If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

There is something amiss with me

  • 06-02-2022 10:59pm
    Registered Users Posts: 22

    Work has become very difficult for me, and last week my manager came to me and asked me if everything was ok. She was being really nice about it, but I was mortified!

    I always thought, no matter what, that I projected a calm, unruffled person on top of their brief.

    I have had this issue in the past, but at the moment it is the worst that it has ever been and it is stressing me so much.

    Basically, I procrastinate, and end up pulling all nighters. It was the same in my degree, my masters and I do it in work. I have always done this, and often I would be productive the first hour of work, lose interest, then at close of business, I suddenly pick it up again, and work hard, get the job done. This was fine in the past as it wasn't as much of a deadline driven environment. Before Covid, in my old job, this was an issue as I was consistently late home as I only got down to it when the office got quiet and the emails stopped binging in and distracting me.

    At the moment, I am horrendous. I want to concentrate and do my job. I love this job, and even though it is deadline driven, I just can't seem to stay at my computer and I just fart the time away.

    It's getting me really down as I have got to a reasonably senior position and it's embarrassing. I don't have a direct boss that I report to daily, and have to motivate myself, but I do have to report indirectly to that manager (mentioned above) to a board and I have even missed important deadlines there. In my brain, I know I have to do it, but for whatever reason, I just can't sit down and do it. In previous jobs, I have got into trouble for lacking attention to detail - usually because I am bored, unsure or rushing.

    Sometimes, I get a burst of energy and I work late at night. This was not noticed before but this new manager noticed and called me out on it.

    I feel constantly stressed about the work piling up and yet I "can't " work. I like this job, it is fast paced, and it interests me. I know I can do it well, but this is knocking my confidence. This job also highlights me at work, which my personality loves, but at the moment, given what is happening, is not really a good idea. I have had other jobs in the past where I was not motivated because they were slow moving, boring and didn't interest me, and the same thing happened- just zoned out. I feel like I can't win- boring or interesting job, I can't stay focused. There is something wrong with me, and I hate it. I have been to counselling where they suggest making lists, setting alarms, taking short breaks, exercise etc, and none of this works for me. It's like an addiction or an urge. I don't want to be like this.

    I enjoy chaos. In the past, that was when people said I was so calm in a stressful situation. Maybe they were just being polite :-( I do feel though, that I enjoy chaos as routine is out the window, people want solutions and things like attention to detail, protocols, rules, don't matter as much. I like this.

    I feel like I do need someone to hold me accountable, but at the same time, I get very cross when someone asks me to do things a specific way. I have my own methods- such as the all-nighters. People then always say "Wow, StressedOot, how do you do it? Amazing how you pulled that out of the bag" Unorthodox, and probably not really serving me well any more. I also feel like it's a nonsense- most people can get the job done in a working day without needing to resort to that, but I just have to be "different" and stand out as "unorthodox, unique, but hard working, gets job done". In reality, most people probably just think, unhinged, disorganised and doing the same job as everyone else.

    I know people will say ADHD, but I was never like this in school. I was always top of the class, had my homework done. Everything unravelled in college and never came back.

    I do have issues with lateness, and time blindness, recognising people' s faces and names, even if I have met them a bunch of times, as well as listening and remembering their details. It get really flustered then and probably come off as rude or stand offish, which is actually not my personality at all. I get really stressed going to the hairdresser for example, as I forgot how many was in her family, and I made sure to repeat it 20 freaking times for the next time. I find it hard to listen to people and retain information about them, and I get really bored listening to people. I just want to interject or talk about my similar experience, which is really selfish, and it's something I really hate about myself. I have to force myself to listen, and remember what they have said. Sometimes someone is talking and my brain just wanders off and then I realise they are expecting an answer. This is also getting worse. My spouse has often commented on how I do this and they are hurt and offended by it.

    I can tend to just hold court a lot as well, and I have tried to get better at this and shut my mouth, before people's eyes glaze over. The only time I can't stop myself is when I am really stressed, and then I tell the universe and anyone who will listen about whatever problem I am having, which I also hate about myself. It's like I just need to tell the story 20 or 30 times to get the horror out, til it becomes "normalised" by having talked about it so much. This makes me look like a crazy over-sharer or a bore / selfish friend who just talks about themselves constantly. I am even doing it here!!! Albeit, I haven't mentioned this particular issue to anyone except my sibling.

