Been a nurse for 7 years. Mostly OR but recently I am on my 8th month of Med Surg. I am really, REALLY struggling. Feel on the verge of a nervous breakdown... well I had a mini-one at work yesterday. The stress just got to me and usually I go cry in the bathroom for a minute then get back to work. This time I was on the verge and/or crying, had 8+ co-workers ask if I was ok, what's wrong... which just made me cry again. I really feel like I need to get out of this job but, you know, bills, job hopper resume, etc etc....
A little background: I have bipolar II, anxiety. Since nursing school
I have been thinking I possibly made the wrong career choice. I have hated 90% of the work I do. I have been driven to the point of some Nurse Jackie moments and could easily have lost my license many times over. I went to meetings, got help, got it under control. I feel like I cut so many corners just to get through the day. I see a psych nurse and have to take drugs just to get through my days; legal, prescription drugs but still. If I were not so extremely anxious and full of adrenaline, they might make me drowsy, but all they do is bring me to a state of LESS anxiety so that I can function enough to do my job. I literally have to drug myself in order to tolerate my job. Usually it works okay, but yesterday I still melted down even with my meds onboard.
My patients love me. My co-workers love me, I just had a great review from my boss. I fake it well but I feel like I am slowly being crushed and dying inside, and am mere moments away from snapping.
I found a per-diem job doing post-op at a surgery center. Less pay, WAY less stress, definitely tolerable for now. I am there 2 days a week at the moment
I am considering leaving the hospital job altogether to go full time at the surgery center. But that would require me to work 5 days a week, which has been a problem in the past with my mood disorder. I need more days off to do self care. The drawbacks of the surgery center are no breaks (yes it's illegal, but they have a culture of not getting people their breaks, and I don't think I am going to be the one to swoop in and change all that. I already brought it up and they pretended to try for a day). $6/hour lower pay. I don't think going full time there is the answer; I will get fed-up with no breaks, or bored, and quit.
My other idea is to take a medical or personal leave (which one would that be for nervous breakdown related to job stress?) at the hospital job while continuing per-diem at surgery center, just to have some time to think. Can you take leave at one job while working another?
I am at my whit's end. I am not cut out for high-stress jobs; I have tried therapy, books, meditation, bla bla bla. I probably need to change professions altogether but don't know how else to make this kind of money.
Should I quit hospital job immediately? Ask for leave while working per-diem at lower stress place? I was going to try to make it to my one-year mark in med-surg. But that's 24 more shifts til May (I work 2x12 hour shifts a week) and I just don't think I can force myself to do it. Help?? Thanks in advance