Why I don’t have a Job


Again things are swirling around and I’m feeling a little bit judged with maybe a tad bit of resentment mixed in there. But, to clear the air I will comment on that all mighty question “Why don’t I have a job?”

The reason? My health. Or rather the lack of it. I have not been well over the past two years. Mental illness is a cruel disease in that it robs you of your ability to function as a ‘normal’ person in society. Instead I deal with depression, highs, anxiety & social phobias. It more often than not has me sequestered away in my apt not wanting to venture out into the ‘real world’. As mentioned in an earlier post, I am working hard to try to get better but it just seems to be taking much longer and taking more effort than previous ‘episodes’.

The other reason,… I have a difficult time getting jobs and then when I do finally get one I can’t seem to keep it. I have had 21 jobs over the past 30 yrs – and that’s with taking the few years out to raise the girls. (And don’t forget that even though I lost custody of my daughters when I got really sick in 2003, I was there for them in their early years) Right now my resume is not good to say the least. No one wants to hire me because of my job history. Right away they want to know “Why I have had so many jobs?” and then “Why did I leave so many jobs?” and then finally “Why are there such long gaps in between these jobs?” And the answer is of course, my illness. If there’s one thing consistent about bipolar/depression it’s that it’s NOT consistent. I have ups and down. I go through periods where I am doing great. I have a job,.. do really well at it,… and take care of myself pretty much like a ‘normal’ person. But then I will crash. And I will go through a very dark depression which most times lands me in hospital. because these crashes happen so quickly and out of the blue, often I just end up in hospital and don’t even notify my work. Almost always getting fired. You are probably wondering why I don’t call them – and in short, at that moment in time I really can’t. I’m too sick. I’ve either taken to my bed and can’t function or I’m in the hospital. Either way, a job is the last thing on my mind and at that moment could care less if I lose it. It’s not until I start to get better that I realize I am now job-less – again. This has become a pattern that I have followed over and over again. And you can only do this for so many years before it starts to turn around and bite you in the backside.

My last job at Y*** M****** was my favorite. I almost always worked the walk-in shift from 3 to midnight. I did so well at it. I had 3 work appraisals while employed with them and all 3 were above average in my performance. So when I’m ‘well’ I am very capable. But, as in the past, I lost this job (Jan 2008). I ended up in hospital after an attempted overdose. This particular ‘crash’ was a bad one and took a long time to recover from. Then, Y*** M****** was very reluctant to take me back as they weren’t convinced I was strong enough to handle a full-time hectic job yet. But, because they offered no benefits, they could not give me short-term disability. I kept hanging on in the hopes I could go back but they kept saying no. Eventually, I just gave up and resigned. It was obvious they didn’t want me back. (Not that I blame them) It was an unfortunate situation.

I eventually got another job as a cashier at W******. But I left on bad terms there too when after a year I ‘crashed’ again and didnt’ call them. They eventually fired me for not showing up for my scheduled shifts. So, no reference here either,… and so the pattern went on,…

So I am now having a terrible time getting a job. I almost got a job at W****** here in St. Thomas but after they called my last job that fell through, obviously. I tried getting work all over St. Thomas but it’s the same over and over again. Most can’t even see past my resume. If I do manage to get as far as an interview than those 3 dreaded questions are always asked (why so many?Why did you keep leaving/ & why the long gaps in between?,..) and that results in no job offer. I have tried all the fast food, department stores, malls, anything but can’t get myself a job.

Now I am well aware that this is all a result of my own doing. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating and disheartening. Another job I loved was babysitting but lets face it,…. Bipolar? depression? would you hire me to look after your kids?

So THAT is why I’m not working right now. I want to work but my past work history and my present illness are just preventing me right now. I haven’t given up hope though. Once my hand has healed completely and I’m doing better mentally, I want to look into cleaning houses or something that may be easier to get into as I may get away with not needing references, etc,.. In the meantime, I am open to any & all suggestions. And a helping hand into a job would be greatly appreciated if anyone is in that position to help.

I hope this will end some of the rumours/opinions of me that seem to be floating around. I’m a little bit miffed that I need to ‘air my dirty laundry’ and justify my decisions and actions but I have. I think what bothered me the most, was that the people ‘talking’ haven’t seen or been in my life in well over 10 years so making judgments really wasn’t fair since they have no clue to what I’ve been through or am going through now.  Oh well, such is life,… Some will believe,… some will not,… let the opinions land where they may.


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