    I also am getting far worse at retaining information. I have this thing where I can watch a movie or an episode, and then someone will ask me about it and I remember nothing about it. Or someone will put it on again and I'll watch an hour or more, and only then realise I've seen it before. This is getting worse.

    Remembering information or to do stuff is getting worse. For example, I set alarms to try get myself out on time. That rarely works- I tend to decide that's a great time to start a shower or laundry.

    but now it's worse. I will have an alarm to get the kids, and it will go off 15 mins before. I see it and go cool, I'll leave in a few. Next thing I get a call- I've completely forgotten to collect them!!! Wtf. Or I'll forget what I'm saying in the middle of a sentence, forget words.

    I also tried Ritilin about 4 or 5 years ago, and the first few days I felt better, and then it got very frightening. I started getting this really woolly head- as if everything was moving really slowly. After a couple of weeks I could barely function- as in process in a thought, move my body and even speaking was an effort for me - i.e. telling my brain to say words was hard. It was like I was really really drunk. It was terrifying. My doctor took one look at me and took me off them immediately.

    This is the other thing that makes me think that it's just me acting the b0ll0x and making excuses for myself rather than ADHD. If it is ADHD, then the ritilin should help, and if it doesn't them I'm screwed because what will help me then?

    I feel very down about this. I had a traumatic event last year and I think that made things so much worse, coupled with working from home. I just need to get my mojo back and get back to work.

    Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? I'm not able to meditate as I just get really stressed, start thinking about everything I haven't done and jump out of the chair. I'm seeing a counsellor as well, but this aspect of my life just seems to be getting worse and worse, and I am scared how this is affecting my work and career.

    It is seeping into my personal life as well. I used to be great for arranging stuff, buzzing about. I have lost interest in going out, planning stuff. I used love planning holidays and research them in depth. I used to enjoy Christmas and planning that but I don't care any more. This is not fair on my family, as I am "Mr Motivator" for the family. I take the short cut for everything now.

    I used to use the personal life stuff to zone out of the work stuff, but now I am just at the point where I can't bear to feel like this any more full stop, and I want to run away to a remote cottage and leave all this stress, work and personal, behind.

    Post edited by StressedOot on



  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭Liberty_Bear

    The bottom line of this is that you need to speak to your GP. If stress is permeating into every part of your life then it signifies that you might not be in control of it as you may like to think you are. And yes it can get on top of people and cause all sorts of issues. Also speak to your manager about can tasks be off loaded . Its not a sign of weak ness to want help x

  • Registered Users Posts: 323 ✭✭RossGeller

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,236 ✭✭✭zv2

    It sounds to me like you are talking about symptoms which is fine, but symptoms are caused and you may need to look deeper into your thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself; What is on your mind most often? Is there something in your thinking that is manifesting these symptoms?

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” — Voltaire

  • Registered Users Posts: 22 StressedOot

    I'm not entirely sure, TBH. I spoke about these issues before with my doc, and while they were not nearly as bad as they are now, he prescribed it. I've never been "diagnosed" with anything :-/ I'm not sure if that is a good or a bad thing under the circumstances.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 574 ✭✭✭LilacNails

    Hi op, just want to say your post is very articulate and I can identify with 90% of what your saying.

    Iv noticed iv been very stressed and anxious the last few months, actually prob the year. Maybe you don't realise that perhaps you are quiet stressed and anxious atm? Do you think you can recognise when you actually are like this?

  • Registered Users Posts: 22 StressedOot

    Without further sitting on the therapist's couch, it could be a number of things. I want to say my failed marriage is a major cause of stress and thought dichotomy, but my college procrastination predated me meeting my spouse, and indeed, we were reasonably happy for the first number of years. It's like I need some sort of stressor in my life to feel different.

    That is not to say that my spouse being emotionally abusive, and having an affair, isn't a valid stressor to have! It is, and the latter seems to have been the breaking of the leaky dam, in that the symptoms are far worse now.

    However, when the kids were small, and I was commuting, and my parent was seriously ill and required care, and my sibling was also very ill, I don't recall being this distracted and distractible, and that stress was incredible. The feelings inside are so much worse now, and are manifesting in physical illness.

