I don't want to work anymore.

Postby catastrophe » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:51 am

I've been working since I turned 16. It's been nearly twenty years of full time employment now. I had a lot of ambition for a lot of the wrong reasons when I started (like wanting to be rich and famous), but at least I had a goal.

After the last few years of bad work experiences I just have zero ambition now. I could care less about any job out there. I have no desire to do anything (except write a novel and I don't want to ruin that by turning it into work).

I am so incredibly burnt out.

Every day I cringe at the thought of going to work. I am late every day. I am going to be fired soon for being late and leaving early and not working while I am here - I am so uncomfortable just being here, yet this is comparatively a very lenient, accepting workplace. I get away with things here that I never could have at other jobs. I still hate it though.

And it isn't a matter of finding another job. I'm just sick and tired of working. I can't imagine any job that I would not hate. I can't make it to work by 11am at this job - how am I going to get to some other job by 8-9am?! I already have a job that is more lenient and easier than anything out there, I even get more vacation time than most places - and I am not sure I can take it another day! I called in sick Friday (was not sick), and thought very hard about it today. I'm going to leave very soon, although I'm supposed to be here for several more hours. I'm just hoping no one will notice, but I am fairly certain they will (I'm sabotaging myself now, halfway hoping I do get fired because I don't have the courage to quit).

I know I sound like a lazy, spoiled brat - but I've put in 15 years of working as hard as I could (8 years of that I was in college, too), and another 3 years of slowly diminishing motivation (hey, at least I showed up), and I have nothing to show for it but a staggering amount of debt. I can't afford to pay the bills as it is.

I'm ready to do something drastic, like head out into the jungle to live off of berries and fish like that kid in "into the wild". I'm actually pretty serious - all I can think about these days is getting the heck away from this drudgery of an existence, this work-obsessed society. I see homeless people on the street and envy their freedom. I really am to the point that I would rather be a homeless bum than face coming in to some horrible job every day for the rest of my life!
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:14 am
Likes Received: 0


Postby jurplesman » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:46 am

HI catastrophe,

You are not the only one with these experiences. When I was not well and in a dead end job, I dreamed all day long of becoming Tarzan and live with he apes. This has prompted many people to down shift, leave their cosy jobs and live a more simple life in the bush.

The feeling of "burn-out" reminds me adrenal exhaustion or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, where we just cannot produce energy after years of fruitless struggle.

Please test yourself with the

Nutrition Behavior Inventory Test (NBI)

or the

The Hypo Quiz

If you scores are high it could be due to hypoglycemia, which can be treated by going on a hypoglycemic diet.

But also read:

Values Clarification Course

and see if you can find a different future. Whatever you do, don't make hasty decisions, but carefully plan a different life style, and make sure you are 100% healthy.
Super Member
Posts: 14145
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:38 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Likes Received: 2


Postby Freebird » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:14 am

Hi Catastrophe,

I feel your pain. I sat down last night and had a long discussion with my partner about this 'existence'. We're both feeling it right now. I don't know if it's the economic downturn that is cutting off more and more options every day (even if one wasn't going to take one of those options it's comforting to know they're there) or if it's the fear of losing everything that we've ever worked for (and therefore making all those long tough years one big waste of time).

I've been working solidly for 27+ years and every morning I wake up with this feeling of "Is this all there is?" as I struggle out of bed into the early morning darkness to start all over again. I tend to compensate (if that's the right word) not by taking time off sick but by working extra hard, somehow trying to prove my worth and make my way in this job (or, more realistically these days, trying to keep this job). Most days I'll do two, three or four unpaid extra hours just to try and keep on top of everything and make a good impression. It works now and again, but at what cost? I finish work too tired to do anything else and then it all starts again. Looking forward to another 20 years of this is terrifying. Yet this is life. I'd love to know how to re-calibrate my thinking to make it all all right.

The other trap, for me, is that the job I'm in is reasonably well paid, yet just about covers all my bills, mortgage, food, and so on. But only just. And these expenditures seem to be accelerating at a scary pace right now. My electricity has just gone up £40 per month. Changing jobs would see me losing a lot of salary and mean selling up, which, in the current economic climate, would mean a vast loss... so it's a vicious circle.

I know I can't change the reality, not in the short term, so it's a question of changing my mindset. But that seems easier said than done.

I know this won't help, but sometimes it's comforting to know you're not alone.

Full Member
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 5:44 pm
Likes Received: 0


Postby willia » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:18 am

It's society, man. All of these stupid expectations and standards and junk.
I think about my little low paying job that wouldn't impress anyone, but when I think about it, either I'm doing something I REALLY want to do, or it is all just work. And truthfully, I am not money hungry at all. There is nothing I'm dying to have that I can't afford. Perhaps the thing that really makes me give a damn about the money I'm making is where I'll stand in other people's minds. It's a ridiculous idea, and it does kind of make me wish I were in another world that wasn't so materialistic.
Full Member
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:15 pm
Likes Received: 0


Postby Desert fox » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:26 pm

jurplesman wrote:HI catastrophe,

You are not the only one with these experiences. When I was not well and in a dead end job, I dreamed all day long of becoming Tarzan and live with he apes. This has prompted many people to down shift, leave their cosy jobs and live a more simple life in the bush.


