Monday Day 374

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, lately I have not been on track. I haven’t really been tracking, and for the most part its because I just haven’t cared one way or the other. I’ve had something bothering me for a while and its not getting any better, and honestly, until I start getting regular work, its not going to get better.

As some of you know I receive SSI as my primary source of income for disability. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder several years ago, and following a major meltdown in a long chain of them, my doctor helped me fill out all the forms to get disability. There are months that I am fine, and then there are periods where I find myself doing nothing except crying hysterically for days. For the last 11 years, pretty much every job I have gotten has ended in me becoming so stressed after a week of interactions with people that I end up having panic attacks and profuse crying spells, followed by a serious depression where I pretty much only get out of bed to go to the bathroom lasting weeks. I just cannot seem to deal with people I don’t know for extended periods of time.

Five years ago come the end of December, I lost my last job. I stuck it out for 8 months even though they treated me like garbage because I loved the work. I was so stressed and strung out that after the first month, I stopped being able to sleep at night, and would only get about 2 hours of sleep, then go to work. After 8 months, I had a major meltdown and they fired me over it. Later when I really needed the money and tried to collect unemployment, they took me to court, lied and said I quit, told the judge I was an alcoholic and a drug addict, and forced me to pay back everything I had gotten. I was unable to assert myself to state my side of the case because I was on the verge of tears the entire time.

Since then, I’ve turned in hundreds of applications and resumes. And in the first 2 years of doing so, I had 3 interviews. I had a panic attack during two of them, and the third one I made it through but did very badly. I haven’t had so much as a call in 3 years now. That brings me to my problem. I am a graphic artist and jewelry maker/designer, and all of the people I have worked with have had nothing but good things to say about me. But I’m lucky is I make $200.00 in a year. No one knows I exist, and I can’t afford any venues for advertising. I constantly tout my work on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Craigslist but aside from a wonderful people re-sharing my links to certain items or telling their friends about their experience working with me, there’s nothing.

All I have wanted to do my entire life is work and be able to take care of myself. Yet for the last 5 years I’ve been living off of a government handout because no one will take a chance on me and let me try. I’ve even run contests to offer work for free in the hopes people would be interested and maybe others would hire me afterwards. None of the winners have ever even stepped up to get the work they won.

I feel like everyone looks down on me because I’m not working, and I feel like its somehow my fault that I’m not. I just want to work, whether it be by designing a new logo or creating a cute pair of earrings or making a nice, roomy purse. I’m tired of wanting to cry every time I see people complaining about their job because at least they have one, or feeling like its directed at me when people complain about the number of people living off of government assistance.

If you know anyone who might be interested in hiring me for anything, please share my links. Here is my graphic design work portfolio, and here is my Etsy.com shop with my jewelry and sewn creations. Every day I feel worse because I feel like I have no purpose in life, and that I’m not as good as anyone else because I live this way. I hate feeling like this and its causing me problems in my relationships with other people because it seems like everyone around me has everything I’ve ever wanted and I can’t catch a break to save my life.

10 comments to Monday Day 374

  • Debra,

    You have amazing artistic talents and unwavering love for animals, two things we need more of in this world. You have helped me so much with all of the wonderful web work you have done on my site and have always gotten back to me ASAP when I had one of my daft questions.

    I have had some unbelievable lows in my life and it took some time for me to get better. I went looking for purpose and meaning in the oddest of places, feeling like a boat tossed in the waves. My biggest hurdle was to stop thinking about what other people thought of me and just do what I wanted and loved. I feel in time things will work out for you as well but right now it is the present that hurts so much. I wish you serenity, happiness and more profitable days ahead.

    Hugs,

    Tracy

    • Deb

      Tracy, thank you so much. You kind of have me leaking a bit around the eyes now. On one hand I want to kick myself for being Downer Debi, but on the other hand I don’t even know that I have it in my to care anymore.

