What happens after you reach ‘Breaking Point’?

What are we doing here?

I reached a point where I couldn’t continue. My working environment felt toxic. I was holding back the tears most days, and often not succeeding in holding them in. I went on countless trips to the bathroom, to close myself in for a moment, breathe deeply, wipe my eyes, ask myself what I was doing with my time, with my life. Back at my desk I would sit staring blindly at the screen, my throat tight with that strange feeling of holding back from crying. I would scroll through the emails in my inbox, unable to bring myself to stop and concentrate on just one, forcing myself to breathe. I’d look around at my colleagues and want to scream at them “WHAT ARE WE ALL DOING HERE, PUTTING UP WITH THIS?! We’re better than this!”

Unable to think because a colleague’s heated telephone conversation totally dominated the vicinity. I’d feel the tightness crawling over my shoulders and neck. My left eye twitching uncontrollably as it had been for many weeks. I felt imprisoned, frustrated, angry at myself. What was I doing here? I’m young, bright, full of energy; however I’m sat at this desk, desperate to be anywhere else and despairing at my situation. What do I really want to do? What do I want to be doing all day, every day? Where do I want to be? Who do I want to be interacting with? I had some vague ideas, but nothing concrete. Nothing that would make applying for another job straightforward. How can I apply when I’m not sure? How can I put myself out there?

Why can’t I take control of my life?

There is no clear definition. And I know I can’t be vague. Why don’t I know? Where is my focus? Why can’t I take control of my life? How have I been so passive in my life, letting this happen? Why have I not searched for and grabbed opportunities? I haven’t been living. Not really. Not fully.

I’ve stopped wanting to socialise. I’ve felt unable to put energy into much out of work, for fear of being overwhelmed. At the end of each day, I wanted to rush home and hide. Retreat to a place of safety and comfort. I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. I would go home, eat, and search for inspiration and solace online, case studies, other people who had suffered from staying in a role which wasn’t for them, who had made the break, who were LIVING fully. Those who had made a decision. Those who had taken control. I would bask in the moments of inspiration and comfort.

***

Taking action

It’s now February 2018 – and it is so interesting reading this blogpost I wrote two years ago, around 9 months after making a big decision which changed my life – deciding to leave my job (read about it here). I still remember those feelings so well. They’d lived with me for so long, gradually increasing until I basically reached ‘breaking point’, that point at which I HAD to do something to change my life.

Are you in a similar situation? Are you experiencing those feelings of frustration, of being lost, unable to focus? Have you reached your own ‘breaking point’? Is it time to start taking action? What’s the first small step you can take?

Please share with someone you think might appreciate reading this.

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Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

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