What It's Like to Look for a Job While Feeling Depressed

Looking for a job while experiencing depression illuminates how thick a slice of self-confidence can be that gets hacked off in the process. Just like that. I’m not talking about the “normal” kind of insecurity that reminds us we’re human. The kind that well meaning friends, family and lovers point to in an effort to bring you some calm, to help you feel not so alone. Because, “everyone feels insecure at some point. You’re not the only one who feels this way.” But it can feel so desperately alone.

Things like items on bullet-pointed lists of job postings that interest you, but sum up requirements that seem improbable for you to fulfill. Fearing colleagues you imagine you would work with already dislike you and wonder why you were offered the position. Worrying you’ve fallen behind on your task list for a project you’ve not yet been hired to manage. Depression is a creative jerk. It creates colorful cognitive dioramas, falsely foreboding failures and fissures. It’s a fucked up fantasy. Debilitating bullshit serum. It’s a snake with three heads. A tiger with tentacled talons. A shade of black too dark for the human eye to see.

Besides feeling this way sometimes — fearful, hesitant, twittered, jittery — I also do the things I enjoy (like record silly raps for potential employers and Vanilla Ice covers) and have meaningful interactions with people. I’m not always depressed or anxious, but sometimes I am. Sometimes my mind feels like a cognitive stew with a side salad. Sometimes my mood rides out pretty smooth an entire day. Sometimes my body and mind course through multiple moods by noon.

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Thinkstock photo via KatarzynaBialasiewicz.

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