Canadian Corona Diaries

A cashier coughed directly on me yesterday. He said ‘oh do you want your receipt’ stuck out his hand and then coughed all over me. I nearly lost my fucking mind. I was actually crying before I even made it out of the store. It wasn’t one of those ‘I have something in my throat’ coughs, it was one of those deep from the chest lung infection style dry coughs.

SERIOUSLY.

I understand that people need money right now. But in a current-pandemic world, if you have a cough that is that bad, why the fuck are you at work? Why the fuck is your boss letting you work? How am I, a stranger, supposed to know whether or not your cough is just a cough? And even if it is just a cough, it’s one hell of a bad cough, dude. He should not be around people right now. At all.

Today’s been hard.

I feel like the walls are caving in on me.

And, as I hear that there’s easily another month of quarantine ahead of us (probably more because… well… look at what’s happening in the USA), I’m feeling trapped.

I’m sad. I’m angry. I’m annoyed.

I have an ear infection, a horrendous headache and I would sell my soul for some chocolate and vodka right now.

Tensions are high in this household today. Actually, tensions are pretty high with everyone in my life lately. I’m just over here trying to stay quiet and be helpful and it doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters. They’re still beating up on me anyways. (Metaphorically. Not literally, thank god)

Nothing that I say is right.

Nothing that I do is right.

Why do I even try?

Same old same

Monday, February 3

Good Morning Greg,

Just checking in! Is the hiring process for this position still ongoing or has it been filled. Look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks, Vee

Later that day…

Good Afternoon Vee,

Thanks for checking in.

We haven’t hired anyone yet.  Still have some decisions to make, but hopefully will have it worked out by the end of this week.

Someone will follow up with you either way.

Greg

Tuesday, February 4th

Greg phones me to ask a ‘few more questions’ because he wanted to ‘really get a feel for the skills I bring to the table’. It was a short conversation but it was just enough to keep me hoping. He ended the phone call by telling me someone would be in touch by end of week letting me know their decision, either way.

Monday, February 10th

Good Morning Greg,

I didn’t hear anything last week so I wanted to check in. How’s the process coming along? I’m very interested in this position and want to make sure I don’t miss an opportunity.

Please let me know!

Thanks, Vee

Later that day…

Good Afternoon Vee,

We hit a bit of a snag that’s delayed our ability to make a final decision. We’ll be in touch by Friday with our final decision.

Greg

Friday, February 14th

Suspecting (from experience over the past couple of weeks) that I wasn’t going to hear from them today, I decided to email them.

Hi Greg,

I was wondering if you could possibly update me. Am I still being considered for this position or not?

Vee

Ten minutes ago…

Hi Vee,

The position was actually filled on Monday and the candidate has already started with us. Good look with your career endeavors.

Greg

I don’t want to shit on hiring managers but this needs to be said. WHAT THE FUCK? Why do they do this? Don’t tell a candidate you’re going to be in touch if you’re not going to be in touch. Don’t fucking lie and say you’ve ‘hit a snag’ if you’re making an offer. Even I can come up with a better lie than ‘we’ve hit a snag’. And then to, five days later, let me know that you flat out lied five days earlier… I just…

He didn’t have to lie. He didn’t. If he didn’t want to tell me he’d made an offer, there were a million other ways he could have handled that situation. He chose to lie and say they hadn’t made a decision.

Why are candidates expected to jump through hoops for companies that can’t even provide the common decency to say ‘Hey, we hired someone’. I had four interviews with this company. FOUR INTERVIEWS. After four interviews was I really someone who wasn’t worthy of following up with?Why do they promise they’ll reach out ‘either way’ and then never reach out? Are they afraid of having to reject people? Because of that’s the fucking case they’re in the wrong job and I’ll gladly take that job off their hands. I’ll reject people all day long if it can give some job hunters some peace of fucking mind that they don’t have to wait for word that’s never coming.

It’s 2020 and ghosting is common practice in hiring, it seems.

I’m mad. But I’m not mad. I’m just… so used to this bullshit at this point. I’ve become so accustomed to shitty treatment, lies and misleading messages that if I ever found an honest hiring manager, I probably wouldn’t believe them anyways.

Why do I bother getting my hopes up when it always ends up the same?

The reality of unemployment

Selling off what very little possessions you have as a means to ensure your bills get paid.

People saying ‘But why you getting rid of all your stuff?’ Well… money doesn’t grow on trees.

