Unemployment Stories: Bad Days And Dark Places

I know I'm not a failure.

Yet despite my best efforts to beat unemployment, I can't help but to feel like my life is slipping into an abyss that I'm powerless to stop.

Let me assure you how horrible a feeling that is.  It's a dark place.  One I'm finding myself having trouble pulling myself out of lately.

Because the humiliations and rejections that come with being unemployed aren't so easy to dismiss anymore.  The positive attitude that I'm supposed to display is slowly being eaten away from the inside.

I'm tired of hearing how strong I am.  I'm not strong, I'm scared---these days more often than I'd like to admit.  Yet the part of me that isn't scared and draws from a well of resourcefulness is  nearing the end of her rope.

Because when a person hasn't had one moment of economic peace in the last seven years and they are forced to borrow money from some wonderful people to simply keep the lights on, it wears on your soul.

And that's just one of a litany of daily humiliations.

Whether it's from a recruiter or HR person who doesn't call you back or the indignity of  navigating our state's safety net, the barbs seems to cut a little deeper and the wounds take a little longer to heal each time.

The fact that as a woman in my forties that I have to literally relay on someone other than myself to keep the utilities on is embarrassing.  It may be survival and I know others that would rather have their utilities shut off than reach out for help but it's still embarrassing.

You feel like an errant child having to ask for allowance.  And if that doesn't make you feel like you're not on the wrong path, I don't know what does.

So how do you express the challenges of maintaining an interview ready attitude coupled with the angst, anger and crushing disappointments?  How do you lay that at someone's feet who more than likely has never gone through those things and expect them to understand?

So I keep most of this to myself.

No one likes a Debbie Downer.  Very few people honestly gives a shit about your problems beyond occasionally lending a (somewhat) sympathetic ear.

And the pressure is getting to me.

I find myself in the same clothes for days on end, crying and sleeping with a frequency that greatly disturbs me.  Some days just getting off the couch  is a task.

But that's not the weird part.

The slightest random remark may send me into an emotional tailspin.  Not every shitty thing will lay me flat, but when it does the long hard slog out of that horrible place feels like forever.

I know I'm supposed to be "strong" and be able to handle my business---and I do.  But I'm tired.

Tired of never quite being a finalist but never getting an offer.

Tired of not being able to get out this financial morass.

Tired of borrowing money and not being able to pay my friends back.

Tired of contorting myself and my resume to appeal to the recruiters and hiring managers. (Yes, I know there's no getting around that so save your breath)

I'm tied of being scared.

Scared of not being able to support myself.  Scared of pushing friendships to their limits.  Scared of never working again.

But most of all, I'm scared of the bad days outnumbering the good.


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