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How to have a job, and work when you've hidden from the world?

Discussion in 'Employment, Education & Disability' started by lizbeth27, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. lizbeth27

    lizbeth27 Member


    This is a complicated question, and there are many facets to it, not least how to get somewhere when you can't seem to want anything and have lost yourself, and when keeping and maintaining a job is extremely stressful even for mentally well people.

    I'm in my late twenties and haven't had a 'proper', full time job ever. There, I said it. I don't want to let this situation get any worse, and become fully lost in the wilderness.

    I am currently very held back by c-ptsd symptoms and other things. I'm studying for a degree now, from home, but the wait when I'm trying to get good treatment is jeopardising my work.

    I have no idea what I really want to do right now because I have no idea who I am and all I can think about is wanting to be able to, for example, get milk from the corner shop without having to deal with constant terror, dissociation and weirdness.

    WHere do I start -- how can I break this down?
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  3. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

    I am working on that right now. So incredibly difficult. I feel like I am balancing on a tight rope over shark infested waters. And I was well employed most of my life. I can't imagine having to go through this at 20 something without solid evidence that I have been capable.

    I think often of young people going through this and how much harder it would be for them. I am so sorry you are going through this. So yeah, just encouragement, no real ideas. Still working on those for myself.
  4. lizbeth27

    lizbeth27 Member

    Thank you so much for being understanding -- it's a sensitive issue, isn't it? You have all my support -- good luck. :)

    I often think that the shaming of unemployed people, especially when these unemployed people have mental health problems, is so counterproductive for everyone. We're seen as undesirable and shamed when trying to do things in society to get to the point where we're well enough to work.

    Obviously people are always thoughtless and nasty to others, for all kinds of things, and we have to push on regardless. But when self-esteem is such an issue, and you've so volatile and vulnerable, it's so easy to get pushed back down again when trying to make a transition like this.

    I've done voluntary work in the past when not even well enough to do that, and from the first day, people who were paid employees there kept telling me to get a proper job and were so unfriendly -- obviously just stressed themselves and not really thinking about their behaviour... There's no space to take it step by step. Add to that loss of ambition, and... :/

    I will set it out now, make a list. I am basically hanging on this mental health consultation I have coming up. I also need to build up my mental strength and resilience, a lot, and try just and live a bit so I know what I actually want.
  5. somerandomguy

    somerandomguy Learning how to be myself Premium Member

    I have no idea if this helps or if this is anything close to what you are asking about, but there are websites out there that are full of jobs you can do at home, either part-time or full-time. It would be something to start with if you want to work but really can't get out the door.

    Apologies if this is a derail.
  6. FauxLiz

    FauxLiz Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

    For what it is worth there are a lot of things that you can do on your time and in your comfort that may not be "a real job" in the eyes of some but that can help you figure out what kind of job you would like, get you great experience in a work place that is resume worthy and lastly help you with the issues that you are having. It starts with volunteering, what are you passionate about? Many non-profit organizations need help with things like folding and stuffing envelopes for direct mail campaigns. It is something that can be done in their office or at home but allows you to determine how much time you want to dedicate. Going out to meet the people at the organization helps short term to get you out of the house just once, working in the office or picking up materials again out in public. The skills are great for building your resume and beating your fears back You can do this just take a step at a time.
  7. SeekingAfrica

    SeekingAfrica Well-Known Member

    I know the feeling. I really do. My mental health got a lot worse for a while, and for a full year I've been surviving on part-time loans, and part-time jobs. It's exhausting. I finally build the courage to apply for things and I have been doing so for 3-4 months now. So far I only got few more small projects here and there, but nothing full time. I have 2 interviews this month so far, but I'm still going on mini-jobs and some work online, and it's exhausting. I don't survive month to month, but week to week rather and every week I wonder how I'll get to the next. It's not a great feeling. I keep pushing forward and the applying part has gotten easier. But I am accutely aware that even if I were to get a full-time job tomorrow, I would still need to have the money for the first month of expenses on it. And honestly, it's easy to apply and study, it's harder to motivate myself to grind at these random badly paid jobs, because it feels like I'm working a lot and still barely surviving. But this is still a step up from the time when my mental health was so down that I couldn't get myself to work at all, even if me having what to eat depended on it. I'm scared honestly! That I won't push past this stage, that I can't do or be more. But we have to keep trying, what else is there?
    lizbeth27 likes this.
  8. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

    I think it’s a good idea to take things one step at a time.

    For now focus on getting into treatment. It may be a big adjustment. And if going to the corner store is difficult, I think it’s a good idea to be focusing on symptom management.

    Once you are to a point where you can manage your symptoms a bit better, I’d look into volunteering. Don’t let your previous experience dissuade you. There are a lot of great work opportunities out there. And if you encounter another like the one you had before, I’d go to management, let them know how employees are scaring the volunteers away (WITH NAMES), and walk out the door. Seriously, management does not want to hear that paid employees are driving the volunteers away and management will most likely correct the situation.

    Volunteering will help you socialize, get on a schedule, and let you know what kinds of work you may enjoy.

    Don’t think too far into the future. I only think in a three month span because any more than that just bogs me down.
    lostforgottensoul and lizbeth27 like this.
  9. Tornadic Thoughts

    Tornadic Thoughts I'm a VIP

    This is a major obstacle for me, too. I know for sure I can never go back to what I used to do as I simply can't healthily function within most of the gov. and state operated systems as we're expected to do without ever speaking up when we see twisted shit happening.

    If it weren't for my husband's generosity and my ability to scale my overall consumption lifestyle wayyyyyyyy back from what I was used to while working f/t and then some, I'm not sure what my situation would be like.

