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Dear Christine, Frustrated in Ferndale

| June 13, 2016

ccc 2Dear Christine,
Every fiber in my being this morning is telling me to quit my job, just go back to bed:  that I’m not cut out for this life.  I am depressed, angry, sad and tired.  Nothing seems to work out.  I have never seemed to last more than 3 months in any job.  I was in college, but I dropped out.  I hate it all.  I don’t want to go to work, but I know I should.  I look at the forecast for today and I see myself quitting after today.  However, I am on my way to work.  What will make my life better?  How do I get there? 
Signed, Frustrated in Ferndale

Dear Frustrated,

I hear you loud and clear.  You’re not happy in your life and you don’t see anything getting better.  However, to be an independent adult, having a job is better than not having a job.  Start looking for other employment, something you might find more rewarding or that leads to reaching goals or dreams that you have or used to have.

Some studies found that Mondays have significantly more  (15 – 20%) heart attacks than weekends or Tuesdays.  This might have to do with the stress of returning to the rat race, particularly if you hate your job.  However, it also might be some of the behaviors people do on the weekend, like heavy drinking.  And perhaps people drink on the weekend because they are avoiding thinking about the work week ahead.   Drinking to excess does no good to the mind or the body, if you are depressed, angry, sad and frustrated.

Remember that the thought “I should quit my job after today” is just a thought.  It is not reality.  It is not necessarily a truth.  It is one of those random thoughts that can pop up when you are running late or are hungry and having “Automatic Negative Thoughts”.  Dr. Daniel Amen calls these negatives  ANTS and he suggests that you notice them, thank them for sharing and let them go.  Negative emotions can crowd out our goals, plans and dreams like ANTS spoiling a picnic.  You are not your thoughts.  You have the capacity to recognize the negativity that comes from not getting enough sleep, drinking too much, not being who you truly are, and feeling like your life is out of control.  You also can change your life.

So, good for you for going to your job anyway.  Start making goals for the future:  look for a new job.  Do some journaling to start to keep track of all of your thoughts, so you can notice the encouraging thoughts, recognize those things you do enjoy and find fulfilling.  Look for patterns.  Look for what you can do to increase being able to do those things you prefer.

Plan to get the skills that will take you in the direction of your dreams and goals.  Perhaps you like to travel.  You could join the military or get your CDL and become a distance truck driver.  You could get your pilot’s license through the Air Force, or just by signing up at a nearby smaller airport like City Airport in Detroit or Oakland/Troy Airport or Oakland County Airport in Waterford.  If you have training or licensing as a professional such as a nurse or a teacher, you can take a job that will send you to different cities to work for several months at a time.  Hotel management gives you the opportunity to save money when you travel by staying in your company’s hotels.

There are lots of goals out there and a myriad of ways to reach them.  It probably will take more than 3 months of planning, training and working towards a good goal to get there!  So, hang in there.  Don’t focus on those ANTS, but find your dreams and chase them.

Christine Cantrell, PhD.

Psychologist

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888

Click here to email Christine.

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