People say good things are coming, but damn… on nights like tonight it sure feels like nothing good is every going to happen. Unemployment sucks and I’m angry with the universe.

Anxiety is

Anxiety is waking up with a fear that something is wrong, without having talked to anyone or seen the world outside of your bedroom. There need not be proof, or even an explanation, that fear that something is wrong always takes over.

Anxiety is jumping to the worst case scenario without reason, rhyme or hesitation because you can’t do anything but. It’s second nature. Actually, it’s first nature. It’s what you do, no matter how hard you try to break the habit.

Anxiety is being worried that you’re going to say the wrong thing to someone who really doesn’t care one way or another.

Anxiety is needing to check one, or two, or maybe even three more times to make sure that you locked the door when you leave.

Anxiety is trying to deescalate the angry customer at the register ahead of you because, while nothing is likely to go wrong, there’s always that ‘what if’ running through the back of your mind.

Anxiety is not wanting to answer the phone if it’s not in your recognized callers list because… how did they get my phone number?

Anxiety is wanting to go, getting ready to go, but not allowing yourself to step foot out that door.

Anxiety is staying quiet, biting your tongue and keeping out of the discussion or argument because… people will think you’re an idiot if they hear your opinions. They likely won’t, but you think they will and that’s enough to keep your mouth shut.

Anxiety is laying awake at night because this isn’t done and that isn’t done, she hasn’t called and he hasn’t checked in, something isn’t right and while you just can’t quite put your finger on it, you know that you don’t get to.

Anxiety is not believing you’re good enough for them, to be around them or to be loved by them. It really doesn’t matter if you actually are, you’ll never feel good enough.

Anxiety is pretending to be self-deprecating so people don’t think you’re quite as insulting towards yourself as you are.

Anxiety is not being able to explain it to them because, you know it’s irrational, so how could they possible understand?

Anxiety is believing in your heart of hearts that the stranger three tables away, who glanced at you for three seconds, is judging you. Whether it’s your appearance, your mannerisms or your clothing, or ANYTHING else, they’re just judging you.

Anxiety is believing the worst in people because it’s better to believe the worst in people and be prepared than to believe the best and be disappointed, heartbroken or hurt physically, mentally or emotionally.

Anxiety is so hard to explain. It’s… debilitating, frustrating, all encompassing, difficult to see past, through or around. The fight or flight, the constant sense of fear, it’s different for everyone, and I think that’s why people have such a hard time trying to understand. You can’t wish it away, you can only learn to cope. And hopefully, if you’re lucky, if you’re really, truly luck, someone in your life will bear with you and try to help/ease your mind.

Feeling like a fraud.

Photo: PsychCentral Blog

Do you ever feel like you’re just not good enough? Like you’re a fraud trying so hard to maintain an image that you’re worried on of these days your back is going to break, the secret’s going to be out and all of your insecurities will be on display for the whole world to see?

Because I sure do.

Sometimes I feel like I’m barely scraping by. Like all of the accomplishments that I’ve accomplished in my life don’t belong to me. And, that’s probably a true thing. My accomplishments belong to those who’ve helped me along the way. But, it would be nice if I believed in myself. I might feel better about the way things are if I just believed in myself.

Because I sure don’t.

I know that I’m talented. I know that I’m smart. I know that I’m capable. But can I make it? I don’t know… can I? That’s the issue I’m struggling with these days.

I feel guilty for letting these thoughts out of my head. I feel like when you let your doubts out, that gives them power. But, at the same time, I just can’t hold them in.

Maybe people can sense my doubts. Actually, now that I say that, it’s probably true. People can sense that I doubt myself. I’m just so scared of my insecurities. I feel like we were lied too when we were kids and we were told we’d ‘grow out of it’. Life has a way of reminding you just where you belong in this world.

So when I refuse to believe this is where I belong, am I just fooling myself? Do I belong in this consistent state of unrest? Or is there something more for me?

Good god, anxiety sucks. Saturday nights… they always get the better of me.

The worst things about unemployment.

Photo from motherjones.com

Anyone who has found themself unemployed for any period of time can absolutely understand the struggle that it takes to just get through each day. It almost feels like you’re in a downward spiral staring down the choices of a lose-lose situation and there’s no possible way to dig yourself out.

