Skip to comments.Asking for advice about depression after losing my job
Posted on 11/02/2012 11:44:36 PM PDT by proud American in Canada
I hesitated for a long time to post this--particularly because our keyboard is so sticky it is difficult to write and post. I was just hoping for some advice. If I posted in the wrong place, I hope the mods will move it.
Maybe I am sharing too much. But I have nowhere else to turn. I am (was?) a reporter for a weekly community newspaper in Quebec.
A couple of months ago, I was told I'd be freelancing--paid per picture and story, because my former boss, with whom I'd worked for seven years, is retiring and his daughter is taking over and wants new blood. My whopping income has dropped from $450 per week to around $100 per week, which has made things difficult financially at home. My husband makes a good income--but we needed that extra cash. Our house is aging and needs repairs.
We've been married for over two decades, have a 17 year-old son and a 13 year-old daughter. It is quite rare that we are intimate nowadays.
I went to pick up my check today--$190 for two weeks of work.
On point, I have a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago, a year of law school at Northwestern, law school that I finished at UC Boulder.
I find myself sleeping all the time recently. I turned 50 less than a month ago. I'm old now. I literally cannot wake up. I fell asleep on the couch, sitting up, while we were all watching "Grimm" tonight.
I know I need to get my act together, but I find myself crying and sleeping--and even when I clean things up, do laundry,etc., my husband seems to find fault. Maybe he's depressed too.
Because I cut myself as a teenager and got very sad on moving here, I am on medication. So that's not the answer.
Plus, my ten year-old nephew in WI has cancer -- very serious -- and if something happens to him or my Dad, I cannot even cross the border before my papers come in.
Anyway... I guess I just wanted to "vent" a bit. Freepers are a caring group of people.
Thank you for any advice you have. :)
First and foremost, stop thinking of yourself as an out of work writer. Think of yourself as unemployed. Even if it’s seasonal (many of which turn in to long term employment) go out and get yourself a job. Write in your spare time. When it comes to finances we are all sharks. Keep moving forward or you can lose momentum, atrophy and die.NEVER allow tour capital stream to dry up...that will kill your hopes. Fight for your meals...get your back into your living.
Cut all unnecessary expenses. Store back a little food and water if you can. Learn to live on less; I have. You can eat a loss less than you were once used to.
Shop the dollar menu at the burger places. Sell off any unnecessary stuff on Craigslist (use appropriate precautions - don’t put your phone number out there and use the anonymous email). Only meet buyers at safe places like convenience stores, preferably daylight hours if possible.
The times have changed. I’ve been trying to downsize for years but kept getting tripped up. I could see this thing coming but ran into a lot of roadblocks.
Read the Psalms and the Gospels. Watch Christian TV. Stay in prayer. Yeah, it’s quite a change from what we were all used to. Help others in need; be a blessing to a stranger at random times. Share the Gospel.
Don’t give up yet. You can make it through a lot more than you think.
Swimmer doesn’t drown till they panic. Try to avoid thinking about “my entire life and future”. Instead, focus on the small, necessary, day to day tasks of life. Do them all well. When you are doing all the small details to the VERY best of your ability, the big picture has a funny way of taking care of itself.
Pray, avoid isolation, and endure 5 minutes longer than you think you can.
Sweetie, I said a prayer for you.
I suggest you show your husband this post. Tell him how you feel. Go get some counseling. If you can’t afford it, go to a church. Things will work out because you’re reaching out. And whatever you do always remember this.....never go for a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
God loves us even when we don’t love ourselves. You hang in there and know people are praying for you.
I have been where you are. All I can say is I threw myself on God’s mercy, asked Him to help, and He did.
Spend as much time focusing on God through his Son Jesus Christ as you do focusing on the problem.
He is a rescuer, and He cares for those who cry out to Him.
Job search websites:
What F15Eagle is profound and true. Find someone you can help. Even if it’s only a kind word or a touch on the arm. When we are helping others our problems don’t seem to be as small.
Yeah, uh, thanks for that.
Anyway, since you have a law degree and like to write, maybe you could go to the local prison and charge the inmates to write legal briefs for them, say, for $50 a pop. I would find a way to use that degree. Writing for a local newspaper is no way to go.
TYPO! Our problems don’t seem to be as BIG.
Well since you are a free lancer now doesn’t that mean you are free to sell stories to other weekly papers in the area? Do you speak and write French well enough to translate your own stories and sell them or a very similar version to a French weekly too? Could that double your income?
