This essay is essential reading, along with the comment from Karen Lynn.
But I knew nothing. I had assumed that the entire business world consisted of salespeople and paper pushers. I could either: (a) be a professor or (b) endure the soul-crushing monotony of corporate life. I didn’t choose the professoriate so much as I thought it was the only appealing choice...
...To be honest, I’ve found the for-profit world to be far more supportive of me as a person than academe ever was. Rather than being soul-crushing, working for "the man" has been liberating and allowed me to be who I want to be in the world. Plus, my parents aren’t terrified anymore, which is a nice perk.
There are amazing, fulfilling, supportive, and meaningful jobs outside of higher education. So just quit. Or, rather, realize that deciding you are stuck doing something that is destroying you because of a decision you made when you were 21 is the real quitting.
As a person who has been a meteorologist for 47-years, I can assure you there are far too many PhD's in meteorology and, as the article states, the job opportunities are narrower than you might expect. There are also tremendous lost opportunity costs by paying for a PhD when you could be making a salary and putting money away for your future. And, these lost opportunity costs include a "full ride" PhD.