I’m sure you believe me when I say I’ll be perfectly all right the exact moment I get a job (provided it’s not like the one I got in November) and can thus come off benefits, but right now, in January 2015, I’m still having a bad time with the search. However, in contrast to January 2012, at least I have good days as well as bad days — and I think I’ve figured out at least part of the reason for my anxiety…
Of course, the best way to combat anxiety is to remove the life factor that’s causing it, hence my belief that I’ll be better once I’m working again (and my stipulation that it’s not like that last job, which really brought me down). However, despite the latest employment statistics, I can’t just wave a magic wand and get myself my perfect job*, and I have to keep applying, attending interviews, and perhaps accepting a job that wouldn’t necessarily be great but would at least afford me some more experience, like one in Colindale I’m interviewing for next week.
(* I mean, for this stage of my life — obviously my perfect job would be judging bikini contests in Hawaii… but hey, wouldn’t that be everyone’s perfect job? Even for women?)
I was wonderfully optimistic for the first couple of weeks of this month, and indeed had three (three!) interviews, but alas, all three have come to nought (though only two of them thus disappointed me, and one of those seemed too good to be true anyway). This week, alas, the jobs may have begun to dry up — but fortunately I still have a couple of recruiters working on my behalf, and I haven’t given up hope of working in IT, or at least getting a temp admin job to tide me over (though my luck’s been even worse there!).
I know I’ve got to fight on through this dreadful month, and that as long as I find something before the end of February (when my housing benefit gets decreased), I’ll be all right and won’t have to go back to Worthing. However, the days sitting at home applying for jobs, or banging my head against the brick wall of Windows Server 2008 (I want to hurry up and pass so I can forget it all again… ha ha, no?), have been getting to me lately.
I haven’t been as anxious as I was in December recently, but Monday, when I came back from spending the weekend in Worthing, was a bad day; however, I think I know some of the causes of short-term anxiety, and how to combat them:
- The cold: this one’s a no-brainer — cold makes me feel helpless! My housemates aren’t opposed to me having the heating on, and I just have to get through this week before the temperature outside gets to the right side of freezing, and I should be all right. Just a pity that a screw-up means British Gas won’t be giving us new loft insulation any time soon (they thought I was the owner and so didn’t remind me to ask the landlady for a letter confirming they’d have permission to survey our loft). However, this explains why my similar situation last August didn’t lead to a great deal of anxiety.
- Dehydration: again, it seems obvious when you think about it — a lack of the water of life is indeed a known trigger for anxiety. It was my fault on Monday, as I hadn’t drunk anything since breakfast, and taking pastilles to combat catarrh (which I seem to get seasonally) seems to exacerbate the problem.
- Malnutrition: hey, I’m not saying I’m in a famine-stricken country, but I need to take better note of meal times, especially on Monday when I was so distracted by online tests that all I had was a bag of nuts, and then a banana before I went climbing in the evening. Feeling hungry can lead to panicky hunter-gatherer feelings — it’s said that society is two meals and 24 hours away from collapse — but eating at regular times helps, especially for a possibly-autistic routine-loving person like me (hence another problem with my shift-based work in November). The quack also recommended Gaviscon (other indigestion remedies are available) to settle my stomach if it gets upset, as that can also trigger anxiety.
- Money worries: this is something that scares a lot of people in the world (but not the 1%, naturally) — but I need to bear in mind two things: I’m receiving enough in benefits (at least until March) to pay my rent and daily bills; and I’ve got a mother and grandmother to support me with the extras.
So, what am I doing on a daily basis? Having a lie-in, which I’d gladly give up if I could work instead, but still listening to Chris Evans on the radio. In between applying for jobs (including receiving calls from recruiters who have seen my CV online) and studying, I’ve been eating, watching the final series of 24 (and recognising places in London!), and playing (mostly) Batman: Arkham Origins, to complement the other two games I played before Christmas. I wonder if finishing will trigger my final acceptance into a job…
I’m also still trying to do all the “after-work” things I used to do: going climbing at the Castle, seeing my personal trainer (thanks to a loan from my mother), going to meetup groups such as yoga, and hanging out with “best mate”, going to the cinema or bowling. These are, after all, the things that make me want to stay in London, and while I could certainly go to my mother’s gym in Worthing, or indeed go climbing with her in Shoreham, the more social aspects of my life are very much London-based, and I doubt I could make new friends in Worthing, especially young people.
(Okay, admittedly the only way I stayed sane living with my folks in Worthing for three years before my post-grad days was by going to a local astronomy society, with a bunch of old men!)
All things considered, I think I’ll have to give up and move back to Worthing if I haven’t found even temp work by March; it’s not a happy prospect, but hopefully it’ll sharpen my resolve to find something soon, by any means necessary. However, just as last October a voice in my head told me I’d have a job by the next Full Moon, which it came to pass (for better or worse), so it said again recently. I’d been hoping it meant New Moon, which was today — but as long as I’m working again within the next two weeks, I can cope with what I’m going through right now.
However, if all else fails, I’ll just have to live in Worthing — but I won’t give up entirely: I’ll still keep fit, I’ll learn to drive, and I’ll apply for one of those programmes where you go to Japan to teach English. That way I could use my intelligence, and my mother could live vicariously through me somehow — and I’d be out of this country, hopefully for good…