      Thank you for being such a wonderful friend from the start. :)
      Deb recently posted..Monday Day 374My Profile

      • Debra,

        Thank you for such kind words. :)
        I went ahead and reposted some of your skull themed work because this is the time of year for such beauties to be seen. I swear SEO and adverts of all types online gets to be so much after awhile.
        Something I might suggest is Pintrest, I have known several artists to get a good amount of sales from going on there and being active. :)

        Wishing you the best,
        Tracy

        • Deb

          Thanks Tracy, and you’re welcome! :)

          I signed up for Pinterest, and spent about 2 hours on there. I probably should go back on there and poke around some more. I’ve heard too it works for some people, and really, what can it hurt?
          Deb recently posted..FMM – Winning the LotteryMy Profile

  • I am so sorry Deb. I had no idea that you had gone through all of this. I know how it feels not to work & question your worth. it’s something I have battled with in the past year and a half. Have you tried reaching out to people in the industry to see if you could get any referrals or work sent your way? Don’t let it get you down. You are not defined by your job. You are more than that. :hugs:
    missmarisol recently posted..Weekly Weigh In & iPromise Week 4 goalsMy Profile

    • Deb

      Marisol, thank you. What I hate the most is people who tell me how lucky I am not to “have to work.” Ugh. I want to strangle them! Seriously, the time off is fun or the first couple weeks but after that? No thanks. xD

      I really don’t know many people in the industry, and those I do are doing stuff pretty different from what I do. Networking has never been one of my strong suits, and I know its something I really need to work on.
      Deb recently posted..FMM – Winning the LotteryMy Profile

  • Soya

    Hi deb

    So sorry for all you have been thru. I was thinking about you the other day…re jobs. I wonder if you could get in on a non ppl job. Let me brainstorm a little here…

    Data entry or medical billing jobs?
    Kitty or doggie care or dog walking?
    Caring for other pets?
    Editing for books or other businesses?
    Cooking meals for families?

    Some of these things could be things you could advertise on Craigslist … See if anyone bites. I know that you are really computer savvy, and tere a lots of jobs that require that.

    Other than that, I really have benefited from therapy or process groups to help me work with my anxiety better. You might be able to manage your people interactions with less stress if you had some cognitive behavior tricks under your belt, you know?

    Good luck!

    • Deb

      Soya, I’ve thought about medical billing but everyone wants experience, though most positions are work form home. They also tend to require a fax machine, which means I’d have to sign up for a service because we don’t even have a landline.

      I’ve often taken care of friends’ pets when they’ve been out of town, sometimes for a few weeks at a time, and I actually did run ads offering that service for a while. I ended up with one person who was all gung ho to introduce me to the dog, and then they just never got back to me. Dog walking… I really thought about that one. But then I kept thinking what if their dog got loose or attacked by a wandering animal? Was pulling my hair out before I even had a chance to get started.

      Editing books… Hadn’t thought of that one. I’ll do some poking around on it. I’m the type to pick out spelling and grammatical errors in pretty much everything.

      I’ve thought of therapy, but none of my doctors have ever decided it was something I need. I definitely do need some help somewhere though. :-/

      Thanks. :) I may try posting again for pet sitting/care services.
      Deb recently posted..Tuesday Day 375My Profile

  • What about volunteer work? Sometimes they can turn into part-time or full time paid jobs.

    I know you said your old jobs gave you a good review but is it possible under the table they are spreading ill-will to potential employers on your work record?
    Donna recently posted..Selvage Project… 2 Years Of CollectingMy Profile

    • Deb

      I spent almost the entire year in 2010 trying to get volunteer work. The only responses I got were from a few people who wanted me to drive 30+ miles ONE WAY to pull weeds. Not kidding.

      I have no doubts they have never said anything good about me if anyone had inquired. I mean come on, they took me to court and told the judge I was an alcoholic and a drug addict (and was coming to work under the influence) and I quit even though they fired me due to medical reasons, which I found out years too late wasn’t even legal. The whole thing was a huge mess to say the least.

      It is worth trying to pick something up again though. Good idea. :)
      Deb recently posted..Thursday Day 377My Profile