In my last post, I shared of how discouraged I was when I left my job during my recent relapse of depression in July 2007. I also began to disappear from church after the morning service as I could not talk to people, could not let them see how terrible I look when depressed, or how much I was hurting…… It is difficult to explain about clinical depression. You have to go through it yourself to understand the endless misery, anguish and pain I experienced every day. But God is with me still and it is Him that uphold me. He has His purposes still and He cares deeply, despite my inability to feel all these at that time (Romans 8:28).
Just before I left my job, I have started looking for a new one. I sent out several applications and was finally shortlisted by one of them. After I left my job, I continued to search for a new job actively. As my mother did not know of my illness, I had to put on a strong front and face each day bravely. It was hard…. I was depressed, with little energy and concentration. I was also experiencing anxieties and inability to make decisions.
I was very lost when I applied for jobs. Most of their requirements were very intimidating. As I was doing mostly administrative work in my previous jobs, I looked mainly under administrative job again. Most of the firms preferred younger and energetic, outgoing and good looking women, who are able also to multi-task and work under great pressure and deadlines. These are totally out for me. How can I ever fit into their credentials? And how to cope with their demands? It was a very discouraging time…… I know God can provide and He will open a way for me. But going through the process when I was depressed, was still very difficult.
Sometimes, after I submitted an application, I will experience fear and anxieties. I worried over whether I can bring myself to the interview if they do call me up. I worried over whether they will accept me if they know I am suffering from a mental illness. There is still such a terrible stigma associated with mental illness. I prayed earnestly for grace and strength from the Lord daily.
When I went for the job interview in which I was short-listed, it was a frightening experience. I was fearful of how my interviewers will react when they read in my application form that I am suffering from asthma and bipolar, and on medications for both. It is mandatory to declare a person’s health condition in most job application forms. Most of the other candidates at the job interview were young and definitely more energetic women than me. I thank God for seeing me through the interview. The waiting there seemed forever but it was finally over. I did not too badly at the interview considering my depression at that time. My interviewers told me that they will contact me if they decided to take me on. However, I never heard from them until much later. It was a letter from them telling me that I was not selected.
When my Pastor knows about my situation, he informed the church about it by publishing it in our church bulletin. Many friends became concerned and they started praying for me. Thank God for their prayers.
So my search continued on. For about 2 weeks, I was daily looking out for job vacancies that suits me and applying for them. I hardly hear from any potential employer or job agencies. To me it seemed so impossible to find a job at that point of time. But God is merciful and faithful. Just when I thought it is impossible to find a job in view of my age and mental illness, a miraculous opening appears!
I will share about it in my next post, God willing