You also just need to stay busy so you can not sleep all the time. Writing more stories to sell to more papers would be one step. Another is that you have two kids that are at an age where they need you alot even though they think they do not.
First - unplug that keyboard, find an old t-shirt and cut it up into 4 or 5 pieces, use common dish-soap in large bowl of warm water, pull all of the keyboard buttons off (most will come of fairly easy, and will snap back on fairly easy after cleaning - only a few very cheap keyboards won't allow fairly easy removal.)
If the keys are really dirt encrusted, drop them all in a pan with warm water and soap, let'm soak, clean them one at a time with your piece of old t-shirt - then snap them back into place.
BEFORE YOU START - set down with a piece of paper and draw in little squares a copy of the keyboard layout - before you remove the keys - makes it a lot easier to know where to put the keys back.
If the keys won't come off with firm pressure - dampen your cloth lightly with warm water, mix with bit of common dish soap - make sure it isn't dripping at all, then scrub those keys - use a dull knife to push the cloth down between the keys. This isn't as easy as the other way, but it gets a fair job done that will be a vast improvement.
More later, after I've had a chance to think about your plight.
I would suggest that you are open, first with your husband, tell him you know something id not right. Also, change SOMETHING, ANYTHING. Lose ten pounds. Take up a hobby. Take a part time job doing something you like, even if it is voluntary. You have to get the ‘loss’ of your position out of your head. This will give you control over something in your life and give you something to build on.
Best thing to do is, if you freelance, FREELANCE. Write about everything and submit it to ALL the papers, magazines and on line, YES ONLINE, publications that you can think of.
You have little control over what happens, but you have ALL the control of how you react to the things that happen.
I hope this helps. More than anything, realize that all problems are temporary. Things WILL change. They can get worse, but they will get better.
Prayers for you, Friend.
Bless your heart!! You are having a tough time right now. But I agree with others ... don’t think of yourself as an out-of-work writer, but simply as unemployed (which is basically the truth, since they’ve cut back so much).
I can’t really comment on the finding work aspect, but I have a fair amount of experience with depression, so I will address that. I was feeling terribly depressed in the last couple of years. We have two (wonderful but crazy) little boys, and since they were born, I’ve done little but take care of our little whirlwinds. In addition, I gained sixty pounds while I was pregnant with them (they’re twins) and had not been able to get it off at all. And I’m also 50, like you. So I was lumbering around, feeling like an OLD cow (honestly, I felt 60, not 50), but somehow I finally got up the gumption and found the time to join a gym last April. In the six months since, I’ve lost 16 lbs (nice!) but more importantly, I feel ten years younger! I walk with a spring in my step now, and move fluidly, and stand up straight — things I couldn’t do last April. I understand that money is tight for you right now, but try to exercise on a regular basis, in some form or fashion. (I heartily recommend my new gym, Planet Fitness, a national chain, which is rather bare bones but only $10/month, which is hard to beat!!) I swear, every time I go to the gym, I leave very tired ... but feeling younger and happier. Regular exercise has become very important to me, and I recommend it to everyone.
Exercise seems like a very peripheral thing to you right now, I’m sure, but if you feel better physically you often feel better mentally. And it would probably help you overall to feel a teensy bit more cheerful in general, so I’m suggesting this. I hope you find lots of good support and good answers here tonight! Good luck!
You are clearly feeling overwhelmed. Its easy to feel crushed under the weight of all that worry. Try imagining putting all your burden's into God's hands. Pick a small thing that you can accomplish that day and set about doing it well. Take pleasure in doing something simple or silly for your kids or husband and don't hesitate to tell them, "I need a hug now!". Remember that it is normal to feel sad, angry, frustrated, or scared. Remember that extreme worry will keep you from getting good sleep. And sleep deprivation makes any situation seem a hundred times harder to deal with. Joy and happiness, peace and strength are all within you! Don't let life's darker days take that away from you. *HUG!*
Great message DRey.. for all of us. God bless, hope you are doing well.
LOL! You guys are so funny! Thank you so much. :)
I am laughing now and very happy—the Freeper community is amazing.
