Sink or swim

Hi everyone,

This is hard for me but I don’t know what else to do. I’m an introvert and talking about things isn’t exactly easy for me but I’ve been feeling like I’m about to lose my mind for a while now and I need some help. I’m depressed and miserable. I don’t think I can list all the things that have made me feel this way or contributed to this feeling, but right now I’m facing a conundrum.

You see, I got my degree in accounting but when the pandemic hit I was unemployed for almost three years.

Just last year an opportunity arrived, it was a learnership in an accounting firm and everyone was happy about it…everyone except me.

I was desperate for a job but something happened during my three years of unemployment, I discovered my real passion.

I discovered my love for writing and I really want to be a writer.

I know some people might wonder why I would accept a job in accounting when my real passion is something else.

I don’t know what to really tell you except that it seemed like the most logical thing to do at the time. Everyone in my family would be happy and I’d finally be able to start being financially independent.

I knew from my very first day that I wasn’t meant to be there. I felt like a fraud amongst colleagues, like I didn’t belong and from day one I have been miserable.

I want more than anything to quit my job and focus on writing but I’m afraid. Is it even sane to leave a stable professional job/career to take a chance on my passion? What if I quit and I can’t make a career out of writing? What if people hate my work? How will I face my family who are depending on me financially?

Am I being ridiculous?

I can’t bare the thought of stepping into that office anymore. It’s gotten to the point where I’m actually hoping to get fired, just so I can be free. I’m afraid I might say or do something just so I can leave but even if I do that, a greater fear is the fear of failure.

What will I have if my dream fails me? What will I do in life?

What do I do?

I feel like no one around me understands my predicament. I have tried talking to people but most of the responses I get is to just stick it out, I have been given the perfect opportunity and I should just be grateful.

I should push all other thoughts from my mind and focus on reality.

Easy to say but hard to actually do.

I wake up every day just hating life and have to admit that my mind has taken a turn down some dark roads because of this.

How do I take charge of my life and stop fearing people, failures and myself?

How do I make things better for me?

Is there anyone that can relate?


It’s pretty typical that people have to start doing something in order to make a living, and it’s rarely something that elicits passion.

It was the most logical thing to do. Even in hindsight it remains so. It’s true that being financially responsible is necessary, even if for a time you have to work outside of your previously undiscovered calling.

It’s not really fraud if you’re doing a decent job. No doubt, very few of your co-workers feel passionate about accounting either.

Nope. You still have to pay the bills. If you want to quit, have a substantial amount of money saved up first. If you’re living from paycheck to paycheck and quit, the only way to survive is to live off of someone else’s resources.

Follow your passion on a part-time basis until it pays off well enough for you to continue being financially responsible.

Much of that has to do with internal resistance to your situation. It’s an act of will and choice to say to yourself, “I need to accept this and make the best of it.” You actually can do that!

Writing is like auditions. A person may have to show up at a lot of them before they find work. You may need to approach a lot of publishers before you get anything published. The thing to remember is that if writing is your passion, you will find reward/fulfillment in the process, hence your dream of writing can’t fail. Self-publishing has become a more viable option since books can be sold electronically. Yet as I mentioned earlier, you need to pay the bills until the writing becomes profitable.

I think for the most part, the opposite is true. I think the problem others are having is not understanding you don’t just forget your dreams and slog along with them.

A lot of people don’t know what they want, so they just accept whatever occupation they stumble into. Having found your passion is a gift in itself.

Stop fearing the potential drudgery of working in a job that’s less than perfect for you. Your resistance is the reason you’re suffering. It’s better to accept what needs to be done, like laundry and dishes. It’s not thrilling, but it can fund pursuit of your dreams.

Spend 30 minutes a day or longer if you wish, writing. There’ll probably be subsequent editing and rewriting, but one day, you’ll have something to publish. In the meantime, have a piece of chocolate cake and watch a movie, visit a friend or whatever to take your mind off your boring job.

Consider also, even if you don’t like your day job, it’s a place in which to find ideas and inspiration for your writing. I’ve worked some hellacious jobs that resulted in very rich writing.

Take care and please check back with us!

