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Job Search Depression. Read This. Pass It On.

January 3rd, 2012

I don’t know why I’ve had this on my mind lately. Maybe because of things I’ve personally been working through. But it keeps getting in front of me, again and again and again. So it must be a message I need to put out there.

Hopefully this post will save someone’s life.

Isn’t that an overly egoistic thing to write?  That a post I’m writing today might be a lifesaver for someone?

How crass of me to even write that.

Except for one thing: I lived through my own deep, dark depression (even though I didn’t recognize it, and wouldn’t have admitted it).  I wrote about it on my post Depression Clouds Everything, which at this time has 524 comments (my most-commented post). I thought NO ONE would comment.  But many did, along with private emails, saying “I thought I was alone, feeling this way.”

No, you are not alone.  And when you are depressed, others sense it. They usually don’t know how to help, and worse, they are reluctant to help in your job search (see this post: I Smell Blood!)

Alison Doyle, of About.com, pointed me to this fantastic post: Top 8 Tips for Living with Depression.  This is an absolute must-read.  Print it out.  Share it.  Re-read it.  Go to the links that each of the 8 Tips have.  Don’t disregard any of the 8 as “oh, I tried that.  Didn’t work.”  This is real stuff that can have real impact.

Then, browsing Facebook this morning I saw a share by Pam Slim, of Escape from Cubicle Nation, who shared a post from Jenny Lawson (aka, The Bloggess), about her battles and victories with depression.

The post is titled The fight goes on. It has 2 parts… the first part is a letter that she wrote after a successful round battling her depression.  And then the second part… where she gets more into the nitty gritty of what depression is.  She talks candidly about the battle.  About “self-harm.”  Yes, that kind of self-harm.

She ends with this line: “I haven’t hurt myself in 3 days.”  What have you done in the last 3 days?  Celebrated a new year, enjoyed the victories of last year, and thought about what you’ll accomplish this year?

For every person how enjoys and celebrates and remembers, I wonder how many Jennys there are out there who are hurting so bad that a 3-day victory is a major accomplishment.

They are in your life – you might not know about them.  I hope they can have their own 3-day victory.  And I hope we can somehow be an inspiration, or a channel to help/success, for them.

This is such a relevant topic.  It affects those who are experiencing failure and success, good and bad… please, keep them in mind, and help them with a smile, or an act of kindness, or a non-judging gesture.

And share these links, which just might provide the support or tools or ideas to help them make it one more day:

Just one more day.

5 Comments »

5 responses to “Job Search Depression. Read This. Pass It On.”

  1. Steve Levy says:

    let me add one more to the list…

    Smile.

    Smile at people
    Smile at yourself in the mirror
    Smile at trees
    Smile at cats and dogs
    Smile at angry drivers

    It isn’t easy to smile when you’re up to your ass in alligators but you have to start somewhere.

  2. David Raskin says:

    “Anger is depression turned inward.” A quip from Dr. Melfi on The Sopranos, and amazingly true. Watch the fuse with people you love.

  3. Jason,

    I applaud you for being brave in sharing your struggles with others, instead of sticking with just lighthearted career banter. For many, just being in a job search can bring up feelings of inadequacy, questions of “who am I without this job?” and insecurities they didn’t know they had. It’s very real, and it’s something that very few folks talk about, at least in public.

    Really like reading your posts…you always tell it like it is.

    Laura

  4. Jason Alba says:

    @Steve – thank you – my daughter and I were just talking about that… smiling is a powerful thing. We are both more committed to smiling more this year :)

    @David – that is an interesting quote – thank you! And yes, I agree, we should watch the signs for depression from others.

    @Laura – well thank you :)

  5. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jason

    This is such an important topic. So many folks are affected by depression – someone very dear to me has been fighting the fight since she was 14. It’s so hard for the person with depression and it’s hard on families as well.

    Thanks for being so open about your battle, for shining the light on this topic and for pointing us to some great resources and writing. I’m very moved by Jenny’s posts and will pass them on to the someone I love who is taking some new and courageous steps in her battle.

    Warmly,
    Carolyn