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

I have a job interview today.

To clarify, when I speak of my anxiety, it’s because the coping mechanisms that I usually use to work through my anxiety aren’t working.

I have a job interview today. It was 95% of the reason why I was anxious last night and is 100% of the reason why I am anxious today.

On the one hand, I’m thinking ‘hey, potential job prospect, this is great!’ And ‘I really hope this isn’t like the scam I walked into, and wasted my time at, in May’.

On the other hand, I’m thinking ‘hey, this is nowhere near Calgary and I have goals and plans for my life. If I accepted a job like this, would it stray me from my goals?’

And then there’s a nagging insecurity in my brain saying ‘Don’t just think you’re going to get this job, no one else wants to hire you so why would they?’

Realistically, the only thing that I can do is go into this job interview with an open mind. If I hope for the best then I can figure the rest out after. It’s just dealing with these nagging feelings of anxiety inside that I struggle with. I haven’t quiet yet figured out how to tackle all of my triggers, so there are times when I let my fears see light.

Speaking of good news (smooth transitions only, right), my mom went to the cancer clinic today for her follow up appointment. She’s required to do follow ups ‘x’ amount of days after finishing treatment and then every six months for two years and then once a year for five years following that (just to make sure that the cancer doesn’t return). Anyways, in her follow up appointment today they told her that she’s healing remarkably well, there’s no sign of recurring cells and they’re very impressed with her health at this point.

So that’s great!

It’s a rainy, gloomy day here. I’m trying to stay positive though.

There’s a lot to be thankful for. Mainly my mom’s health. I know not everyone gets so lucky when it comes to cancer, and our family is eternally grateful.

Let’s talk about it.

I remember where I was standing the day that I got the call. A grossly uncommon occurrence, my phone was ringing, the caller ID displaying my friend’s husband. In the twelve years they’ve been married, I can count on two fingers the times he’s phoned me. This being one of them.

My friend was in the hospital. She’d swallowed a half-bottle of pills, drank a bottle of wine, slit her wrists and laid down in the bath tub to wait to die.

It was July 1st, Canada Day (three years ago). There were fireworks going off in the background as I heard him explaining to me what had happened. And, as sad as it sounds, this was my first time hearing that she even suffered from depression. She’d never told me and I had never asked.

Lesson learned.

I hopped on the plane 24 hours later and went to see her. With guilt in my gut and sadness in my heart, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

She spent almost three months in the hospital. Seeing her there, barely there, heavily medicated, being watched like a hawk to ensure she didn’t try to hurt herself again, that was hard on me. And if it was hard on me, I can’t imagine how hard it was on her.

Over the next three months, during the periods of time in which she got access to her phone, I learned the extent to which she’d been suffering. I also learned the extent to which she was still suffering as the doctors mixed and matched medications to help her feel better, and the side effects they came with.

If you don’t ask, you just never know. The problem with never asking is that you don’t think about it. And you need to think about it. It’s not pleasant. It’s not happy, but it needs to be talked about.

I carry around a lot of guilt over not knowing how much my friend was suffering. And the stupid thing is, I know it’s not about me. It’s really not. It’s about her. I owed it to her to check on her. I owed it to her to be an ear for her to talk to. And I wasn’t there.

Never again.

Let’s talk about it.

Seriously.

When I ask you what’s wrong, I want you to be truthful with me. No matter how awful, no matter how dark, I want to know.

Being able to take those deep, dark, depressing thoughts from the far corners of your brain and let them out into the universe, it helps. I’m not saying that it solves everything, but it definitely helps. And people who are suffering, they need peace… no matter how small of a dose it comes in.

If you know me, you know that I’m the type of person (now) who’ll ask how you’re doing… one, two, three… maybe even four times. That’s on purpose. I want to know how you’re doing. There’s no motive behind it. I just want the truth. Life ain’t always pretty… and it need not be painted that way. I want the people in my life to know that I’m the person you don’t always have to be happy towards.

Sometimes you just need to have an angry phone call where all that you talk about is the things that suck, depress you or piss you off.

Sometimes, you really just need someone to listen.

I want to be that person who people know will listen. I want more people to be that person who people know will listen to them. I want more people to be that person that you know will listen to you.

The way I see it, we could all do a little better with ourselves and others if we just listened.

Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk with the people we love about everything. Not jut the positives, but all of the negatives. Because peace of mind is important, no matter how small the dose.