There’s a lot of shitty things about being unemployed. The following being some of those things that I find to be the worst:

Family and friends who don’t know what really happened assume that it’s your fault. They believe that whatever lead to your unemployment was your own doing… that you’re the one who’s difficult to deal with, because if you weren’t, you would still have a job. Having signed an NDA means that only the people you trust most in this world get to really know what happened… and that, well that’s a very small pool of people. I can count those on less than five fingers.

Potential employers hold your lack of employment against you. There are A LOT, not all, but a lot of potential employers who form judgments about your unemployment and use that against you. Without ever asking why, they’ll simply breeze over your lack of employment and move on to the next candidate. Or, if they go so far as to ask, they won’t accept your reasoning as you’ve provided it and say something like ‘Yeah, but…’.

People think that you’re lazy and entitled if you cannot find work. With an Bachelor’s degree and nearly a decade of experience working in professional circles, when I take my resume to places like Wal-Mart and McDonalds, they ignore it. They presume that I’m just going to leave right away so I’m not a worthwhile investment in hiring. Because of this, I continue trying to apply for professional, career positions and continue making it to the last round of interviews to not be selected. People don’t see that, though. They don’t see the behind the scenes. All people see is that I’m not going to work each day and they judge me for it.

It wears you down. It’s extremely disheartening. Rejection after rejection after rejection is hard to take. The fact that you never actually get a legitimate reason for the rejection only makes it harder because you never actually get to know what you did wrong. I would really love to know what I’m doing wrong. If for nothing else but to improve my chances at the next round of interviews for the next job.

Everyone has a different opinion of what makes a good resume a good resume. As much as I love and appreciate help, everyone seems to say something different. With so many people having so many different opinions of what makes something good, how do I know what format I’m supposed to go with?

It becomes really easy to think that you’re the problem. Because, if I wasn’t the problem, I would have been hired by now, right?

I want to work. I want to contribute. I want to succeed. I know that bring a lot to the table. So I find myself feeling as though my talents are being wasted away with each passing day that I’m playing the ‘Will you please hire me?’ game.

Lose-Lose Conversations

My aunt called this afternoon. She called once, I ignored it. She called twice, I thought she might have been calling back in hopes my parents had an answering machine. The third time that she called I figured she obviously does not know my parents are in Denmark. Since she has a terminally ill husband, I thought I ought to answer the phone in case she had something important to say that I needed to pass onto my parents while they’re overseas.

Boy, not only did she have nothing important to say, but she’s really good at picking me apart and making me feel like a piece of shit.

I am someone who keeps my family at a distance. Not because I don’t love them but more so because we have different beliefs… we have different values, we have different understandings of the world and how it works, so if I don’t keep myself away from them, fights happen. A LOT OF FIGHTS. A lot of my family members are exceptionally judgmental people. And though they live in glass houses and really shouldn’t be throwing stones, they do it all the time.

My aunt really laid into me today. According to her, I’m lazy. According to her, I just don’t try. According t her I lack the motivation to find success so I won’t ever do so. She gave me a lot of ‘advice’ of how I need to take my resume into Wal-Mart every week once a week and they’ll be forced to hire me because I just won’t go away. She told me I’m thirty years old and I’m a disappointment to the family. She told me I had so much potential and it’s such a shame that I threw it all alway.

Throughout all of this, I was kindly trying to tell her I was busy. I was kindly trying to tell her that I had to go. I was kindly trying to tell her she could call my parents on the 23 when they’re home. And she just kept cutting me off and telling me what she thought of me and how much of a screw up I am.

My anxiety went through the roof as I was listening to her. I reached a point where I thought I was about to burst out in tears. Since she wasn’t letting me talk to tell her I had to go, I eventually just hung up on her.

I know I’m going to hear about that later, but I couldn’t just continue to let her beat up on me.

Now I’ve just spent the past few hours trying to calm myself back down.

Everyone’s got an opinion. Everyone wants to give you their opinion. Sadly, some people know diddly squat about your life and still feel they have the right to pass judgement on you anyways…

Sometimes you just really can’t win.

I dread the night’s most.

Lately I’m finding that when the day winds down and everyone goes to bed for the night, that’s when my anxiety takes over. Swallowing every ounce of what’s good about my mood and my being, I turn into a twisted knot of explosive fear and delirious sadness.

I tried to stay positive about the world this week, I really did. I made a conscious effort every day to try and see the good in what was happening. The good was there. There was good in my life and I did see it. The problem was, the negatives seemed to swallow me whole.

