Difficulties with quitting or giving up?

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Joined: 16 Jul 2013
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 16
Location: Syracuse NY

17 Oct 2022, 4:54 pm

As an adult on the spectrum, I've dealt with jobs and scenarios that are actively bad for my mental, emotional, and physical health due to stress and anxiety. I've had days where I suffer from continuous meltdowns, go into the bathroom to dry sob, driven myself sick from overwork, and had family screaming at me to take a break. I really, really want to quit those jobs, but if I even take a sick day off from work, I get hit with overwhelming guilt.

I also recall as a child thinking that if any life choices would lead to an easier time, such as a "cushy desk job", I should avoid them and go the hard route, since I didn't deserve an easy life. This went from job opportunities to even housing and accepting medical assistance. Logically, I know this is wrong, and probably based on depression and self-loathing, but emotionally I cannot snap myself out of it.

Basically, for someone who was once called emotionless and personally couldn't identify them in myself, I'm sure controlled by them with an iron fist. Anyone else get this?


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Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Age: 70
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17 Oct 2022, 7:19 pm

I didn't notice myself being like that in the world of work. I stuck with my jobs for a very long time, mostly because I didn't fancy my chances of getting anything better, and feared ending up with something even worse, or nothing at all, which I think was realistic of me given the bad state of the jobs market and the benefits system. Relatively speaking, the 2 jobs I had were fairly comfortable, though in absolute terms there was a lot of room for improvement, though I'm hard to please, and hey, I was an undiagnosed Aspie with "problems with authority" and I'm rather class-conscious. I've never felt consciously guilty at all about taking sick leave, just anxious about the dangers of being labelled a malingerer. I did end up quitting my first and my second job, but not until I'd been there for a long time, and on both occasions I secured financial security first, and once I'd done that I didn't have much trouble quitting. I feared that quitting might not make my life any better overall, but I didn't really fear it would be any worse.

But it's been different with quitting things in general. Once I've started a project or a task, it's usually very hard for me to give up. If I start watching a movie for example, even when I've completely lost the plot or the film is clearly boring me, I can't abandon it. Sometimes I've caught myself sticking to a thing that's just not working for me, made a deliberate decision to quit - "look TD, you know what you're like about this kind of thing, so why not break the mould for once and just walk away?" - and when I've quit, I've been surprised how easy it was to abandon it, and I've been glad I did it.

But with relationships or any other activities in which I've made a commitment of my own free will to people I have any feelings for, guilt and loyalty feelings have made me stick to it, unless it's become blindingly obvious that it absolutely has to be put out of its misery.

I suppose the difference with jobs (which are also a social commitment like relationships and activities with friends) is that I tend to see them as forced labour and a cruel, unequal bargain. I was always prepared to do what I could to minimise the trouble my resignations would cause to my employers, and didn't leave in an uncontrolled way. I suppose that's because although I felt they'd been unfair to me, vindictive behaviour is very rare with me, and I also think it's wise to avoid "slamming doors."


Joined: 4 Mar 2017
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,017

18 Oct 2022, 6:28 pm

Knowing when to quit versus when to persist is a skill I find difficult

jimmy m

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Joined: 30 Jun 2018
Age: 74
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,683
Location: Indiana

18 Oct 2022, 8:31 pm

As an Aspie we tend to experience more stress then the average NT. Therefore it is important to know how to deal with stress and avoid meltdowns.

Stress will build up in the body until it reaches the breaking point of a meltdown and then even a little thing can cast us into a meltdown. But if you learn how to vent stress, you can avoid meltdowns.

There is a way to remove stress and that is with exercise. But not type of exercise but rather a specific extreme form of exercise. One example of this type of exercise is running the 50 yard dash. If you feel the stress is building up, run the 50 yard dash ten time as fast as you can and it will vent your built up stress.

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