Thanks guys—I recognize all of your screen names. I really appreciate the support. :)
And 50 isn’t so bad—as my Dad always says—it’s better than the alternative. :)
I can’ believe the immediate response. Thank you so much! :)
I have been off and on anti depression meds for years...take your pills and if they aren’t helping, talk with your doctor about changing medications...50 isn’t old, my 50 and 60’s were good, been a widow for 20 years, look for a job out of your field of expertiste for the present. Full time at a grocery store of something like Wal Mart will bring you in more money that your getting now and when things pick up, your other job may be open for more money...My son was out of work for 2 years, with doing some independcontractor work...his wife has kept her job a Meijers for over 10 years. They lost their home and have 2 teens. Keep your chin up, force yourself to go for a walk, Can you collect unemployment? check it out. If your having problems with sleep, it just may be that the medication needs to be changed...sometimes our bodies change as we age and a medication that use to work, may no long be of help....Don’t feel sorry for yourself, millions of americans share your perdictiment..Sometimes smile even if you don’t feel like it.....don’t know if this will help, but it may get you thinking in a different direction...good luck....
1-exercise stay active, become more active
2-plan, prepare, execute
each day have a plan. Over plan use each minute.
3- work on your marriage, fight the pain, be super good to your husband- he needs you now too.
4- Cut expanses.
Now I know that seems to be a 'duh!", but you are now in a position to chronicle the hardships many are going through, to find and write about solutions to problems, DIY projects, scrounging materials, getting by with less, and may well make more in the process. Even the trials of hunting for 'lesser work' to add to the income, and there are a few. Expect setbacks, but results, up or down, are meat for a column.
There is a sympathetic audience out there, people who are in the same boat, and also looking for solutions and a sympathetic ear.
This could grow into a column in print or a blog on the web, and cutting in with any part time work you do elsewhere, the adjustments, the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of 'getting by' are the sort of reading that many will flock to, especially if there is positive advice for others in the same boat. From recipies to fix-its, to dealing with working a different and more menial job, the things you can do to bring in a little more money become fodder for your keyboard.
I have been there.
Worked the same place for 16 years, bringing in an average of a quarter million per year (huge in the market and local economy at the time) for a small company over that time and selling work for other employees as well.
One slowdown in the market, and I was out the door because I was at the top of the pay scale. Thanks, bye, no gold watch, no severance pay.
Within a year, I was back in the saddle, with my own company.
You can do this, and that seemingly insurmountable peak is conquered one step at a time--and not without setbacks. If you're freelance, you can sell your material to anyone willing to listen, you just have to write it.
Start now, today, where you are, because your reaction to the transition from a full-time gig is entirely normal. It's a bummer.
But don't stop there, grab those bootstraps, drag yourself to the keyboard, and write about it. You can edit it later. Keep a journal.
Let their loss be your gain.
You have prevailed before (you transferred/went back to school), you can do it again, and there are a lot of people out there who could use a tip or two, or just the knowledge they are not alone.
Just send me a copy (autographed, of course!) when the book comes out.
Now, if you are so inclined, ask God for strength and guidance, (I'll ask Him for you), and get cracking!
It is quite rare that we are intimate nowadays.
"Quite rare" is alot. Look forward to it.
I fell asleep on the couch, sitting up, ...
This is a good thing, not a bad thing. As long as you can be roused without too much ado. Anyway, just trying to cheer you up. We all carry on.
“Vote Republican on Tuesday, and you should feel fantastic”
lol! I already did, in CO. :)
“Write your own paper and get followers so you can fire your boss”
Now there’s a thought.. :)
You all are amazing. Thank you :)
Starting the day and ending the day in prayer, preferably on my knees, is essential. When I pray I simply praise God. I don't have to ask for anything or explain anything because he already knows everything. But I will pray for you.
Write a book. It doesn't have to be lengthy. Hemingway used to write 120 words a day but he would go back and rewrite the 120 words at least twice until they were near perfect. This can be a memoir or a novel or any other form.
As far as medication goes it can improve things, it can worsen things, and sometimes we develop a tolerance that renders it ineffective. This is something the doctor needs to monitor regularly.
The job market is tough out there so don't let losing your job make you feel you've done something wrong— many good people have lost jobs in this economy that they were very good at, my sister after 26 years. Get your resume together and think about what other skills you have — cast a wide net, you may be surprised. If you love writing, continue of course but if another job pops up take it until a writing gig presents itself. you can do it. As for sleeping a lot, it is a sign of depression so like I said I'd see your doctor. Meanwhile, try to keep to a sleep schedule and even if you need some extra sleep here and there, set aside time for applying for jobs, time to meet with friends and relax, and try to explain to the husband how things have made you feel.