    I think I am addicted to that adrenaline, but part of me just wants out as well. I realise it's unhealthy and I would love to be able to enjoy metaphorically sitting in an easy chair.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,140 ✭✭✭hawley

    You sound like you might be depressed. You have no real interest in activities outside work that you used to love. You were cramming at work in the past, so there shouldn't be that much of a crossover into your private life. It seems like you don't really want to be working at the moment. Could you take a leave of absence, go travelling around the world for a year? Your life seems to be full of stress and you have no release valve in the form of fun; it's natural that you would feel like escaping.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,236 ✭✭✭zv2

    Yes, you can compare then and now but they are not the same as you are not the same person as you were then. Addiction to adrenaline? Well, all addictions drain you and when you are low in energy everything gets more extreme. You may be expending more energy than you can afford. Like another poster said, a holiday might help.

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” — Voltaire

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 5,554 ✭✭✭Jequ0n

    There is nothing wrong with needing excitement and adrenaline kicks, OP. Sounds like you are working well when you get your “fix”, but you are struggling when you are in withdrawal.

    Is there any way you can add controlled adrenaline fuelled situations to your life?

    I understand the feeling of unbearable boredom, OP. Try to find an outlet and see if it calms you down.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,066 ✭✭✭✭fits

    I used to find Id end up in similar patterns when working alone on projects. I moved to more team based work and started strictly keeping to working hours even if no progress that day ( exceptions obviously made at busy periods) and I’m so much happier.

  • Registered Users Posts: 644 ✭✭✭Mackleton

    One statement here really chimed with me:

    "I feel constantly stressed about the work piling up and yet I "can't " work."

    Just my two cents, but you sound a lot like me, and my problem is perfectionism, to the point that it paralyses my productivity and decision making. To be clear, I'm talking about the very negative side of perfectionism. The extreme procrastination and all-nighter cycle is something I still struggle with. This article picks it apart in quite a clear way:

    If this sounds like you, it may be that you're in this cycle as well. And trauma is a trigger, so may be worth looking into.

    Just a thought.

    Hope things improve for you OP.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,325 ✭✭✭cuttingtimber22

    Would you consider taking time off from work? Would your employer oblige?

    There are issues there and perhaps stepping back, and talking to someone, will give you time to get things in order.

  • Registered Users Posts: 665 ✭✭✭houseyhouse

    It really does sound like ADHD to me. People with ADHD do tend to be very motivated by deadlines. That feeling of having so much work but not being and to work is also a common ADHD experience, as is perfectionism. Cool in a crisis, procrastination, easily overwhelmed, poor timekeeping are all ADHD traits.

    Just because Ritalin didn’t work well for you donesn’t rule out ADHD. As an aside, I think it’s very strange you were able to get it without a diagnosis. There are other medications that may not have the same side effects for you. But you’ll need a diagnosis first. The pandemic has been particularly rough on people with ADHD, so that may explain why things have deteriorated for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22 StressedOot


    I've tried over the past week to look at my triggers. If something goes off piste, and stresses me, or I get upset, I switch off. It feels too overwhelming and I just stick my head in the sand until it "goes away".

    On the diagnosis, the doctor just said, We'll try you on these to see if they help. He never definitively said, You have ADHD. It's a while ago now, but I think I asked him, and he said something non committal, or "maybe", basically.

    I'm trying Zyban now. I really hope it works as I'm getting quite distressed at work now. There have been a few incidents in the past couple of weeks where I have been disorganised and my attention to detail has been an issue. I'm very conscious of this, but I keep messing up, which makes me even more anxious. It's not brain surgery, so no-one's life or livelihood is in danger, but I'm afraid if I raise a medical issue, I will be moved to the scrap heap in work, in some back office. I really like my job.

    I have a holiday booked, and it can't come soon enough.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,098 ✭✭✭✭Deja Boo

    Have you discussed any possible (even mild) bipolar or manic-like episodes with your gp or therapist? (like late night bursts of energy after a period of lack of interest)

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,054 ✭✭✭Fakediamond

    Did you grow up in a chaotic home OP? Maybe with an alcoholic or mentally ill parent? It’s something you could explore with a therapist as chaotic childhood environments have an impact on how we operate in the adult world.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22 StressedOot

    Just to update- I was on Zyban 5 months, I was a bit hyper first few days (unlike SSRI, this type of drug kicks in within about 4-5 days). But after that it had no effect and I went through an even worse patch of avoiding everything in the summer, after which time my doctor took me off it and started me on an SSRI.

