I need some objective observations and suggestions.

On top of dealing with SA issues from my childhood (which continue to plague me), my job is taking its toll on my physical and mental well-being. My profession is one that carries job offers all around the country. However, where I live, life at work has become intolerable. It is not my direct supervisors or even my co-workers. The requirements that are being forced on us "from the top" are driving us to the edge.

I am working 12-14 hour days because, if I didn't, my life would be twice the hell in the coming weeks. I am salaried, so I don't get paid any extra. I leave home at 7:00AM and rarely get home before 7-8PM every day. When I get home, I only have the energy to grab a piece of toast or bowl of cereal and fall asleep in front of the television only to wake up and start all over again.

Those of you who know my past history know of my health problems. Because of multiple back surgeries, I am not sleeping through the night. AFter about 2 hours, pain wakes me and I am forced to get up and walk around. It is difficult to go back to sleep after that.

After the last back operation, my pain doc started to wean me off of the pain meds (have been in pain management since 2000). I am seeing him this week because, as he is lowering the dose, my pain is increasing. This makes me afraid that the doses that I have been taking were masking pain that was still present - I just wasn't feeling it.

Couple that with almost dying twice from multiple blood clots in both lungs due to a genetic defect that causes me to produce clots. The only treatment is to put me on high doses of coumadin (anti-coagulant) for the rest of my life. This puts me at risk of bleeding to death in a serious accident.

Finally, I was hospitalized 3 times in the past 2 months for uncontrollable rapid heartbeat...so fast that it was borderline heart failure from fibrillation. The last hospitalization was to treat the electrical circuits in my heart that were causing the problem.

My T tells me that I'm not alone - he sees many patients who are in the same profession as I am and that they are being treated for extreme stress and depression.

I have lived here since 1980 and my wife was born here. She can retire, but I have 6 years left before I can receive full benefits (30 years) from the retirement system. If I go out of state, my retirement will be frozen at a significantly less amount than if I stuck it out.

However, it's very scary thinking about packing up a house, moving to a new state (where the job would definitely be better), finding a job, and establishing new friends.

I guess that I know deep down that it is truly time to leave and that I'm not running away for the wrong reasons. The stress and pressure is intolerable to the point that I feel if we don't leave soon one or both of us will have a heart attack or develop stress-related cancer.

When is the "right time" to decide to leave? It's so hard after working for the same employer for 20 years. But conditions continue to get worse by the day. I actually hate getting up in the morning and facing the day. At the same time, I can't continue the pace that I am doing because it is wreaking havoc with my pain levels and stress levels.

I hope that I haven't rambled on too much - I just wanted to give as much info as possible. I'm sorry that I don't divulge my profession, but this is a public forum.

Thanks in advance for any insight or advice.


There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"