What I Would Tell My New Employer About My Depression and Anxiety

It’s 5:30 a.m. I’ve not slept at all. To be fair, I am sick and have been sleeping a lot the last few days. I normally stay up until around 2 a.m. Maybe I’ll take some medication in a bit to help my brain shut off.

I have a job interview soon. Here we go again. One person said no already. I know I need a job; I know it might help me to have an external schedule, plus money is a good thing to have. I am so afraid of working though. Well, actually, I’m afraid of failing at my job. Again.

I had on the initial application that “yes, I have a disability,” and that was all there was to it. It didn’t come up in the phone interview. I’ve looked at the legal stuff online, talked with my therapist about what I should say… It feels weird, calling my depression and anxiety a disability, but it is affecting my life function right now. I need to put a positive spin on it for an interview, leave out most of it, not go into details. Just say a later shift would be better for me and gradually increasing my load would be better as well.

There are so many things I wish I could say though… I wish could be understood.

What would I say?

“I’d had my depression and anxiety through college. Unsure in relationships, down on myself about various things, but it never touched my school work. I never doubted that teaching is what I wanted to do.

But in that year, I went from being a 3.98 dual major in an advanced undergrad program to someone who had dropped out of student teaching twice and was being allowed to graduate without a teaching license, with an “independent studies in special education” degree. By this point, I was supposed to be one semester away from graduating with my masters. That was three semesters away now. My confidence? Shattered.

Fast-forward another year. I got a few more grad classes under my belt, completed a job search, got a job teaching middle school science at a private school, did OK teaching summer school at said school, was not effective at the mainstream teaching job I was not trained but was hired for, and ended up failing one of my final two grad courses.

So here we are, in the middle of the following year. I moved to the school’s resource department for the rest of the school year. It was so much better, but I knew the school isn’t where I want to be.

I try to put my heart into my job, but right now it’s healing still. If you hire me, I will do my best. Sometimes I will have off days, and my best may look different than someone else’s, but I hope it can still meet your standards.”

I can’t say any of this though. I believe it would scare them off. It makes me look unreliable. It makes me look like a failure. I put a mask on to hide all of that, but I feel guilty doing so. I’m showing them my résumé, showing them who I once was, what I once was capable of. I’m not that woman anymore. And the worst part is, I don’t even know why.

I’m looking at other jobs now. One has already said no. I’ve been jobless for a couple of months now; why am I still so tired? Why am I so afraid?

I pray to find a work place that feels safe… Where I don’t have to feel on my guard at all times, afraid of making the slightest mistake. Maybe someday. Maybe soon.

Please let them see the good in me. Let them understand, even if I don’t tell them everything.

Maybe someday. Maybe soon.

I can do this. I can become a functioning human being who goes out into the world again.

Maybe someday. Maybe soon.

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