As you can see by looking at my blog, I haven’t written anything in a long while. I was laid off from my job in March due to the pandemic. Actually, I was furloughed and then laid off effective June 1st. I count myself lucky that I was eligible for the extra $600 per week with unemployment. So, I didn’t really have that stress. With that said, being laid off? Can really mess with your mental health. Let me explain.
You feel expendable when you’re laid off. Yes, I know that everyone is expendable. However, since 2001, right after the 9/11 attacks, I have been laid off four times. Count them again. Once due to the attacks. Another due to the government taking federal student loans in house, so my company, which was a student loan company, lost their business. The third time at an Industry Leading Fortune 500 company, which was doing weekly layoffs of their over 22,000 global employees. In the last job I had, I thought I was safe. It was a Dr’s office. Well, the pandemic proved that safe feeling false.
This is where your mental health starts to decline. You feel expendable. Useless. Helpless. These feelings take you down a dark road. Add having to quarantine to the mix, it’s a perfect storm. I’m a single woman. And empty nester. My son was at college and he moved in with his boyfriend. I had friends and family that I could talk to of course. And as a self-described introverted extrovert, even I started feeling the effects. I needed that contact. But I couldn’t have it. I didn’t have a job to go to, so, I didn’t have that daily communication and connection. So, I felt isolated.
When we were able to ease restrictions, friends, family, and I would meet up for parking lot meals together. Socially distancing. I felt like a new person. Refreshed is a good word. My heart was full and my mind happy. But still, depression, anxiety, and other emotions kick in. You’re on a roller coaster and you can’t get off. Mental health concerns are no joke.
Let me tell you. IT SUCKS. I am not the type of person to wallow in self-pity. I don’t allow myself to fall down that rabbit hole. But I did. Again and again. How could I not? I’m 47 years old and I couldn’t find a job. Even after applying to almost 100 jobs a week. My skills were there. I even applied to jobs I was more than qualified for, only to be told I wasn’t qualified. Looking at the skills in the required and preferred, I checked off EACH AND EVERY ONE. There’s another rabbit hole. Letting a company make you feel worthless. That affects your mental health too.
I finally found a job and started at the end of October. Today is mid-December and I can say that I honestly LOVE my job. It’s part-time for now, Hope to have it go full-time because I need better benefits than I have through the Marketplace. I won’t lie, I still have my days where my mental health reminds me that I need to take a day to just be. But, it’s not as often. Just enough to remind you to take a break.
Thanks for sharing your feelings and experiences. I could completely relate to it, I remember when pandemic was high, my city remained in lockdown for a long time, social distancing was enforced and I gradually felt depression sneaking in, I was not able to sleep at night and even when I could manage to sleep, would wake up after 2-3 hours and then it was impossible to sleep.
Mental health is important, concerns like money, job and not having a social life needs to be effectively taken care of.
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