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If Your Job Is Making You Suicidal, Read This

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. If you need support right now, you can call, text, or chat the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, or text HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line if you are in the U.S. A list of crisis centers around the world can be found here.

It’s 8 a.m. 

You just woke up to the annoying alarm on your phone that you set so you could leave for work on time (and maybe only be five minutes late). It’s actually the third alarm you set, because the soul crushing weight of depression that sets in every new day makes waking up a struggle. You can’t stay in bed any longer no matter how much you want to, so you swing yourself out from under the covers and take a deep breath.

You don’t make breakfast. You pick up a coffee on the way or turn your Keurig on, all while the same thought dances through your head.

“I hate my job.” 

Yeah, a lot of people hate their job. That’s why they call it a “job,” but for you it’s different. It’s not just being annoyed at meetings you really don’t need to be in or that could have been an email. The “Sunday scaries” happen every single night before you go to work, on the drive in or as you’re opening your computer, and as you start looking through your emails. Sure, a lot of people really dislike their job, but for you?

This job reminds you that life would be so much simpler if you didn’t exist anymore.

It doubles down on every insecurity that you have while taking away any time that you have to yourself — if not because a boss or co-worker is talking to you outside of work hours, then because you just can’t get it off your mind, and you can’t bill your company for the time you spend thinking about your job off the clock. 

You were sold this picture of a “work family,” but just like a real family, you feel out of place. Through little interactions you’re reminded how inadequate you are and ultimately how insignificant you are in the grand scheme of things. 

In the same way you’re fighting to simply survive, you’re fighting to prove to people you matter when it’s clear that you don’t in their eyes. You’re nothing more than a number or a face on an ID. You feel small, voiceless, and lost amongst a sea of people who seemingly either love their life, the rat race, or are willing to bend over backwards and kiss ass, sacrificing parts of themselves that you feel you shouldn’t have to. 

Forty hours of your workweek are dedicated to some LLC or S-Corp where corporate doesn’t even know who you are, and every single one of those hours is dedicated to maintaining a brand or a company that’s in their name, meanwhile no one could be bothered to remember yours.

When you already struggle with suicidality, all of these feelings don’t help. In fact, they just make everything worse. 

The last thing a suicidal person needs is to either be reminded of, or feel like, they don’t matter — that they are very and easily replaceable. Those workplace feelings easily translate to the ones they have outside of the workplace. Then the voice in the back of your head pipes up again when you least expect it.

“What if I stopped it all?”

If you feel like this, I have news for you:

You are not your job, and your job doesn’t make you.

Judging your worth by the way a hiring manager or executive sees you is an unfair gauge of your value, especially when we live in a capitalistic society that only values production and capital. They don’t value how fiercely you may love and how big your heart is. They don’t look at the small things that make human life so magical and meaningful and all the different contributions that you give — and that’s why you should.

It’s so easy to live a life where your job is your life, and your life in turn becomes your career and nothing else. That’s dangerous when you’re already struggling with trauma and suicidal ideation. 

So, when looking at your worth and your value, do yourself a favor and look at you in a way that your job, managers, and executives refuse to. Find the in-between that makes life worth living, and that may not be at your job.

A job is a job, and it’s more replaceable than you are. Do what you have to do, advocate for yourself, and in the meantime remember that you are worth so much more than what they make you feel like.

You got this. I believe in you.

Getty image by FG Trade

Originally published: July 15, 2022
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