- 3 years ago
Ok, trying to take a breath.
Put simply, I am stressed. Stressed like I have never been before. I am 7 years post-college graduation into my career and I have never felt so much pressure, anxiety and general overwhelmingness. I work in fundraising for a mid-sized nonprofit. My team (of 4 people) literally make up 100% of the organizations budget. If we don’t do our job, our organization could shut down or have to cut staff members. For the past 5 years, I have without fail made budget expectations and exceeded them. It was hard work, but doable. However, in this “recession-like” environment and some weaker demonstrated results on the part of our programming last year (out of my team’s control), we have dropped a lot in donations…as in like 40% (out of $5 million budget).
As a result, my team has been busting it’s bust for the past 3 months to pull in donations while also running many administrative processes of the orgnization (like the front office, marketing, supply ordering, etc). We have been working 50-60 hour weeks trying to reach out and garner new support. It seems like no matter what we do, it isn’t good enough. My team is well trained, has demonstrated results many times before, but we aren’t seeing results. Needless to say, it is very disheartening.
While my boss (the Executive Director) has been somewhat sympathetic, her response continues to be “keep pushing for a few more weeks.” She started saying that back in June. Each check-in is, “a few more weeks.” We have until September 15 to make the budget and it isn’t looking good. I am terrified of the cuts we will have to make.
I feel like I am killing myself and exhausting my team and I am at a loss. When I am at work, I maintain composure and I try to keep morale high. But at home, it’s a different story. I literally wake up in the middle of the night sweating, out of breath and my chest hurts. I am not a particularly emotional person, but I have come home and just laid there crying because I am overwhelmed and lost.
What’s worse is that last week, my husband incurred a sports injury (riding motorcross) that resulted in him breaking his colar bone, breaking his ankle and bruising his ribs. He is basically temporarily disabled (not legally, but in terms of taking care of himself). He can’t work, I have to give him sponge baths and he is “bed ridden” for the next few weeks.
I feel so bad for him, but taking care of him has just added to the stress. For better or worse I know, but it can be so hard to keep my attitude positive and not get snippy when he asks for so much help. I love him and don’t mind caring for him, but sometimes I get frustrated and angry that I am doing it. I feel like an awful person, but I feel like I can’t control my quick “snappy” reactions.
It’s been about 5 months since I have taken off more than one to two days. As much as I want to take a short vacation or time off, I know it isn’t possible between now and September 15. I feel like I would be letting my team down and I don’t think my boss would approve it anyway.
Sorry for the vent. But I would greatly appreciate any tips and advice on how all of you handle your stresses.
Thank you in advance for your help.