Frustrated - am I a crybaby?

I'm going nuts. My health is good, my job has great insurance, I'm very well paid, but I'm frustrated and bummed out.

I think I'm stuck in my job, but there is more going on than that. I make more money in my current job than I could EVER hope to make elsewhere. I'm saving a lot for retirement (I'm 53) and I'm not threatened with layoffs or anything similar.

But I feel greatly frustrated by the fact I'll have to churn out another 15 years in this position just so I can retain health insurance - and retire.

My Dad died shortly after retirement, mostly from Alzheimer's. Can you imagin a T1 person with Alzheimer's??? So what if I slog on through my career until 65 or 68 just so I can keep insurance, then go bonkers and miss any enjoyment in retirement?

Another thing that really gets me is the demands of my job - I put in 10 hour days, eat at my desk, and commute one hour each way. And I think and dwell on my job obsessively. I worry about EVERYTHING - almost to the point of paranoia. It is really unhealthy, but I'm always worried about outcomes, and whether I'll have a steady position - and the insurance that comes with it.

I know I'm leading a privileged life. Many many people have it much worse than me. I sound hugely ungrateful. But I'm going nuts. I cry about it. I have nobody to commiserate with. My spouse is very understanding, but she has her own career/life problems to deal with.

I think I'm just a crybaby.

If it was just me, I wouldn't worry so much about my job and insurance, and would be off doing all sorts of fun things as a "career". Note I put "career" in quotes, most of them would not be recognized by the rest of world as a career. Even with T1 diabetes I could make do on pretty minimal income without insurance (OK, I am now much older now than when I was in college or just out of college, but still I think I could do OK without worrying a lot.!)

But I have a family and three kids so obviously not quitting my job anytime soon, and also not thinking about moving to a job with lesser pay/insurance benefits.

If and when health insurance reform comes along that would allow me to leave my job for a different one, and keep similar kinds of benefits, then I might think about it, even for a moderate pay cut. I'm thinking that later this year this health care portability might be true "on paper" but there will be a million difficulties with doing this in real life.

You know at some point lots of folks discover that their job is not their enire life. That they can have a family, friends, hobbies, interests outside their job, that are bigger than their job. Obviously I am not quite in my mindset myself, because for me keeping my job is one and the same with keeping my family supported, but I would like to make the leap to thinking that they aren't so tightly coupled.

I understand how you feel. I retired at 58 (though I now teach part time). But I was lucky enough to have full insurance when I retired. I never made a lot of money, but as a Type 1 that insurance means the world to me.

Since you have made the decision to hang on for the insurance (and assuming there is no way to retire earlier and still get insurance) it seems to me that you need to find a way to enjoy your life NOW. My guess is, by your description, that you don't do anything much BUT work and that's not life. I know your time is short but perhaps you can find a way to make sure you do at least a couple things that give you great pleasure each week and life won't feel like nothing but drudgery. And do what I always did and have as much fun planning my yearly vacation as actually taking it! Also, perhaps there is some way you can let go of some of the worry while AT your job and if it is really excessive and you can't let go than perhaps some therapy will help?
One last thought: Do you really need to work 10 hours a day or is this just what you are driving yourself to do? In my last few years before retirement I worked 4 10/s and with a commute that makes for a pretty long day, but I also found it worth it for those three day weekends which gave me more time to enjoy (in addition to doing errands!). But to do it five days a week....nope! I'm older than you but I can't even imagine having a schedule like that with Type 1. It's exhausting. And all, as I said, drudgery - no wonder you are not happy! Last thought: I don't know if you've been doing the same job for a long time but is there some way to mix it up, add more interesting tasks, delegate some routine ones, etc so you get recharged and enjoy it more?

I am the same age as you with the same worry. Wee need to remember, we become eligible for Medicare at 65 years old. And until then you have options. You can take another job that allows you to retain health benefits or you can just retire early and just pay a premium. And remember, you can join AARP and get health insurance through them.

And you need to think about these expenses in context. Maybe you will spend more until you are 65, but so what. What I worry about is not the ongoing recurring expenses but the potential for a health disaster to suddenly and dramatically consume all of what I have earned and possibly leave my wife without.