    I'm also very limited by what smells I can tolerate, painfully knowing that what most folks consider to simply be "good hygiene" and a "clean and disinfected" space can take me down in an instant, even if it's only the smell of their laundry detergent on their clothes or shampoo someone used that morning. Unfortunately, I haven't found any positions calling for a "Canary in the Proverbial Coal Mine of Life" that pays anything. Just the opposite, usually, as they'd rather I just shut up, deal with it, and not harsh their preferred grooves with any info.

    With the "customers are always right" mindset of most spaces, I'd never make it...even after having worked directly with people of all walks of life for most of my life...especially with all the contradictory things I've painfully learned and lived in the last 3 years from direct experience.

    I tried going to the food service industry on a p/t basis to help a dear friend out at a local cafe, but I couldn't hang with having to smell/handle/prepare/serve/clean up after all the food items I no longer eat myself. And then there's people. Most of whom I can get along with just fine, even if only in passing, but there's always a few in a crew that can trip some major triggers and my filters don't seem to engage as soon as they should at times.

    Tried doing farmer's market vending, but bodily pains and weather determine how well I can function, load and unload a truck, set up all the equipment and anchor it down, and maintain my energy flow throughout the day with no help to cover if I need to take a break and such, and they don't take too kindly to sporadically showing up once you commit.

    My body pains travel and vary in their degree of intensity, so it's hard to commit to anything because I'm always afraid of letting someone down, which in turn, makes it so I'm constantly letting myself down by passing up opportunities. My mind thinks up of some grand plans, but the details and the processes show up and trip me up.

    I thought of doing hula hoop parties for kids, even took some online classes and such, but I wouldn't be able to handle the smells of the grown ups bringing them and hosting the parties, and seeing kids being fed all the food-like things that got me hooked on the products and ingredients that made me so ill for so long would be way too overwhelming to handle over and over and over. Trying to figure a way to still spread the joy of the hoops without all the complications keeps me going.

    I've thought of online sales for some of the crafty stuff I do, like the magnets, but that makes me feel a bit nauseous when I start reading the fine print, thinking of the shipping, thinking of the customers you can never please, especially trying to do so solely online, etc, so I'm thinking I should probably leave that alone. I'm trying to reduce screen time not create circumstances where I'll be even more chained to my damn chair and computer.

    Luckily I can barter with some of the healing practitioners I visit by helping in the child care arena, sharing my brain machine thingy, help with pet and house sitting, gardening stuff, herbal stuff, cooking and prepping foods, offering hula hoops and lessons, etc., etc. and that gives me purpose and things to look forward to while also building skills as I'm able to lend a helping hand in arenas I wish to learn more about.

    I also have to be very cautious of where I offer to volunteer based on the multiple chemical sensitivity issues, especially, but also sound and crowd issues. It feels like a kick in the gut to want to help and participate in so many things, but based on everyone else's choices of things that society deems normal and necessary, yet are very toxic to me (and them), I have to keep thinking of other ways to engage and act. As if my brain doesn't stay busy enough with all the other tornadic thoughts swirling around within a day.

    Glad I feel at peace with nature and have my basic needs met, or I'd surely be f*cked, it seems. Not sure I'll ever again fit into the socially accepted/highly expected mold of what is considered gainful employment. It damn near killed me reaching the "successful" stages I did before, so perhaps that's the sign I needed to learn to steer clear as much as humanly possible.
    lizbeth27 likes this.
  10. frogthroat

    frogthroat Well-Known Member

    Sometimes it takes awhile to find the right job for you personally. I won't do anything retail or care giving. I worked in one factory that was horrible and I ended up quitting but now I work at one that I really like. I just run machines. It's still really stressful sometimes especially when they switch me up but I'm trying to accept bigger challenges. The people I work with are nice for the most part too and my boss is pretty chill. I've worked in gas stations and I even worked as a nurse's aide for a month (that was a horrible mistake) until I could find another job but I can't do anything with too many people. I have to be around the same group of people everyday. Now I'm pretty comfortable except for the stress of doing more things and having more job responsibility but that's good too because it means they trust me.
  11. Living in the 70s

    Living in the 70s "Go dté tú slán" Premium Member Donated

    The first month is the hardest, but give yourself three months to settle into your new job! I have known quite a few people who have gone back to work successfully.

    I am working on this in a detailed and meticulous fashion, myself at the moment. To me, which may or may not be relevant to you. How I am currently setting it is that I have to have food already organised, homefront quiet, sleep hygiene in builtplace, skills built upon and building skills as I go. Lots of Self Compassion Breaks, distress tolerance, improving the moment happening, absolutely familiar with the top ten distorted cognitions, and contestantly going through dbtselfhelp, as well as working on my book on assertiveness, combined with deep listening, Mindfulness, regular exercise, social connectedness, and, for me, monitoring my eating through Weight watchers.
    lizbeth27 likes this.
  12. lizbeth27

    lizbeth27 Member

    Hi everyone,

    I know it's been a while but I want to say thank you so much for all your kind and helpful replies, and I'm sorry for disappearing!

    Just getting back to you all now!

    Thank you, no it's not a derail at all! :)

    I have done this for a while -- I worked as a transcriptionist from home which was a godsend for something simple and incredibly undemanding that has no contact with others at all. Unfortunately the work was offered very sporadically, I was seen as 'self-employed' it worked out under minimum wage and jeopardised my disability benefits and my living situation, as it was assumed if I could do this very specific, wholly isolated job I was able to work in any normal sense, which, as it stands currently, I'm not. And although it was convenient and great for a time it was unbelievably monotonous and lonely and probably making me worse.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2018
    somerandomguy likes this.
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