Doubting and self sabotaging myself 6 weeks into a career change!

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Ok, so I've spent the last couple of years sacrificing much of my social time and studying very hard to get where I am today - changing career from marketing/promotions into web design/development.

I've also spent the past 4/5 years going to counselling for depression/anxiety issues that interestingly came to a mutually agreeable end just as I was moving into this new career - it felt like good timing. I felt like I'd come a very long way since my younger days of partying all weekend/running away from my problems to finally finding something I enjoyed career wise, living on my own for the first time, looking after myself and handling life well on a daily basis - I felt ready to go it alone.

I started off really well in the new job and I really enjoy the fact that I now build things (with code) for a living, it give me great satifaction when things are going well. However, sometimes when I don't understand a concept or a new technique that I need to implement I severly beat myself up, to the point that I think I even stifel my learning process by spending more time beating myself while I'm trying to get my head round the problem.

As I'm writing this I intellectually understand that its natural not to know everything, especially when I'm new to this industry... but in the moment its the complete opposite, I almost hate myself for not having the knowledge, telling myself that I'm not good enough, comparing myself to the two other guys I work with that each have over 10 years experience doing this type of work! Again, as I write this I see how crazy it is to beat myself up for not having the skills that these guys have when I have less than two years experience... but at the time its like a black cloud comes over me and I stop functioning properly!

I've completed a few projects that I feel very happy with and proud of but I'm now getting more challenging projects so I've left work on a number of occasions feeling quite low... I've begun to doubt myself and my skills and self sabotage by going out and drinking too much on the weekends. This causes a vicious cycle by leaving me feeling a bit fuzzy the first few days of the week when I really need to be fresh as there's so much to learn. I think the drinking is a combination of two things: 1. Self sabotaging a new career, something I enjoy, something good for me... I've had a habit of doing this in the past... 2. An attempt to block out my feelings of hate/anger towards myself at my lack of knowledge but of course it only exasserbates the issue as I end up more annoyed for going out drinking and wasting money, brain cells, etc - the self saboteur is clearly in full swing!

I'm just really worried that I'm going to mess this up if I don't find some support from others because the biggest problem is I'm not talking through my feelings/difficuties with others, I'm just trying to ignore it/block it out and I know that's not good... been there, done that... Even the process of writing all this has helped so it would be great to find some people to chat to on here... :-)

Any advice/similar stories? It would be great to hear from you...


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  • Posted

    Hi John 1983

    I've read your note and it made me think of a few things.

    Firstly; when you have undergone such lengthy councelling it is difficult to let go of the 'therapy-thinking' at the same time as you want to let go of it and be 'normal'.

    There is bound to be some separation issues, which indeed can trigger new depression but hopefully a temporary one.

    Secondly, it sounds as if you're eager to run before gaining a steady walk.

    You accept that you are new at your job but you don't accept the years of knowledge lost. Use your more experienced working colleages. Make them feel appreciated by asking them for advice and tips.

    Try not to be hard on yourself. Instead, try be humble and patient.

    Thirdly: Therapy does not stop with therapy stopping. Therapy is there for a while with the purpose of you, when time comes, being able to be your own therapist.

    When I was discharged, I too felt elated. I felt as if it was made official that I had no problems - I was 'cured'. It doesn't work that way. A week later, I was feeling as lost as ever. But, the treatment I had received made me (after a while) more able to cope with the depression and not fall apart as much as I used to.

    Please give yourself time and try loving yourself for who and what you are now. Regrets will only trip you up.

    All the best


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    • Posted

      Hi Tancam,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my post, it means a lot and your points really make sense.

      There have been a number of occasions lately where I've stopped to think surely I have not spent 5 years in counselling to begin going back to my old ways... these thoughts have started the ball rolling to some form of self therapy where I've attempted to look at and deal with the things that are bothering me.

      Also, after getting that first post off my chest last week I went to work the following day and instinctively knew I needed to open up a bit to my colleagues, to ask for help/advice. It worked well and I felt much better about being honest with my skills both to them and myself. I realised by doing this I was accepting my circumstances and taking action as opposed to beating myself up.

      I can see now too what you mean about the separation issues that can arise from the end of counselling. I didn't really consider this before and I can see how/why this has been difficult because during counselling I uncovered a big seperation issue to do with my Mum when I was a child.

      As you've touched on as well, looking after ourselves is an on-going process, it doesn't end after counselling.

      Thanks again for your advice/point of view, it has really helped me to put things into perspective :-)



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  • Posted

    Well John it seems that you already have been seeing a professional in the past so this tells me you have certain challenges in you. There's always a root. Perhaps you were put down a lot as a child and expectations were too much for your accomplishment status. Someone verbally abused you bad. I am sorry this has caused your current dilemma. I know abuse is commonly accepted and people carry it into their future as a cycle but it also creates serious chaos later. Don't let your abuser f up your future. Find a way to build your self image.
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