I am trying to figure out how I am going to support myself once I am released by my doctor to return to work. Since March I have racked up thousands of dollars’ worth of medical bills, even after my insurance paid their share. I don’t feel I can go back to a job as stressful as the one I had or I will eventually end up back in the hospital. But trying to find a non-stressful job that pays well – especially in this economy – is not going to be easy, if it’s possible at all. I’ve been following online job boards and am finding that there is not a lot of work I qualify for. I’ve been working in the same industry for the past 6 years and my skills are pretty much specialized for that field.
I’ve been thinking of trying to earn a living as a freelance writer. While there is certainly stress involved in being self-employed, and no guarantee of a regular paycheck, and no employer-paid benefits, there is more control over how much and what kinds of work I do, and when and how I do it. This would require a lot of self-discipline (which I am capable of) and a lot of self-confidence (which seems to have gone missing lately).
I haven’t been able to brainstorm many other options, so this is as far as I’ve gotten in my problem solving. Trying to evaluate the pros and cons is frustrating since there are so many unknowns, and I don’t really have a Plan B if freelancing doesn’t turn out to be feasible. It’s kind of a scary position to find myself in at this point in life.
Do I blame my predicament on my depression? Frankly, yes, I do. I have lost three jobs now as a result of my depression. My depression leads to isolation and anxiety and lack of self-worth, and that has impacted my ability to “put myself out there” in social or public or professional situations. There have been a lot of missed opportunities for professional networking. My depression also limits the level of responsibility I can take on, since I can’t predetermine when I will find the need for “down time.”
Next question: does it do me any good to blame my situation on my depression? Frankly, no, it doesn’t. I am where I am, and no woulda-shoulda-coulda thinking is going to make a bit of difference. I know there has to be some solution to my dilemma, I just haven’t figured it out yet, or maybe the Universe just hasn’t revealed it to me yet. So I keep plugging along not knowing where I’m headed, but figuring that it’s better to be headed somewhere as opposed to standing still.
Perhaps this is all a blessing in disguise. Maybe I’ve been “freed” from my job and from my identification with my job so that something bigger and better has the opportunity to enter my life. My preconceived notions about what my life should look like right now are no longer valid, so basically everything is up for redefining. Except my morals.
Time will tell. In the meantime I need to be patient and proactive. Not my strong suits, but I’ll give it my best shot.
What else can I do?