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Job hunting while you're depressed

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How do you deal with job hunting when you know you're not well enough to deal with making and keeping appointments, dealing with people, etc. - in other words, you know you'll do a crappy job if you even get it?


I was kinda muscled out of leaving my old job because of health issues in April and had a healthy freelance career, then I planned to take a few months off to focus on my health and it all went to crap. I'd saved enough for a few months, but then I slept September and October away. Until 2 weeks ago I still thought it was summer.

I'm getting toward the end of what I'd saved, and I'm just not well.

I have a plan to get there - thankfully I spent so much on healthcare this year I have $225 till I meet my out of pocket insurance expenses, so tomorrow I start 5 day a week partial hospitalization then will transition to a 3 day a week half day outpatient program.

But I know I either need to search for a job or clients for my freelancing.

But I don't have the will in me to work right now. And I love my work. There's a good amount of it out there, even. I just can't focus/concentrate/stay awake. I feel like a rock attached to my bed. Even if I got a job right now I know it'd be a week before I'd need to call in sick or schedule an emergency doctor appointment with my psychiatrist.

How do you push through this?

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How do you push through this?


That is exactly how.  You push thru.  It is the only way.  But you can help yourself push.


Come up with a specific list of activities.  Make it easy so you feel successful.  YOu are going IP so the job search has to go slowly.  I sense your fear but at the same time you sound very competent and at least know what you want to do and what you are capable of.  That is HUGE. There are many people who are depressed who have never had a job, have no idea what job to get and have no skills.


YOu are way ahead of the game.  I understand that you are worried about finances but the depression is probably causing a bit of awfulizing.  Meaning, making every issue much bigger than it really will be.  The obstacles seem huge and unaccessible.  But once you start it is much easier.  Thinking  about what you need to do while depressed is deadly.  Doing is much much better.  This is why a plan will help.  A schedule. A list. Do you have your resume up to date?  IS there an employment agency you can call?  Make this to do list very very easy.  One thing a day or one thing every few days.  Battling the depression is your first priority.  Remember, you are not your depression.  YOu a capable confident girl who just got ill.  You got the flu. The depression flu.  The only thing to do is drag yourself out of bed when you have to.  In the meantime, don't think about it. Relax, take your meds, and breathe.

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Thank you so much, Water. There is a lot of wisdom I needed to hear in your post. I truly appreciate it.

I'd been working on redesigning/updating my portfolio web site and online resume/hard copy resume kind of obsessively right before I took my "break." I had a couple of things happen at once - I had a really, really odd dispute with my largest client and that job stopped, but I'd saved enough money to take what I felt was a much needed break because I was kind of just exhausted. I feel like I've been going too hard for years now - I've been sick but never really taken a vacation.

At the same time that job stopped, I stopped taking Adderal because I ran out, my doctor who was prescribing it was an hour away, and I just felt good finally *sleeping* again. I kept telling myself it'd be ok if I just took a little time off, then next thing I know it's November. Almost half the money I'd saved was gone, and I wasn't really spending any on anything extra. I don't go out - I'm kinda agoraphobic, my rent is cheap, I do have a car and car insurance payment, and then COBRA - which is probably what killed me. Then medication, doctor visits, etc. I actually had 2 ER visits for physical stuff in the month of October, and one short very bad inpatient stint.

I know what I need to do but I just can't focus enough to do it. It's like I can't feel my Adderall working as much. I open my web site to start editing and I don't know what to do or where to start. 

And worse, a former employer I was freelancing for and I also got in a disagreement over a misunderstanding about my pay. I've had a good relationship with her and her family and have done a TON of free work for them - design work for her kids, their bar mitzvahs, etc. - probably thousands of dollars of work, and I thought we'd always have a relationship. I was almost like family. I texted her tonight to ask if we were ok, and she said yes, and we were talking and she went on to say that my not being able to show up on time to agreed upon times was too stressful for her.

This hit me like a ton of bricks because I thought we had good communication about when I was going to come in, and I was flexible to their needs and came in on a whim when they needed me. But all I heard was "you're always late and undependable." 

My last employer also thought I was undependable because I had a seizure once at work and once at home and had to go on short-term disability for a while. I wound up finally just taking a deal from them to quit, which I shouldn't have considering I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and they refused to do ADA accomodations my doctor recommended and I caught them lying about FMLA.

I feel unemployable now. :( I feel like even if I got hired right now, my illness is what it is. I will always need time off for doctor's appointments, etc. And freelancing is great because I can work from home, but it's hectic keeping up with multiple clients, billing, etc.

Everyone who's employed me loves my work and says it's great, but it's just that they feel they can't depend on me, despite the fact that I always make deadlines. The consant doctor appointments, the grogginess from meds and feeling unsafe to drive, etc. - it always comes down to that. :( I feel like that will never change.

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Hmm either the long cry did me some good, or I can feel my meds kicking in.

Weird, when I titrate up on Lamictal I have one really AWFUL day of depression, then I wake up the next day feeling better. This morning I felt optimism for the first time in a long time. Just a teeny bit but it was there. I don't feel completely unemployable anymore and I feel like there might be options and hope maybe.

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