Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

No stress-resistancy whatsoever - need to get out

Hi, European member here. I've been lurking this forum laquica01/16/18
I have been where you are. I have struggled for over a decad guyingorillasuit01/16/18
Naval lighthouse keeper? Antarctica scientist? Forestry ra aknas01/17/18
Oddly, as long as your stress/anxiety doesn't manifest as vi midlaw01/19/18
If I wasn't married with kids, I'd take a job like that in a thirdtierlaw01/19/18
taxidermist, housekeeper, psephologist, kindergarten lunchro nighthawk01/17/18
night auditor for a hotel whiteguyinchina01/19/18
Apply to the Amazon warehouse. They are always hiring. You tedandlisa12301/19/18
Only way to get better is to train yourself. So I had a s isthisit01/19/18
Thanks for the...creative suggestions. Tbh, I'd take any out laquica01/24/18
A therapist. Seriously, if you have not talked to a mental h latinforliar01/24/18
Stress disorder...mhm I really need to look into that. Now t laquica01/24/18
It's interesting to see that lame psychotherapists are as mu innocentbystander01/24/18
laquica (Jan 16, 2018 - 5:52 pm)


European member here.
I've been lurking this forum since 2012, the year I graduated from university. I frequent this forum from overseas because I was looking for and found a platform where dismay and guilt over choosing to study law and pursuing a job in the legal field was not frowned upon. I would even say celebrated, but let's not take it too far.

I'd like to apologise in advance for my English, as I'm nog a native speaker, obviously, but I try my best.

I finally registered on JDU to share my story and put my inner dilemmas up for discussion.

So as you probably know, the continental European legal education consists of a 5-year study. There is no college followed by law school, so consequently, unlike most JDU members, I have no major in any field besides studying law.

At the end of my second year of uni it occurred to me that the study was interesting, but pursuing a legal career was beyond my intellectual, physical and mental stamina and capacities. Although I was a fairly good student, and had a good grasp of the mechansisms of law, it seemed that, inexplicably, the study of law crippled me mentally, and brought me a lot of mental misery. Till this day, I can't quite wrap my head around why that is.
Like a lot of brave forum members, my overachieving tendencies helped me pulled through the years of torture, all the whilst falling into the trap of thinking a law degree would eventuelly open all occupational doors.

I graduated with little debt, but mentally exhausted and on the verge of depression, only to find myself unwilling and unable to find a job in the legal field.

I pulled myself together though, and landed a job as a lawyer in a "non-corporate organisation". A couple of months in, I transitioned to a non-lawyer department, where I'm still at this day. When the euphoria of landing a non-legal job faded, it became clear that this job was damn stressful and not any less demanding than the legal job I exerted. As the title of this thread already gave away, I'm not stressresistant. Stress cripples me in all possible ways, given my neurotic nature. Heck, I even stress when it's my turn to order at a McDrivethrue. My inability to deal with stress is what made me navigate towards a non-legal job in the first place.

Anyhow, it finally hit me that I'm not cut out for legal jobs nor for ANY university-level job, which led me to believe I'm a major imposter. But I can't delude myself any longer, I came to terms with myself that I lack what it takes to function decently in a professionally demanding environment, especially in the type of "abstract", "intellectual" jobs. And just life in general.

I can vent all day long about it, but all I long for right now is to have less stress in life. We live in fast paced times, so entirely stressfree living is unrealistic, I'm aware of that, but I'd like to spare my nerve system from major stress induced by e-mails and deadlines inflicted by poor management skills from my superiors, when in theory, I could just get up and leave. Somebody else would be jumping exstaticly to fill in my position. In the end, nobody is indispensable.

I'm currently in sick leave due to accumulated stress that led to health problems and I am seriously contemplating about resigning this job, asap. No job or pay is worth my health. Money/survival would not be a serious issue for reasons I will not elaborate upon. At this point, I would prefer doing a blue collar job, if I could just clear my mind.

Question is what do I do after I resign. I'm thinking about pursuing a professional bachelorsdegree (if I'm not mistaken this is the European equivalent of a community college degree?). Given my credits gained from the law degree, I can pursue a degree in 1 year, instead of three. Although these jobs are not entirely stress free, at least, I would be eligible for less abstract, "intellectually" demanding (with all due respect)jobs.

What do you guys think should be my next move? I'm off to get some sleep now, I hope you guys could share your 0.02's concerning my situation.