:lol: You Shouldn't have told me that :wink:
Desert fox
Preferred Member
Posts: 983
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:43 pm
Likes Received: 0


Postby psychorays » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:32 am

Many of us are in a massive tribe that expects you to do things their way - which maybe makes you feel unhappy - and when you give your best they still want more - which makes you unhappy in your free time - so generally the tribe you are part of is rejecting you for giving your best to it. I mean look how tough it is just to get a job - as if you have to be some kinda gymnast just to impress the workplace audience.

It's mainly a performance culture where love doesn't count for peanuts.

So I'd say it definitely isn't laziness you feel - it's more the lack of value and respect and generally having to be a slave in order to get put down everyday.

What person wont give their best where they are appreciated and valued?
Junior Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:29 pm
Likes Received: 0


Postby catastrophe » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:14 am

Well, things have not improved since I posted this. I am moving into a new house, around the corner, because of landlord problems. Now I've got to move all my crap at night and on the weekend on top of it all. I am saving $50/mo at the new place, but my old landlord is probably going to steal my $500 security deposit. Ugh.

I get in trouble at work almost every day. I would say that 50% of the time it is something I did, and 50% of it is just fallout from having three bosses who disagree and don't communicate with each other (one tells me to do something, I do it, and the other boss gets mad, blames me). All in all, it is a pretty easy job, though. I feel like I should feel lucky to be here. I'm going insane though.

I'm leaning more towards just quitting and living off freelance work, selling all the useless crap I've wasted my money on the last ten years on ebay, and cutting out unnecessary expenses. If that doesn't cut it, I'll move on to the "Into the Wild" phase.

It may come sooner than later - I think I'm going to get fired soon. I actually hope I do (is that deranged?).
New Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:14 am
Likes Received: 0


Postby candilw » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:29 pm

I completely relate to what you are going through. There must be more to life than this job. All I do is work. It completely consumes my life. I weigh 49 kgs and I never feel hungry anymore. i just dont see the point in striving in this job anymore, for what? I have nothing to prove anymore. I wish i could live on an island and serve people drinks all day. I will never complain. I kinda worked so hard and achieved so much, now I am wondering what the hell I have been thinking. Sorry to complain dude. :(
Junior Member
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:34 am
Likes Received: 0


Postby LuLu Lime » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:56 am

I've been through a few phases like that... I think that after a particularly stressful marriage, divorce and complete life shake up work became a torture for me and I completely lost my appetite for it. It didn't help that a whole 8 years worth of jobs leading up to my marriage collapse were complete energy sucking overtime stress pits. For 2 years after this phase I lived on anti anxiety drugs.

While working at these jobs I had extravagant fantasies of escape fuelled by my utter misery. If I'd had more energy and wasn't so tired I probably would have faked my own death and figured out an insurance angle.

I never really recovered my previous great attitude, it seemed my senses were dulled after such a trial by fire. And by senses dulled I do mean that I feel stupider, I've lost my edge. Can stress make you stupid?

I think I had/have adrenal insufficiency or something.

Anyway - words of hope for you. I wangled a part time job with my current employer and the time off and a brand new prescription of cipralex (an SSRI) has helped. But let me tell you, I still have escape fantasies.

Hey - and how did your job work out - I hope so!
LuLu Lime
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:50 am
Likes Received: 0


Postby SKenaston » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:09 pm


I too can relate to your problems. When I was younger I worked so hard to get a University degree so I could get a good job and afford all the 'things' I thought I was supposed to get to make me happy. Many years later and I'm feeling quite burnt out. Retirement still seems so far away and I don't know if I can last that long.

About a year ago I had a couple friends that took the action you're considering now - to get rid of the pointless junk and downgrade. They both quit their job, sold off pretty much everything except their clothes and their computer. Then they both rented a room in a house with a common friend in order to keep expenses down.

They currently do freelance work through a company they started together. They don't make a ton of money but they work whenever they feel like it and essentially have the freedom to do whatever they want whenever they want. Every time I talk to them now, they both seem very happy.

I envy their position and am seriously considering following in their paths.

Junior Member
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:18 am
Likes Received: 0


Postby Desert fox » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:57 pm

I think you are actually in the wrong job and wrong company. These guys have no rules, no discipline, poor management. It's easy to get lazy and no-one gives a damn. You in return do nothing, lose motivation and nobody is bothered. You end up sinking into a depression of sorts.

You need discipline, you need motivation, you need a good manager, you need a good company. This injection of all these ingredients will fire you up to better things and bring ambition, confidence and determination. You feel part of a good team and valued. In retrun you give your best.

The other option of having no job is worse than the first option of sticking with your current job. You will lose even more motivation, more loss of self discipline, loss of income, loss of ambition, etc,etc.