    The fact that ADHD meds arent working makes me scared that it isnt ADHD, it's me being feckless, lazy, victim mentality, loser. The thought of that is actually quite upsetting. While a diagnosis can be scary, at least it is a "solution" of sorts, an answer to the "why".

    On the bipolar- the swings are quite fast (daily sometimes), and then there are other longer swings (kind of like SAD) that happen regularly but are not as pronounced. That was what was treated first- and I am taking a mood stabiliser already, and that dose has been increased which has helped a bit.

    It has just become so noticeable in work- one of the senior management team described me as "spontaneous" and while he meant it in a friendly way, he was comparing me to another colleague who is very meticulous and organised. It really upset me, as I know that is how people view me at work- disorganised, haphazard, slapdash.

    It's probably years of letting this get worse and worse, so that when Covid came along, it was the perfect breeding ground for this. Oh and my partner playing away and denying it in the face of irrefutable evidence didn't help either.

    No meds seem to be working, counselling isn't working, and I feel so upset about it all, like I am never going to be better.

  • Registered Users Posts: 888 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    Your poor head.

    You interestingly go into incredible detail about how you're feeling at all times and hyperanalyze peoples reactions to you that may be just trivial conversation. But then you brushed by the fact your partner is cheating? That's massive OP, it would have anyone's head messed up.

    Are you facing up to the realities of that? Trying to dull or block out that with meds or prescribing every condition under the sun won't work if you haven't actually confronted that properly. It's not going away. I think you're so desperately wanting to project the image of "normal" at work and for your family being "Mr motivator" that the pressure of that in line with the reality of what's actually going on is too much to cope with.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22 StressedOot

    Thanks TT, I have waxed lyrical about the affair(s) elsewhere and set aside a lot of time to deal with that as well. I have to face reality though, that everyone has a "**** story" and that I can't let a setback like this affect me to the point where it seeps into everything else in my life. I was like this before all this happened, so it is not unique to that experience, if that makes sense. Their presence in my life- alcoholism, affairs, emotional abuse, are part of my life, but I am like this with or without my partner, even if it exacerbates the symptoms, if you want to call them that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭Mumser

    @StressedOot you have shown great courage and persistence in trying to cope better over the years, so well done.

    I just want to say that psychotherapy/counselling uses many different modalities or techniques and it is very important to find a way that works well for you. The therapist should work in conjunction with the medical doctors so it’s a combination of both. I encourage you to try other therapists, perhaps using CBT and person centred approach.

    You will get a handle on this with the right help.

  • Registered Users Posts: 888 ✭✭✭TheadoreT

    Im not surprised its always been that way as you come across as a people pleaser to extremes. But it probably has to seep in for a while in order for it to better in the future. Its OK to show vulnerability the odd time even in work life instead of trying and failing to appear fine or be the strong one in your family. That's clearly not working.

    I'd advice dealing with issues head on and honestly instead of trying to find a cocktail of meds to make you feel like you can just about cope

  • Registered Users Posts: 665 ✭✭✭houseyhouse

    This is an excellent comment and I learned some interesting things from it (light sensitivity! I have this too) even though I have been researching ADHD myself for the past year after realising that I and others in my family have many of the traits.

    I have found the group zoom meetings from ADHD Ireland to be great, too.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 351 ✭✭Goodigal

    OP, even reading your post was making me panic about how much pressure you put on yourself. You've gotten great responses here so far.

    What struck me is in the middle of all of this, you're still dealing with the trauma of the end of your marriage. I believe if you speak to someone professionally about how you're dealing with this (or not!), it would be the best start. It's not going to solve the work issues, but it sounds to me like you haven't been to counselling to help you move on. Maybe I read that wrong.

    Been there myself, the betrayal lives in your head continuously, but until you deal with it and process it, I think it's adding to the chaotic elements of your life. Processing it will go a long way to letting it go. Good luck with finding some ways to get back to working in a manner that is less manic, and still producing good results.