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The True Fear Of Unemployment: Depression

It isn't easy to chase away the darkness.

The angst and feelings of failure weigh on your soul when you are unemployed.   Feelings that don't go away despite the best wishes of friends and colleagues.

It's a tar pit of despair slowly sucking you in.  The more you struggle to get out, the quicker you sink.

You sit at home because your resources should be going to keeping the basic utilities on and catching up on bills.  Then you get stir crazy from sitting at home alone with your thoughts; overwhelmed by your situation.

Your fear and your anger combining with the darkness.  Paralyzing you emotionally.

You start to not care that no one gets back to you about your job applications.

You start to not shower.

You don't get dressed for days.

You start not to care about you.

Part 1:  The True Fear of Unemployment

Part 2:  The True Fear of Unemployment:  Anger

Part 4:  The True Fear of Unemployment:  Hope

Part 5:  The True Fear of Unemployment:  Epiphany

Part 6:  The True Fear of Unemployment:  Sink or Swim

You can't tell anyone because so many people have been so supportive.  Now they have to be your armchair shrink too?

They wouldn't understand anyway.  No matter how much you put it into words, they wouldn't understand.

No one could fully understand unless they are there, were there or are living with someone who's unemployed.

How could they ever understand the your feelings of helplessness & worthlessness?

How could they ever understand how your fighting spirit is methodically being sucked out of you?

So you hide.

And you cry.

You pull yourself kicking and screaming to apply for jobs and network when you don't have much hope.  Because at the end of the day, that's all you have is hope.

It's promise dimming with each passing day; it's glow in danger of being snuffed out.

In the end you ask yourself what will you do when when hope itself is gone?

How will you muster the courage to stare down the impossible everyday?

 

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  • Having found myself in your situation (or whomever you are writing about), I had to take measures into my own hands. Nobody was hiring -- this was 1979-- and the country was almost in as big a mess fiscally as it is now.

    With my shiny college degree tossed in a pile of newspapers for the trash, a friend and I started a very low tech business and worked a part-time job until things improved. I learned more doing that than all my classes at the university.

    We built the business up (despite the admonition from Obama that we had nothing to do with its success) and then sold the accounts.

    We both went on to other work and businesses.

    Consider it. It beats blowing your brains out.

  • I know that this is a hard time for you (understatement, yeah?), but it could also be the chance to reinvent yourself. I could see you working in some kind of economic development office or perhaps in a community development office. Hang in there. It will come.

  • I look at this as a temporary situation, with time to look for better opportunities.

  • Thanks for the posts. It's nice to know someone else out there feels the way I do. People always focus on the economic costs of unemployment but they forget about the human/emotional costs. I think we are still thinking of unemployment in pre-recession terms. If you don't have a job, you're worthless and have no skills. Except, that's not how it works now in the recession. Plenty of people with plenty of skills are left without jobs. The thing that cheers me up the most is knowing that I am not alone in the job search and unemployment. You haven't lost until you stopped trying to look for work.

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    I agree with you when you say that unless you've been in this situation, it's hard for others to understand even if they may give emotional support. I have been unemployed for over 8 months, and although I have very supportive family and friends, I don't truly feel they understand the depression and negative feelings that one goes through when going through long-term unemployment. It is definitely one of the toughest times a person will go through, aside from death of a loved one, divorce, and serious health problems. There are times I wake up and say "Why bother?" when there are no jobs. Others seem to be much better off, and seeing that just puts more salt on the wounds. It's hard to be happy and hopeful when I see others whose biggest problems seem to be what vacation spot they are heading to next, while I'm trying to find a job before Federal Unemployment expires at the end of the year and I become homeless. Even going to the grocery store is painful- others pay with cash or debit, while I shop with an EBT card and am so embarrassed that I try to hide it while swiping it. You are right that in the end, hope is all we have. I'm planning to do a career change, go back for my graduate degree, and land some kind of job to survive in the meantime. It's these things I'm trying to do to advance myself that gives me hope.

  • In reply to Fatty McFurry:

    McFurry,
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Few people understand our situation and frankly don't care to until it happens to them. Hopefully my experiences will serve as insight to some and a sympathetic voice to others. But the story isn't over yet. Stay tuned for future posts.

    P.S. Never, EVER be ashamed of using your EBT card. I'm not even eligible for one because I make too much money on unemployment. Feed yourself because there are a hell of a lot of other people out there who can't.

  • I agree with you when you say that unless you've been in this situation, it's hard for others to understand even if they may give emotional support. I have been unemployed for over 8 months, and although I have very supportive family and friends, I don't truly feel they understand the depression and negative feelings that one goes through when going through long-term unemployment. It is definitely one of the toughest times a person will go through, aside from death of a loved one, divorce, and serious health problems. There are times I wake up and say "Why bother?" when there are no jobs. Others seem to be much better off, and seeing that just puts more salt on the wounds. It's hard to be happy and hopeful when I see others whose biggest problems seem to be what vacation spot they are heading to next, while I'm trying to find a job before Federal Unemployment expires at the end of the year and I become homeless. Even going to the grocery store is painful- others pay with cash or debit, while I shop with an EBT card and am so embarrassed that I try to hide it while swiping it. You are right that in the end, hope is all we have. I'm planning to do a career change, go back for my graduate degree, and land some kind of job to survive in the meantime. It's these things I'm trying to do to advance myself that gives me hope.

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