And so if you really want to do something different before you get too old, then do it. And if you really want to just keep working at some job till your 80s, then just do it. And remember, Starbucks offers pretty darn good health benefits.

"Another thing that really gets me is the demands of my job - I put in 10 hour days, eat at my desk, and commute one hour each way."

Me too. I could have written the same post. I am 52.

Except I do have major concerns with the stability of my current job. We are going through a reorganization and, although I have been assured that my position is safe because they "need" me, I have not been given any information on my role in the "new" organizational plan.. the stress of the uncertainty is unnerving.

And all of our insurance is riding with me... And I cry about it too.

I am 53 as well and wondering/worrying about the same stuff. I have had type 1 for almost 30 years. I do okay now but there were times when I didn’t. I am beginning to suffer some complications. I don’t work the same length day as you but I am exhausted nonetheless. When I’m at home, I’m in bed resting up to go back to work. Have two kids in college so to retire just isn’t possible right now. Is there any way your insurance could be transferred over to your wife’s job so you could find something a little closer to home and less demanding on your time?

You are not a cry baby. Diabetes is tough. We’re not young anymore either.

For me, personally, I've not always felt this way. When I was younger, I never let diabetes get in my way of doing whatever I wanted or going anywhere I wanted. But almost 26 years in with Type 1, as I age, I'm to the point where, like Cinderfella, I'm just worn out.

I feel like good Diabetes management is a full time job on it's own, then a full time job on top of that, makes for a tired, sometimes cranky lady. And, also like Cinderfella, I've been having a few complications recently that make it hard not to focus on income, retirement, and insurance. And, for me, it's not a matter of not enjoying my work, I've always loved my job.

But I'm not a quitter and I'll keep fighting.

Same here, I loved what I did for a living, but then you get to a point where you're just ready to do something else. Fatigue also becomes a factor. I'm very lucky that I retired exactly a month after my diagnosis. I have no idea how I got through those last few months of working fulltime and teaching at night with D beginning to affect me. D management is indeed, a full time job in and of itself. I admire all the young people who juggle it with career, families, etc. When you get older it gets harder. Plus I don't think of retirement as a "giving up" or a "negative philosophy" but an exciting new phase of life! But it IS a major transition and can be anxiety producing to plan, financially and otherwise, so it is normal to feel all the above!

I worked at the same job for 20 years just for the health insurance. Granted, like you, I made realy good money. I have recently "retired" since I can keep my health insurance if I worked at my previous place of employment for 20 years and was 56. I turned 56 last fall and tried to give it more time, but the stress the position took on me was too much. Finally, when I had a mini-breakdown at work and the response from the assistant manager was to try to get co-workers to right me up for bad behavior my husband and I said ENOUGH! Sometimes, when you have a chronic medical condition like Diabetes you do what you have to. For me the health insurance was of utmost importance. As a nurse, I see the subtle differences in health care between the have and have nots with insurance. It's not fair but it is a fact of life. So, now I am poorer, but I have my health insurance covered. I am getting ready to start a,hopefully, less stressful job that will utilize my nursing career. Btw, I have been a type 1 since I was 2 years old and am still really healthy.

I understand how you feel, but from a different vantage point. My husband, 61, has to work at his job until he's 70 when my Medicare kicks in. He works hard & I'm devastated that he can't retire because of me. I'm riddled with sadness & guilt.

Horrible feeling trapped & ok to cry.

I'm sorry, Gerri, I can only imagine how that feels. And yet I suspect, from what you've said that he thinks of you two as a team and is glad to do it.

I don't even think about retirement.

I didn't start investing for retirement until I was 48. I basically didn't grow up until my 40s so retirement seemed very distant. I wish now I'd started earlier! I'm fortunate in that I worked for a County agency for five years and qualified for insurance benefits for life. I also discovered teaching as a second career in my 50s so now I continue to teach part time. If not I'd be in trouble!

THANKS a million for all the ideas and support!