From: Manni XP

Hey, thanks for sharing! It sounds like you’re really interested in pursuing self-actualization, so, props! You mention feeling torn between stability and passion. I want to present a third option: What about keeping your job and writing during your off-hours?

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From: ManekiNeko

it’s really hard when you find something that you’re so passionate about and want to pursue and it feels like there’s obstacles and reasons that others want to throw in the way. Could these be logical reasons, sure. Could there be a chance to explore writing without giving up financial stability just at the moment? Even if it looked like working somewhere more bearable.

fear can be such a driver to holding us back. We think if we don’t succeed in pursuing then it’s a failure, but really the fact that you would have tried couldn’t be a failure. It could mean that you try again later or that there are some things to work on, and that is okay! Not everyone is going to write an award winning novel straight up, but imagine if they never tried.

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From: eloquentpetrichor

Hey, Della. I know that work can be difficult and doing something you aren’t particularly passionate about for money can feel soul sucking but earning money with writing is in fact difficult. Is there something stopping you from continuing to write in your free time? Most people do jobs they are not truly interested in. And they use the money they earn from that job to pursue their passions. Do you think that is something you could enjoy? There are also some people who will work jobs they hate for a few years to build up some savings so that they can get a part-time/easy job or take time off work to better pursue their passions. That may also be an option for you. Or simply moving to an easier job now if it would still allow you financial stability while giving you the free time and energy to write.

There are all kinds of options in life that can allow people to pursue what we love and helping our souls while not shirking our physical duties to ourselves and others. I hope that you manage to find that balance in your work and your love of writing. Good luck :hrtleglove:

Hi everyone,

I firstly just want to say thank you for all the encouraging responses.

It really means a lot to know that there really is support out there and that people are willing to listen and understand.

I have been writing in my free time/ off hours. It’s not as much as I would like spend on writing but I have been trying to create a work/ life balance.

I’m also trying to just focus on one day at a time. Some days are harder than most.

I think for the most part it’s the feeling of being trapped that troubles me. Like I’m stuck in this office day after day, staring in front of two computer screens whilst doing work that I absolutely cannot bring myself to enjoy or even care about.

Are there any coping mechanisms anyone can suggest? Any way to deal with these emotions while I try to compromise on work and my passion?
I think having a way to process everything instead of just having anxiety attacks and basically hiding in the ladies bathroom every time, is something I really need.

I can’t really take walks at work especially when I’m feeling some type of way, breathing exercises don’t really help either.

I just feel like I’m screaming on the inside and I need some kind of outlet to calm me down and focus enough to get through the day.

Is there a way to snap yourself from all the loud emotions and just find a way to stop feeling so overwhelmed at work?

Has anyone found a way that works for them?

Hi there @Della,

Sorry for the late response, but I just want to add a note that feeling tired of work and “burnt out” is incredibly tough, especially considering that you feel stuck in the job. You’re in such a difficult spot and I’d imagine that this takes a significant emotional toll.

Have you considered therapy as a way to build up some of these coping skills? I know some people also like tactile options (e.g., stress balls) or sour candy / cold water (these can help to “center” people). Unfortunately, there’s no “one size fits all” solution to these things (and there generally won’t be anything that works perfectly), so I hope you find an option that works well for you in the near future.

Thank you again for sharing this with us and for being here. This sounds like a massive challenge, so I hope you stay in contact if anything further is on your mind.

<3 Tuna

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I’m glad you have opened up to Heart Support and am so sorry for the situation that you find yourself in. Anxiety and intrusive thoughts, especially in an environment that only emphasizes those feelings are hard to deal with. Dealing with either of these issues would be complex - dealing with them together must be overwhelming. I understand why you end up hiding in the bathroom. I would recommend getting professional assistance to find a new way of dealing with these compounding emotions. A fresh perspective may provide some insight into putting coping mechanisms in place that allow you to cope with your work day.

Although writing in your free time is different from the level of dedication you would like to give your passion - it may be realistic for now. Have you ever considered using the qualifications you have worked hard to achieve to become self-employed? Working to your own schedule would allow you to write when you feel most inspired.

The staff at Heart Support are always here for you and would love to receive a further update on your situation if you feel able.