I’m scared that I’m going to make the wrong decisions, do the wrong things or say something that cannot be taken back. I’m scared that I’ll never feel like myself again. As much as I can give myself pep-talks that fear doesn’t really seem to fade these days. Coping techniques help, for a little while. It always comes back though, seemingly stronger than before.

It’s a vicious hamster wheel I’m spinning in.

Common Thinking Errors – A lesson in thought from a Psychiatrist

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from therapy is that the situations we find ourselves in don’t cause our depressed/anxious feelings – our ways of thinking about them do. Everyone goes through struggles and everyone suffers hardship in their lives. How a person responds to those struggles and hardships determines the outcome from them.

If you’re anything like me, it can be incredibly easy to jump to conclusions and imagine the worst case scenario, always. Some of us have brains that are just hard-wired to do so. That may, or may not be any fault of our own. But, if we’re ever going to tackle those feelings, we need to be aware of the errors in thinking in order to make conscious change.

The following are some common, distorted ways of thinking that often increase depression and make it harder to overcome, see past struggles and hardship.

FILTERING – Everyone’s life has some negative things. If you focus on the negative and filter out all positive or neutral things, your life will indeed seem depressing.

EMOTIONAL REASONING – Emotions are based on what we think and often not based on facts. Don’t always believe what you feel. Feelings are not facts.

OVER-INCLUSIVE – You think of one problem, then another and another, until you feel completely overwhelmed. Or you may take on the problems of family members as your own.

BLACK OR WHITE THINKING – You think only in extremes or absolutes, forgetting that most things fall in the middle and are shades of grey.

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS – You predict a negative outcome without adequate supporting evidence.

MIND READING – You believe that others are thinking and feeling badly about you and you react as if that’s true.

PREDICTING THE FUTURE – You think that things may turn out badly and only focus on the bad things that might happen. You convince yourself that a bad outcome is sure to happen.

CATASTROPHIZING – You imagine the worst and make things seem like a bigger deal than they are. This increases your fear and makes it harder to deal with what is really going on.

SHOULD – You make rules for yourself and others about things ‘should be’. You become angry or upset when these rules are not followed.

Thoughts go unnoticed as we automatically go through our day. This often leads to the belief that an event causes a feeling or behaviour. In fact, it is how we think about the event that causes feelings and behaviours.

In order to change your errors in thought, you first must notice these thoughts when they’re happening.

  • Slow down your thinking.
  • Consciously pay attention to your negative thoughts.
  • Don’t judge your thoughts, just observe them.

Once you’re aware of your negative thoughts, the next important step is to begin trying to change them.

  • Collect the negative thoughts in a capsule within your brain. When you’re ready to deal with them, acknowledge them for what they are and tell yourself that you’re ready to move past them.
  • Ask yourself ‘are these helpful’?
  • Replace them with more realistic and helpful thoughts.

It’s not going to be easy. But, instead of looking at something with a negative lens, try to be self-aware and put a new spin on the cycle navigating within your brain.

Personal Example:

One of the things that I struggle immensely with is rejection, it’s something I’ve spoken about in great lengths in therapy. One of the things that was brought to my attention was that, instead of believing that I’m a loser when I get rejected from an employer, instead of believing I’m unqualified, instead of believing that I’m not good enough, something I should consider is that I really have no idea why they didn’t hire me. And since I have no idea, I should stop treating it as a negative reflection of myself.

How do I spin it? Perhaps it was the wrong timing. Perhaps they had equal candidates and they flipped a coin. Perhaps they just didn’t like the tone of my voice. Whatever it is, I cannot change it. What I can do is, instead of thinking that I’m a loser, I can use the jobs I did not get as lessons learned of how to act next time, and how to know when the right opportunity has come along. I can think if it as though I’m gaining experience, not earning rejection.

How you think about something affects E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G in your life. Whether your brain is hard-wired one way or not, what are the steps that you can take to correct, or improve errors in thinking?


I’ve been seeing a Psychiatrist in an effort to help control the massive amounts of anxiety I’ve been suffering from in 2019. My Psychiatrist provides a lot of homework for me to use as tools for self improvement. As I work on myself, I’m sharing the resources provided to me. Why? Spread the wealth, spread the health.

Your mental health and well being are the most important gifts that you can give to yourself. To anyone reading this, I encourage you to please look after yourself. Take from this post what you like and leave what you don’t.

Want to see more on the subjects of mental health and self care? CLICK HERE