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Depression & Career: A guest post from Dee Ann

Featuring guest posts from chipur readers is a true joy. It provides a wonderful sense of relevance and sharing. Dee Ann sent along this piece, and I know you’ll find it meaningful. Thanks, Dee Ann!

My career meant so much to me.  It defined me.  I wanted to prove to my father that I could be successful.  My parents divorced when I was three and I felt betrayed and abandoned by my father.

I had many jobs and they all included creativity and writing.  As a wife, mother of two, and part time college student working full time; I headed toward the career field that I found exciting and fun. After seven years I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing.  I job hopped several times knowing I wanted to succeed and advance.

The first time I was laid off I worked as a Marketing Specialist.  I loved the job.  I was able to use my creativity, writing, and outgoing demeanor.  Later I would see a pattern emerging that marketing people were let go first, and many of these positions were far and few in between.

When I first lost my job, I was overwhelmed by feelings of betrayal – or as I look back, abandonment/failure and hurt. I grieved and felt sorry for myself, but I pushed myself and three weeks later I was offered a position as Marketing Manager. Without hesitation I took the job and regretted my decision from that day forward. I accepted the job too quickly and I relate the acceptance of the position to buyer’s remorse.

After nine months I found another position as a Marketing Director.  I was offered a substantial salary with commission after 90 days.  My commission check was a little over $100 and I received it after a year.  The company misled me and once again I was betrayed. My performance suffered and I was fired.

As a two-income family, the economy was in a slump and I went to a temporary agency.  Within a week I was hired as a temporary administrative assistant with no commitment to hire me.  I continued to look for work in the marketing field and I was hired as a full time Marketing Specialist working at a large firm that was closely related to the original marketing position that I loved several years previously.

Anxiety attacks began.  Could I do this job? Would I be worthy or fail?  The temp job ended and I was expected to start my permanent job in a couple weeks.  For days I remained in bed, I only escaped my room to grab a sandwich or use the bathroom.  I was terrified that I couldn’t do it.

I convinced myself that the company would eventually let me go.  I saw my doctor during this time and was prescribed depression and anxiety medication.  My first day of employment came and went.  I was afraid of the eventual hurt and betrayal and the day I would be let go.

For over a year I laid around the house, not functioning, not talking to my friends – and my family did not understand my depression. With the help of therapy, I began to apply for jobs.

Once again I found a temporary position as an administration assistant. It wasn’t a marketing job but I was working again.  I was not lying in bed sleeping the day away.  Unfortunately, after 16 months of employment the company outsourced the entire department and once again I was out of a job.

I am back to sleeping my day away, hiding from my family and my only link to the world is my phone, TV, and internet.  Lying in bed all day is no way to live.  I’m sleeping my life away and this could be the time for a career change.  I’ll never know until I get out of bed, push myself and stop procrastinating.

Bad things happen to everyone and my way of dealing with the layoffs and firing was to hide.  Sleep was, and is, my drug of choice.  I cannot let a job define me because I know the day I have a headstone on my grave, it will not say “I was a great Marketer.”

My deepest thanks to Dee Ann for sharing such personal and private feelings and thoughts. I’m thinking many of us can relate. It would be great if we could offer Dee Ann some healing ideas and encouragement. It’s easy to do in a comment…