hadn’t done it impulsively, I would never have been able to do it.
The lack of financial stability made me really anxious and quitting didn’t give me immediate relief. I worked hard to climb up the ranks in the company, and abandoning all my progress felt like such a waste.
To be honest, it’s been six months since I left and I’m still stuck in a rut. I’ve been seeing a psychologist, but I’m still having trouble finding motivation to get another job. Of course, I still think about whether quitting was the right option; part of me regrets it and the other part thanks me for it as the job was really taking a toll on me.
Now that I’m in a more rational state, I do wish I had just taken leave or asked if I could work from home for a while to see if things improved – but there’s no point in dwelling on that now.
Since I still live with my family, I don’t have to spend money on food or rent, but I do feel bad about not being able to contribute anything to my household.
My plan is to freelance for a bit and then ease myself back into a full-time role in the same industry, but in a lower position than I was in before. Realistically, I just don’t think I could handle the same amount of work right away.”