“read the Psalms and the Gospels. Watch Christian TV. Stay in prayer. Yeah, its quite a change from what we were all used to. Help others in need; be a blessing to a stranger at random times. Share the Gospel.”
God Bless you—I read the Bible as a teenager. You are absolutely right. :)
Ok, I will be 63 in a few days, and I have been an engineer for about 28 years, but I lost my job back in May and no one was hiring, especially someone at my age that had a relatively good salary history. I had thought that I might not find a job again until after the election or longer. What I did was create a good resume which was accurate, but written to make myself sound as good as I knew how. Then I went to Monster.com, registered, and uploaded my resume. Then I searched Monster.com daily, in case something came open that I liked. It took several months, but I finally got a call from a company that liked my resume. I interviewed with them and they hired me. That was 4 weeks ago and the job pays same as the last one I had. My word of advice is to treat this like a vacation and relax a bit. Every day go search Monster.com to see if any new jobs have posted for your expertise and your area. You will be surprised how many jobs you see every day on that site. I have had a least 5 companies contact me after I took that job. They all saw my resume on Monster.com and it matched what they needed. Never ever give up. Just refuse to fail, but enjoy life along the way. Oh and this is the second time I have found a job through Monster. The first time was about 12 years ago. Just cheer up and go do it!
Get 'dolled' up a bit every day - don't go overboard, just improve something a bit every week. Your self-esteem will grow, and improve your situation more than you might think - might even improve your employment chances. God bless you... let us know how you're doing in a couple of weeks.
“here you live it is important to get at least half an hour of sunlight daily. At your latitude seasonal affective disorder is more common”
I believe that—it’s dark when we wake and take the dog out and dark around 5:30. I’ve even commented about this to other people. It’s even worse when we visit my MIL in northern Gaspe—the sun goes down at 3:30! We saw the Northern Lights! (beautiful, of course).
That is good advice—they actually sell sunshine machines at the local drugstore to help with this.
I have helped more than a couple of friends through some really tough times. First thing I would recommend is finding peace. For me that is through prayer and knowing what is going on here is not what we are really working for. God is merciful even when we think things aren't that great. See the goodness around you.
Also, if you dwell on the negative you will most likely still end up with the negative. God has blessed us with so much.
Based on all that you have said, you must have some pretty decent skills. Maybe look at this as the door opening to something you always want to do. Is there something you have always wanted to do? Maybe now is the time.
For the short term, keep what you have going, at least it is something. See about picking up some other freelance stuff, trying to equalize what you had before. Two other small freelancing gigs would seem like it would make up the difference.
Do you and your husband still have common goals, a common purpose? Does he feel like you support him? Are you interested and take the time to hear him? Right now bridging the gap in your relationship can maybe start easier with you than him. Listening is an amazing gift you can give someone.
Right now I am seeing a lot of friends reaching the same age as you. What you are talking about in the relationship isn't uncommon. It seems that so many friends got married without a real common purpose uniting the marriage. They had expectations of what they thought the other would be and that their purpose or dream of what a marriage should be was their spouses'. Since there wasn't a common purpose, as they have grown older, each of them has become more of who they really are, creating a huge gap in the relationship. For a believer, God's love is the for unification.
Would your husband be open to counseling? A good, neutral third party can sometime do wonders for opening up communication. Go in with an open heart and mention that to him. If you tell him you would like to make him happier, more complete, maybe he will go in with an open heart as well.
Will pray for nephew. Know that your nephew is in His tender hands with a loving purpose greater than what we can understand. God has given you the gift of your nephew.
Thank you all for your replies; I can’t really keep up, and now I have to log off. I have to get to bed. I will finish reading everyone’s posts tomorrow, and I am so grateful for the time you took to respond. :)
One: you DO have a job. It’s called “Looking for a Job”. You need to be up, and looking 5-6 days a week, from 8:30AM until 5PM. Online, in-person, whatever. Consider your job hunt a job, and you’ll be surprised at how things start to feel.
It’s not easy, and it’s not fun, but keeping busy working, tracking, and responding to any and all leads, and the all-important follow-up, will ALSO do wonders for your depression. . . .
I speak from experience here. . .
First, do get your meds checked with your doctor to make sure there is nothing going on there, or your physical health.
Then look at priorities of the things you can control - You’ve got two teenagers that need their mom has got to be up there, I’d imagine.
Honestly, the rest of the “stuff” you listed is simply life as anyone will experience. Good things happen, bad things happen. People live and die, jobs come and go.
