I am terrified, absolutely terrified. Having filled in the Universal Credit application form a few weeks ago I had my initial interview with them over the phone. I though I better have a look at jobs first to have something to say, to show willing. I don’t really want a job until I’ve finished my bloody diploma but I can’t really say that.
Job sites terrify me. They pick though my confidence and rip them to shreds. I look at jobs, without any firm ideas about what I want, other than part time that aren’t too draining, and think through as follows:
- can I do them? Yes – do I want to? No – plenty of jobs as retail assistants in supermarkets locally. Hard work, bugger all money, and risk of COVID-19
- can I do them? Yes – do I want to? Maybe – there are jobs in the office admin / book keeping type role that I could possibly apply for that are really jobs that I want to get away from. But I know I could do 90% of the job description. The other 10% fills me with fear and inadequacy.
- can I do them? Probably – it is often said that women apply for jobs below their capability and men above. There are jobs that I see that could be really interesting but I doubt my ability to tick the boxes and get through an interview.
Which leads me to the next issue. I hate interviews. I loathe and fear them. If sitting in front of a screen looking at jobs brings on all the symptoms of anxiety such as trembling, brain freeze, butterflies in stomach, then the though of going for an interview is even worse. It’s all about self doubt, stuff that I’ve been trying to address in therapy but it’s massive. Most of the work I’ve found over the past 20 years has been through word of mouth and it was one of the reasons it took me so long to get a counselling placement.
And then we come to the actual interview with UC itself. I’ve said I need two days a week minimum to finish my course so I find myself committing to 20 hours per week job hunting. I can’t do that. I can’t even currently manage 2 hours a week on my last course assignment and I want to get that done. Could I have got away with fewer hours? I have no idea.
Then of course I start to spiral and panic about this last assignment. I’ve done nothing on it over August and September. It’s now October, leaving a little over 2 months before the deadline. The trust that I will somehow get through this is slipping away from me and if I have the added pressure of work coaches telling me I haven’t applied for enough jobs then what chance do I stand.
So I’m mulling over a course of action:
- get an appointment with one of the decent GPs and discuss anxiety (was on hold for ten minutes on Friday before deciding no-one was there). Mental health treatment through the NHS is incredibly poor, slow to happen and ineffectual (but better than nothing). I’ve tried before to get proper help and it’s not there. But if I’m going to struggle thinking about work then I might need medical support. Medication might even help. I’m not depressed, just floundering. Anxiety and depression are on my medical record but not C-PTSD as it’s self diagnosed.
- I can survive for a few more months without any proper income coming in, what with savings and rent from my children. So do I cancel my UC application and just try and focus on my course instead and get that done as a priority. The money dribbling out of savings worries me but not as much as losing my sanity. So why put myself through all this if I can put it off?
- On the other hand, it might force me to look at my CV, send it out a million times and get used to it ending in the bin. And a part time job might come out of it. But can I get through the agony of it and finish my qualification at the same time? I doubt it.
- On top of that I have to address my issue with opening sessions with new clients, which is part and parcel of the same thing. I’m talking to my manager about that this week.
I’ve got another appointment next week with self employment UC person and I’m going to see how that goes.
But my sleeping has gone to pot, my ability to focus is shot and I can’t actually concentrate on anything. The days are closing in which also affects my mood. All the good routines that I have put in place such as Pilates, exercise biking, better cooking and eating, activities to help me relax and the benefits they bring are just going out of the window.