Job Hunting From the Wrong Side of Crazy

23 Jul

Last week a friend challenged me to swallow my pride and get things going in my life. To ask for help because I need it, instead of just going along on my own. To accept help that is readily available to me, even if I’m too shy or prideful to ask for it.

“Go down to the [Texas Workforce Commission] office, Merry. That’s what they’re there for – to help you find a job.”

She knows I’ve been searching for a job – something, anything – for months now, with no success. She also knows that it takes more than a little pride-swallowing for me to even admit I need help.

“Promise you’ll go talk to them this week. Just talk to them.”

If I hadn’t promised her I would, I honestly don’t know if I could have done it. But promise I did, and I don’t break promises. I got myself up and dressed this morning with minimal anxiety-induced tremors. By the time I drove across town, I was visibly shaking. I talked to a very nice woman (who could tell I was inches from full-blown panic) who gave me a ton of information on what I could do from home and what I had to do from their location. I made a hasty retreat, came home, and set about registering and searching for a job.

I entered my information, including ideal job criteria, and hit the search button.

“No jobs listed meet your criteria. Search again?”


I searched again for over an hour and got the same results every time.

“No jobs listed meet your criteria. Search again?”

I can only conclude that I’m ridiculously specific in the type of job I want, or there are no jobs in my area. I seriously doubt the second. So what’s the deal? Is what I want so specialized that it doesn’t exist? Am I being that difficult? Or is my refusal to accept criteria where I know I would be miserable making it impossible for me to find anything.

I’ve learned after years of trial and error that I work really well in certain situations, and that other circumstances push my anxiety and depression to unmanageable levels. If my anxiety gets too high, I can’t focus. If I can’t focus, I come off looking like an idiot or a simpleton. If I think I look like an idiot, I get anxious. It’s a vicious cycle I’d rather not repeat.

This is the first time I have had to acknowledge the impact my mental illness has on my day-to-day life. I’ve always acknowledged that I have mental illness, but insisted that I could just deal with it. It’s the first time I’ve recognized that I don’t have the energy to deal with it, to handle it (depression and anxiety) as well as all the other bullshit in my life. I can’t manage my mental illness and a shitty-but-it-pays-the-bills job and my family situation at the same time. As much as it pains me to say, I’m just not capable of doing it all anymore.

So, what to do? Acknowledge that I won’t find the “perfect” job, for starters. Write more, so one day I won’t have to deal with this. Come to terms with what are acceptable jobs, what I’m iffy on, and what are absolutely unacceptable and why.

Most of all, accept that what I did today was a tough thing and acknowledge that I did it anyway.

1 Comment

Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Daily


One response to “Job Hunting From the Wrong Side of Crazy

  1. Merry Mahaffey

    July 23, 2012 at 16:08

    A friend asked: “Aren’t you concerned that potential employers are reading your blog?” At first, yes, I was terrified that something I wrote would disqualify me before I even had a chance. I stopped tweeting. I seriously considered taking most of my blog entries down. It was a scary thing to consider, and my first reaction was knee-jerk.

    After a few days of desperately wanting to share my thoughts and being too afraid to write anything anywhere, I got really mad. Mad at myself, and mad at the imaginary employer who judged my job performance on my ridiculous posts and retweets of cat pictures. “If they can’t handle me expressing my opinions in my own blog, I don’t want to work for them!” My self-righteousness was at epic levels.

    When I calmed down, I looked at things logically. A quick Google search of my name brings up my blog, my Twitter account, my Pinterest account (tied to my Twitter account), my account, some poor lady in Maryland on, and my father’s obituary (hell of a way to find out your father is dead, but there you have it). It would take a lot of time and energy to scrub my mark from the internet, time and energy I do not have. I would also be losing a big chunk of my ‘Things That Make Me Happy’ list. I enjoy Twitter. I enjoy writing my blog, even if only 1 or 2 people read it. I enjoy expressing my opinions and engaging in discussions and being publicly creative.

    Most importantly, I really don’t give a damn what people think of me, especially if their only measure of my worth is what they find on the internet. My tweets and blogs don’t tell you the whole awesome story. You have to get to know me for that. If my presence on the internet costs me a job, it’s not a job worth having.


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