You react to the stuff you cannot control as best as you can, with as much good cheer as you can muster, and a sense of humor if that is at all possible, and since you are in Quebec, you have to figure out how to do all this in French.
It’s OK to get depressed. It’s not OK to allow yourself to stay that way, if only for the sake of the people important to you. How you react to the setbacks and bad news that life inevitably brings you in varying doses is everything.
If you write, you could start a blog about something that interests you, and then pimp it here on FR. If nothing else, that will help your husband seem less critical by comparison.
Above all, good luck. It really is up to you.
Keep fighting to survive and in 4 Days you can watch when Obama is Fired from His Job.....
then the economy will respond to real Hope and Change. and
remember a “rising tide lifts all boats”...including yours.
P.S. these are not just words...I am going through similar
Secondly, you might have a health problem causing you to doze off all the time, not just attributable to depression. What meds are you on and for how long? SOME ANTI-DEPRESSANTS CAN MAKE THINGS WORSE! If you smoke, cut back..? Do you take vitamins on a daily basis?
I know this sound like an 'easy fix' suggestion but start having faith in God and feel blessed for what you DO have.. Blessed for family, house, etc.. You are blessed no matter how tough things get. We're praying for you.
There’s a book called Feeling Good by David Burns that I highly recommend. It’s been around awhile and should be available at libraries everywhere.
Re the depression: PLEASE see a physician. Depression is a genuine medical condition, and they can help. Untreated, it can kill.
Think of what you’d say to your adult child if they were going through what’s happening to you. Then say those same things to yourself.
Last year a friend of 25 years killed himself over his job loss. Don't let depression take over, trust the Lord.
I’ve been where you are, and there are no easy answers. I won’t suggest anything spiritual because that’s a personal thing. One thing that has helped me in the past, and still helps is to find good things to focus on, happy things.
Sometimes I jump on Facebook and enjoy cute baby pics, or cute puppy pics, or whatever, and it does help. I also enjoy seeing my old high school friends pics, and their families. My life isn’t “happy” and may not ever be again, and I’m fine with that. I’ll just do my best, every day I can, and I’ll try to make others happy, and that’s enough, at least for me.
Depression is no game, and it’s not fun, but it doesn’t have to destroy your life. Talk to your hubby, talk to a trusted friend or Pastor, and go from there. You are educated, which helps, you have a family, and those are blessings.
Take little steps and eventually you’ll find yourself in a better place.
I’ll pray for you...
I still remember what my dear Mother told me as a child, “There is always someone better off than you and there is always someone worse off than you”.
It is human nature to focus on the negatives in our lives while taking for granted the positives. You have Family, many people are alone. You have a home, many people are homeless. You have an education, many people are ignorant (Obama supporters for example). You have a love of writing, many people have no imagination or skill in expressing their thoughts on paper.
I could go on, but you are looking for answers. I am Married, my Wife deals with Depression, which means I deal with her Depression as well. From my experience, I would suggest that you deal with that situation sooner than later. You stated that you are on some Medications. It may be time to get reevaluated to see if the Medications are still effective.
My Wife has done that and has shown some improvement. As we get older, our Metabolism changes and Drugs that helped at one time become ineffective. It happened with my Blood Pressure Meds, and it happened with my Wife's Drug Therapy.
As far as the Financial situation, step away and look at your household Budget as if you were helping someone else with their situation. You have to be objective, looking at what is necessary versus what is a choice. When all else fails, listen to Dave Ramsey.
Well, that's all I can think of right now. Just something to chew on. I have been dealing with Leukemia for the past seven years and I am halfway to what my Oncologist suggested would be my expected demise.
I have two choices, I can wake up every day and be upset and depressed, Xing out the days on the Calendar in my countdown to doom, or I can wake up every day and think how lucky I am to be able to see, hear, smell, taste, feel and interact with others.
In fact, I am lucky because you decided to Post something on Free Republic and I have a chance to respond and share some of my experiences that may, or may not, lift your spirits. You are lucky because you just shared your situation with people you will probably never meet in person but who care enough about you to reply. You are never alone when you're a FReeper. We are Family, whether we agree or not. I'm not a Religious person, but rest assured you are in my Prayers.
As they say, this too will pass. The worst that could happen is never the worst that can happen. Your Blessings outweigh your problems, you just have to open your eyes wide enough to see it. God Bless you and your Family.
Remember ? when they try to hit us when we are at our weakest or where we are at our weakest point ? that’s when and where we are strongest.