…which is something we all know. Did you know though, that two thirds of the people, according to studies (hey, I Googled!), who are unemployed for any significant time (talking months/years instead of weeks), will suffer from mental health problems during their unemployment. (I know this is really lazy research, I am doing it just to make my point. Go read studies!)
Imagine me, a person recovering from a mental health problem that causes a voice in my head to tell me that I am no good and that any effort I make at living a good life is in vain because a good life is not meant for a shit-bag like me. Imagine this person, having to sit in the library every day and make job applications to jobs that seem to go to anyone but me. Having no work environment where one could get a break from the voice and feel validation as a human and as a member of the society, contributing their skills to better a service, better the world. Having no-one to eat with and not getting to see that normal people need to eat every day and that the world doesn’t explode when they eat.
Unemployment sucks for any person, but I feel (having no other person’s experience but my own) that it especially sucks when you want to work and you want to recover. I need a job to keep my recovery en route is basically what I am saying right now. This part of my journey would benefit from lessened joblessness stress. There was the part when I needed to concentrate on figuring out what recovery was going to be like and how I was going to try to help myself but now I’ve had time for that and I am ready for the next step. The next step is important because every step implies progress. The illness tells me daily that there is no progress and that I should just give up because nothing will ever change and I will never beat the doom. But in fact I have moved onwards and taken steps. If I had time I would put them all in a big book of ‘things Pihla’s done whilst in recovery’.
But the final piece to get me back on track (cos lord knows it’s not been very easy in recent days, in fact it’s been very hard), would be to find a job where I can do something meaningful and contribute to the world. The thing is, in recovery, I can’t take just any job that comes my way. I have to be very careful and avoid jobs that can be triggering for me. Lack of challenge is one – I need a job where I can use my brain. I will be miserable somewhere that disallows new ideas and where the job is a boring routine. I’ve tried doing plenty of those jobs and whilst they were okay when I was a young student/graduate, that ain’t for me anymore. So I am trying, and going to places. It’s kind of exotic to walk into a company lobby and ask them, can I pitch my idea to you? I never ever used to be able to do something like that. I never used to be able to even phone people as I was too scared to speak to anyone. Now, I have phoned at least five places within the last week and it doesn’t matter that they didn’t have any available jobs. I phoned! I wasn’t scared! It’s progress, so take that, stupid illness.
I will find a job. I am motivated. My illness will bow down to me and I will kick it out. It’s been hard recently due to unemployment anxiety, which makes anyone lose their appetite. I’ve totally lost mine so eating is something I make myself do even if I sorta have no physical desire to. My mental desire however is large and in charge. I do not want to be in the darkness, in the doom kingdom of mine illness. No place on earth is worse. In fact the doom kingdom is located in hell. I wish to be a good human being. Good human beings do not belong in hell. Right? Right!