New development at work. Last week my manager and HR rep talked with me about doing a survey with peers and my staff on my supervisor skills (I head a small department). They only said it was a "360" survey on "people" skills. I learn today, thru email, not in person, that I'm required to do an "Emotional and Social Competency" survey. I'm feeling pretty beat up. I don't really have anyone to talk to about it (no time for friends, not religious, don't drink so I can't cry in my beer). Another, perhaps unrelated issue that bugs the crap outta me, is the fact I was told a while back I can't solicit donations for the ADA or JDRF directly at work. I was a top fundraiser for both in the past - due in part because I could solicit people and companies I work with. That's gone now, and it left a big hole. I was proud of being a big fundraiser and it was yanked away.

Trying hard to figure out how to NOT dwell on this mess.

Did you ask the purpose of the survey? You made it sound like it was about you. Are they trying to get you to get an eval from your staff about you? If so, I would be asking more questions about the purpose and how will they use the data? If the data are not for the good of the whole department then I would really be asking more questions.

I learned over a long time that a person can "last out" all the "fill in word of choice" at work. If you do your work and make sure that all the key people know that you are doing your work, you can last. A couple reasons to do this are to: 1) continue adding to retirement buffer so that you are prepared to last till 65 if you get laid off, 2) save enough to voluntarily retire early when you are able and get any job with decent insurance until Medicare kicks in. (could you pay insurance for 5 yrs, thereby retiring in 10?) If you are in a field where getting another job would be tough, then that is another reason to tough it out and cut back to 9 hour days and take at least every other weekend for fun stuff. And take your vacations! Amazingly, many don't in the U.S. Take as many continuing ed classes as you can--both for your resume and also you may find some ways to have more work satisfaction with some new ways of doing things. As a department head, one way to add excitement is to focus more on staff development. If they know they can 'train upwards or across' they will be more interested in work, and thereby be more positive towards you. (If you already do this, then ignore.) I am just trying to think of ways you can add a bit of excitement to the work day! Wear a big flower in your lapel one day?!
I worked my last 5 years in a place that was toxic but lasted it out to get the insurance as my secondary at retirement. It was worth it as it pays for my cgm and no other regular 2ndary insurance does. Mine was from a government agency. The rules said I could retire and leave that day if I wanted. I chose a day when my awful boss was out of town. It was very satisfying!
Finally, life without any enjoyment is not much of a life. So think about that part and what you can do to improve that without leaving a well paying job that will serve your later needs. I do understand your frustration and wish you the best. I hope you will keep us posted.

It seems like you are at a place in your life (the middle like me) where you are assessing what is and what is not important to you. When I get that feeling that the walls are closing in and that I am projecting way too far into my future (something I do all the time), I force myself to slow down, breathe and remember to take it one day at a time. That is something living with diabetes has taught me. Venting is a great way to sort out your feelings.That is what places like this provide for us. In addition to some great ideas to solve certain problems. By writing it down (as you have here) you will be better able to see the forest thru the trees. I think it's great you did fundraising and got so much out of it. Is there a way you could continue to do that outside of your work venue?

Tx for the support. Of course I’ll continue with fundraising, and I’ve been volunteering with diabetic kids too. But it really bothers me my employer could take such a good thing away from me.

I worry constantly about my job (age 54), diabetic complications (which have finally arrived), Type 1 46 years. I have anxiety about blood sugars, eating or not eating. Both my parents are in their mid 80's and the decisions that we have made for their care are not the best and all consuming. I don't feel like you are a crybaby, I think with any chronic illness, comes double the anxiety about everything. Our medical costs are overwhelming and never ending. I posted this on facebook this weekend and I think this says it all. "Not antisocial, not snobbish, just exhausted from fighting a chronic disease." I also feel with the job thing and perhaps getting a new job, is not only worrying about staying healthy due to diabetes, but also due to age, and most employers want young and healthy.

Lots of great food for thought here. Thanks! And yes, the survey is specifically about me. And I believe I have the priviledge to be one of the first in my company to use it. My staff an internal customers and my managers will be providing feedback on my emotional and social competence. It’s kinda hitting me like a torpedo.

Some people are unable to see the greater good...it's called narcissism. I am sorry you have to work with someone who does not value selfless behavior. As you know..we are all built differently. Just be glad you are you and he is he. In any event, in no way are you a crybaby!