Honesty Hour: Unemployment Fatigue in the COVID Season

Hello friends! Welcome to honesty hour with Michelle. Today, I’d like to speak on the subject of unemployment fatigue.

I’ve been unemployed on and off since March 2020. I have a masters degree and am an extremely hard worker. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I’d be unemployed for 8 months. I worked way too hard in my life to end up without a job. And maybe some of you feel the same way.

I know I can go get a job at a grocery store or warehouse if I need, but the thing is I’m afraid of COVID. I am afraid of giving this virus to the people I love. It’s as simple as that. This season is full of unknowns, and I am just riding the tide.

What have I done during this long winded season of unemployment you ask? Well, I have tried to make the most of it. For example, I started a college certificate program for Marketing and Sales, which I will finish in December. I have worked as a preschool teacher for a few weeks, until they let me go due to the low number of students (why did they hire me knowing this???). I planned and trained for a thru-hike of the Colorado Trail. I hike all 485 miles of the Colorado Trail. I took a few trips around the state of Colorado to hike and drink coffee in different places. I visited Montana to visit old friends and feed some goats. I read my Bible every day. Prayed for joy, hope, and love over this planet, my country, and my future. I watched The Office a lot. I had some really great experiences.

But.

I have also had countless sleepless nights. I’ve been depressed and anxious about the future. I have baked over 100 million calories worth of cakes and cookies (which is only bad because I’ve eaten all these things). I have applied to over 100 jobs. I have gotten into fights with people I’m close to because I lash out. I spent wayyy too much money on things I don’t need. I lost interest in several things that used to bring me joy, and the list could just go on and on.

I believe this phenomena is called “unemployment fatigue.” And it is a fatigue unlike any other, because it is taking time during a pandemic. I. Am. Tired.

I want to contribute to the world. I want to know what my purpose is. I was about to start a new full-time job (with benefits!) in April, but that came to a halt when COVID caused the first shut down. I was on track, and then suddenly, I was stranded without any way of escape. Well, besides the obvious jobs that would put myself and my family at risk.

Let me just say, that I appreciate all the hard work the essential workers have done during the pandemic. I especially admire all the health care workers who continue to do their part even after seeing how stupid humanity can be. I thank you, I applaud you, and I sincerely hope this all ends soon for your good.

I know this is a scary time, y’all. This post is just a reminder that if you are struggling, you are not alone. It is a reminder that being outside cannot always fix the doubts and questions in your mind.

However, being outside has been my greatest therapy. Well, that, and God’s goodness. I want you all to know that if you’re feeling stuck during this crazy time to go outside, get some air, and take a deep breath. We will get through this.

And when we get through this, we will be stronger, happier, and more united. I know it sounds cliche, but I have to keep telling myself these things because I need to know it, too.

Keep your heads up,

Michelle

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