You need to find the right company with the right management and company ethics to bring the best out of you. Look at the compilations for top 100 best companies to work for. This is a good place to start your search.
Desert fox
Preferred Member
Posts: 983
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:43 pm
Likes Received: 0


Postby babe86 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:17 am

I really don't know what it is for me because i've been labeled all kinds of things eg spoiled brat, useless etc. When I was in high school my mom passed away and to finish my final two years of High school was very hard. So I thought I'd take a year off and just do things without worrying about getting up early the next day for school. Plus I wanted to think about what I wanted to do with my life. Once my year was up, I did a 4 month course in college in hopes of getting a job after I get my certificate but that didn't work out. In 2006 I got a government job but it was only contract based. It helped though b/c my eldest sister was getting married that year and I had extra cash and it felt nice to get my own stuff with my own money without my 2nd eldest sister paying for everything. Once my eldest sister got married and left, my other sister had to take over all the responsibilities at home and financially. So I did 3 more programs @ the government job but felt it wasn't enough and wanted to help my sister out. So I did help alot at home in terms of cleaning, cooking et but money wise I wasn't helping. So I got this new job(full time) and on the first day itself I hated it. I want out so badly but I don't know what to tell my family because all this time I was like I can help out, my sister doesn't have to worry about blowing her whole paycheck on groceries and bills and now here I am wanting to quit. I just don't know what to do, I just want to sit in my room and cry because I don't know why I am like this. Unfortunately when I get like this I tend to binge on food and since yesterday I've been doing that. I mean my sisters have been working full time for 10 years and they've never complained once or said I want to quit. So why am I like this? Am I really spoiled, usless, worthless?
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:58 am
Likes Received: 0


Postby PsyRaw » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:37 am

I can totally relate to the discussion going on. But I love the points raised by Desert Fox. Maybe we should all try switching to a more well-managed, well-organized and purposeful organization itself, before becoming hopeless all together. Sometimes such minor outside factors play major roles in getting one back on track and enjoying life and work all over again.
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:32 am
Likes Received: 0


Postby Improvements » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:14 am


Maybe you are one of the few who still have signs of life.

I worked for twenty years, but I was not dealing with my condition when working, as I thought I wanted the jobs.

Don't feel guilty about how you feel.
People have to deaden themselves to get through the drudgery, and you dont want to do that.
Who would, if they really thought about it.
You have really thought about it.
Write the novel anyway.

Life is about finding and nurturing our own individual talents, not wasting hours each day, lining someone elses pockets.

Since I got pensioned off from my last job, after losing loads of jobs before that, I have discovered my art.
I am agorophobic and people phobic, so I like serene and solitude.
I get panick attacks if I go out sometimes.
This is because I ignored inner stirrings for so long, to keep my jobs, which I lost anyway.

I get envious of the freedom some homeless seem to have, some of them say they couldnt bare living in a house, and still camp in the good weather, even if they stop being homeless.

This society praises drudges and frowns on those who are pursuing their own talents.
You just have to look at the school system to see that.

Don't do what I did, and ignore your inner stirrings.

Life has a habit of helping us in its odd way, when we take measures to nurture our inner selves (your novel)
Do it out of love, and not work, and the money will be ok.
I don't know how, as I am still battling anxiety myself, but it's some universal law, that if we honour our unique inner gifts, life arranges it so that help comes from things we could never imagine, especially when stressed.

My art has stopped for now as I have received a letter and questionnaire from the incapacity benefit people, and I have to continue to stop myself imagining I will be forced back to work.
The false imaginings of being forced back to work, came about because I invested too much in the news and medias comments about people in the UK on sickness benefit, and the new rules.

Things will be better when I stop my false imaginings, I know I wont be forced back to work before I am ready.
Work made me worse, so obviously its foolish returning to a place which you know is going to make you ill.

So, grab a notebook and pencil, and get scribbling, for the love, and not the money and keep drudgery and fear of drudgery away from you.
I wouldnt go to the extremes of running to the woods, but there are loads of good reads on survivalists online.
People who live off the land write blogs etc, just google a few keywords, and broaden your knowledge.
Full Member
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:12 pm
Likes Received: 0


Postby mandragora » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:05 pm

catastrophe wrote:Well, things have not improved since I posted this. I am moving into a new house, around the corner, because of landlord problems. Now I've got to move all my crap at night and on the weekend on top of it all. I am saving $50/mo at the new place, but my old landlord is probably going to steal my $500 security deposit. Ugh.

I get in trouble at... .

Hi catastrophe

I was in this situation as well but I didn't get fired I left on my own. The reason was that I made the decision about moving to different country. I improved in my work drastically, saved some money and in just couple of month s I was saying good bay to everyone . Now I live 7 years in Britain and moving soon again somewhere else. Enough is enough and world is beautiful.

One thing is you can go to do some voluntary work abroad (in the wild) without being homeless!!!
Full Member
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:16 am
Likes Received: 0


  • Similar Topics
    Last post

Return to Workplace Psychology