Bon soir,

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guyingorillasuit (Jan 16, 2018 - 6:43 pm)

I have been where you are. I have struggled for over a decade, believing that it was my career choices, choice of friends, etc, which were responsible for my misery. The truth was that I was responsible for my misery. Things started getting better once I accepted that.

If your anxiety is so high that you struggle in a drive through, your job is not your problem. Your problem is your mental health. Your reaction to stress means you can never lead a normal life, whatever your job may be. You need to bring this problem under control. There may be inpatient treatment available, or intensive outpatient. You are fortunate enough that your basic necessities will be provided for. I think it's time to put your work life on hold for a year and explore mental health solutions. If I had realized that in time, I would have spared myself a lot of pain.

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aknas (Jan 17, 2018 - 10:10 am)

Naval lighthouse keeper? Antarctica scientist? Forestry ranger or wildfire spotter?

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midlaw (Jan 19, 2018 - 1:14 am)

Oddly, as long as your stress/anxiety doesn't manifest as violence, being a part of the skeleton winter crew in Antarctica is not a bad idea. Might be relaxing.

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thirdtierlaw (Jan 19, 2018 - 10:08 am)

If I wasn't married with kids, I'd take a job like that in a second.

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nighthawk (Jan 17, 2018 - 10:49 am)

taxidermist, housekeeper, psephologist, kindergarten lunchroom supervisor, doc reviewer

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whiteguyinchina (Jan 19, 2018 - 9:26 am)

night auditor for a hotel

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tedandlisa123 (Jan 19, 2018 - 11:59 am)

Apply to the Amazon warehouse. They are always hiring. You can be a picker. You walk around the warehouse with a scanner gun and pull items off the shelf. You never have to interact with anyone as your scanner is your boss. The graveyard shift is especially dead and I think they pay extra. I know people who have walked 8 miles in a shift. It is great for your health. Do this job while getting back into physical shape and while you are receiving mental health treatment.

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isthisit (Jan 19, 2018 - 1:05 pm)

Only way to get better is to train yourself.

So I had a similar issue in that I didn't deal well with certain stressors. So I took up BJJ, acting/improv lessons, swim class, ToastMasters etc. To help expose me to stress inducing events in a safe and regulated environment and then giving myself the opportunity to work through them or fail, but fail safely since I'm in a learning environment.

It's the only way to train yourself to deal with stress. If you're fat you exercise, if you stutter you take speech lessons and if you can't deal with stress than you put yourself in gradually stressful situations.

I'm light years ahead of where I was just a year and a half ago thanks to the self-care and training.

If you take a job reviewing docs or shipping packages you won't ever improve yourself mentally beyond where you currently are.

I never went too counseling or took meds but if your situation is really that serious than that may be another option for you.

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laquica (Jan 24, 2018 - 2:43 pm)

Thanks for the...creative suggestions. Tbh, I'd take any outdoors job if offered, although the likeliness of that happening at this point is close to zero.
For now, I need to woman up and work at the root cause of my anxiety/stress/neurotic behavior as suggested by isthisit and guyingorillasuit.

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latinforliar (Jan 24, 2018 - 4:14 pm)

A therapist. Seriously, if you have not talked to a mental health professional about this, you are doing yourself a major disservice. This sounds like a stress disorder, and medication or a therapy routine may help immensely.

Getting a new job will not help if it is an underlying issue.

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laquica (Jan 24, 2018 - 5:26 pm)

Stress disorder...mhm I really need to look into that. Now that I think of it, I actually do have a lot of (past) stressful events to process aside from my job stress (sexual abuse as a teen, two failed mariages, of which one included severe domestic violence). I just considered these events to be part of life tbh. I guess I am actually very out of touch with my emotions. All my emotions are channelled by stressreactions. The only emotion I experience on a daily basis is stress.

I did go to a therapist for a while, but every session would come down to me ranting and the therapist nodding and writing down my words only to summarize them at the beginning of the next session, only to repeat the whole process. Understandably, I quit the therapy because for 50 euros an hour I could go on a hedonistic spree of any kind and feel equally relieved afterwards.

I could give therapy another shot but a more focused therapy I guess.

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innocentbystander (Jan 24, 2018 - 7:44 pm)

It's interesting to see that lame psychotherapists are as much a problem in Europe as in the US. A lot of therapists seem to default to a type of supportive psychotherapy (which appears to have been the case with you), even when it's glaringly obvious that the patient needs cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focused specifically on anxiety. The good news is that anxiety is highly treatable, much more so than other psychiatric disorders, because you can treat it with multiple modalities (medication, psychotherapy, exercise, meditation and lifestyle modifications) that work together synergistically.

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