Leaving my desk job!!
I still dealt with residual stress attacks. You know how even years after graduating college, you still have those dreams where you find yourself at a course's final but you didn't go to any of the classes all semester? I got those years after graduating from graduate school about undergrad classes. And I still had issues after leaving my last job.
I wasn't sleeping well. For the last couple of months, I would wake up in the middle of the night in panic mode about some project or deadline. Then I'd wake up again to my morning alarm with the same panic feeling. I'd have that chest crushing, heart racing feeling all day. It didn't matter that I worked super fast, that I didn't take breaks, ate lunch at my desk, never checked my personal email or facebook. I was at my desk 9-10 hours a day, felt guilty for leaving before others to go train. It felt like it was almost a competition of who could best martyr themselves for the work. People were answering emails at 3am, staying at the office overnight. First thing I'd do when I wake up was check emails, then fret during my drive into work that I couldn't address anything because I WAS IN A FREAKING CAR GOING TO WORK.
It was dumb.
It was unhealthy.
It was affecting my relationships.
What was it for?
I was working in market research for the pharmaceutical industry. That's right. All the stress and dispair that I felt was purely for the ultimate goal of helping Big Pharma make more money. If I kept working this way, I was going to make myself a customer of the stupid ass drugs they were trying to push. And Lipitor was one of our big contracts...
This wasn't work that meant anything to me. I didn't feel like I was making a difference in people's lives or working towards some greater good. Honestly, it felt quite the opposite. The more I was in that job, the more I despised pharmaceutical companies. The more I learned about how pharma and insurance collude to get more money for their products, or protect their patents, the angrier I got and the less I gave a shit about my final product. And the act of fighting my not-give-a-shit attitude and trying to churn out give-a-shit quality work was grinding me down.
Marketing is relentless. It's competitive and it's full of people who thrive on the self martyrdom of over working against the competition. All for a whole lot of nothing, in my book.
The day that I gave my two week notice, with shaking hands and voice, was the the night that I slept completely through to morning for the first time in nearly 6-8 months.