Worst November ever

Comic Book GuyNo, not November 2011, the month I had my Facebook breakdown and all my friends flocked to my aid; I mean November 2014, the one that’s just finishing as I write these words.  I sincerely hope things will be better in December, and more so in January; for now, though, I’ve felt so bad that I’ve sought solace from two entities to which I never thought I’d have to turn again…

First things first: I’m unemployed.  Yes, the boss of the company where I was doing shift work found out I was applying for other jobs (thanks to an eavesdropper who doesn’t work at the weekend), and decided I should go with one week’s notice.  That was a horrible week, starting with a sleepless night, and I felt a great deal of anxiety — though admittedly the job itself had been giving me a lot of that just by twisting my normal work-life balance completely out of shape, and I’d felt physically ill and unable to digest food properly.  I would have been happy to work the following week as well (which would have involved three day shifts, so no big deal), but never mind — it’s over, and I somehow earned £900 net, which is more than enough for another month’s rent!

This week just finished was almost as bad, because I’ve felt a similar level of anxiety, combined with feeling cold due to having to stay in during the day applying for jobs (can’t really put the heating on with only one person in the house), and frustrated with IT communications — not only the failure of most recruiters to get in touch with me regarding my applications, but also in general.  My mobile provider has always been pretty bad in the Finchley area, but at the end of October (Halloween was the last good day, you might say — it was certainly warm!), signal strength went through the floor and I can now only make and receive calls if I put my phone by the window (so good job I have Bluetooth headphones).  It’s been consistently bad through November, and their massive mobile Internet downtime in London yesterday finally convinced me to switch to an alternate company; my number gets ported on Tuesday, so from that point on things should be all right…

Similarly, my e-mail provider is having problems at the moment (possibly due to their insistence on still using Server 2003) — since it only affects two of the mailboxes I set up with them (one I created at the weekend for my job applications, the other I upgraded), I can’t believe it’s a problem with my installation of Outlook.  The company in question has had a lot of issues over the past few years and is pretty much a byword for lousy e-mail and web hosting, so it looks like I’ll have to leave them as well —  the problem being the hassle this will involve, and I need to get it done before they charge me for another year.

(Maybe I should say “stuff it” and just go over to Gmail or similar entirely, and stop having this vanity e-mail domain?)

I have enough money (especially with my, ahem, windfall from my former job) to pay my rent for a few more months, especially if I have support from my folks, but I still felt compelled to go to the Job Centre to sign on for Jobseeker’s Allowance and housing benefit.  Oh, they couldn’t even text me the right date to come on, but never mind — my main concern now is getting them a copy of our tenancy agreement on Monday, and then applying for the sort of jobs they want me to apply for.  I wish it weren’t necessary and that I could find a new job, in either IT or admin (temporary, in order to pay the bills), at the drop of a hat; but no, I have to go through this process that makes me feel like some kind of chancer who needs to be put in line.  I’m already applying like crazy for 1st line IT jobs, but they want me to have “a” job, not my dream job…

The trouble I have is not enough experience in IT helpdesk to secure a proper job; however, I had an interview on Tuesday which might set me on the right course: an ongoing contract job up in Harrow that would suit me down to the ground (I’d even have plenty of time sitting on the Tube and Overground to read… assuming I got a seat).  The guy seemed to like me and want me on board, and I was supposed to hear on Friday… and when I heard nothing, not even a “no”, I actually found myself praying.  I’d already started telling myself things will get better during my last few evening shifts last week, but now I’d turned to the Christian God, who I’d stopped believing in a long time ago.  The last refuge of a scoundrel?

(Mind you, way back on that night, I prayed that I’d get a chance to kiss that girl, and the rest is history — ask and ye shall receive?)

This whole month has sapped my happiness and good cheer — it’s lucky I didn’t close this blog down when my life seemed to be going well, as it appears I need it now more than ever — and it’s been hard for me to enjoy things that normally make me happy, like Gwar (oh noes!) and video games.  Still, I’ve managed to wring some joy from this terrible time: I’ve gone climbing, I’ve had personal training (he taught me boxing and was impressed at how quickly I picked it up), I’ve gone bowling with “best mate”, and I’ve even helped with a yoga session while the normal guy was in Portugal (and thus got it free)!  Plus, they’re finally showing new episodes of American Dad! on BBC3, which I wouldn’t be able to watch if I had evening or night shifts, right?

I just want a job, and soon, so I don’t feel like I’m letting everyone down (or at risk of eviction for being more trouble than I’m worth).  Winter is the worst time of year to be unemployed, or to feel depressed, or to run short of money… oh, hell, winter is the worst time of year, full-stop.  Even Christmas isn’t making me happy this year, though chances are I’ll be able to spend all of it with my folks, unless I get a phone call tomorrow… and indeed I’m going to visit my folks this week, before they go to Rome for a holiday.  The Job Centre won’t like it, but they can go hang — I’ll still be applying for jobs (more so, since I’ll be able to use the home phone line instead of spending loads on my mobile bill), and I’ll rush back to the Smoke if I have an interview, or indeed an actual job!

If nothing else, I guess this chapter of my life is toughening me up and forcing me to confront my anxiety head-on — I’m going to arrange some therapy via my doctor, and hopefully force it out of my life once and for all, because it’s done nothing but hold me back: whether it be making me sick with worry, stopping me asking girls out or even just preventing me getting to the top of a 12-metre climbing wall, it serves me no purpose and I WILL be rid of it!  I’m determined that November 2014 will mark the beginning of the end of my anxiety problems, and that in 2015 I will, finally, sort everything out in my life and be able to do the things I want to do once again.  In short, once these cold, dark days are over and the nights begin to shorten…


7 thoughts on “Worst November ever

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