I’m currently grappling with anxiety, and it’s taking a toll on my well-being. My mind is cluttered with so many thoughts, and I’m even developing a headache. I feel quite disoriented, unable to sort things out.

My last regular, everyday job dates back to 2010. I spent about eight years working for a major airline company, handling sales and various tasks. Unfortunately, I lost my job that year due to mental health issues, specifically severe depression and anxiety. Since then, I’ve been in therapy for many years. I was at a loss as I didn’t fully understand what was happening to me. I became isolated, experienced suicidal thoughts, and lost my positive outlook on life. I received government assistance, but it was an ongoing struggle.

In the early months of 2020, just before COVID-19 upended the world, I was making significant progress. My outlook improved, and I was eager to venture back into the working world and explore my options. However, when the pandemic hit, my goals were temporarily shelved due to lockdowns and restrictions.

Now, it’s 2022, and the past two years of isolation have had some impact on my mental health. I’ve managed to maintain control by being mindful of my thoughts and emotions, thanks to my years of therapy. But I can’t help but worry. I’m not getting any younger. Can I ever secure a regular job again after twelve years of unemployment? It’s a lengthy hiatus, and it scares me. I can’t live like this forever. I don’t know where to begin, especially with my current state of mind. Feeling stuck is not helping, and it’s incredibly frustrating.

Despite making substantial progress in recent years, I still have bouts of social anxiety. While I feel more confident, the lack of face-to-face interactions has hindered me from challenging myself further. I believe I can handle it, but I’ll never know unless I’m in a situation that pushes me to engage more with people, especially now that I’m in a better mental state.

I’m reaching out for guidance or assistance. Currently, I feel like I’m heading into a brick wall. I’d love to work within the travel industry again. I have extensive training with airline booking systems, ticketing, fare calculations, and customer service. I’m proficient in Dutch and English, both spoken and written. I’m also skilled in video editing and graphics design software. Could these skills lead me in the right direction?

I desperately need to clear my mind. Anxiety has plagued me throughout the day, giving me a pounding headache.

I received an email from a government representative informing me they’ll call in a few weeks to check on me. Perhaps I should explain everything I’ve been feeling and thinking today.

I’ll be honest; shortly after losing my job, I sought financial assistance from the government. I had a mortgage and ongoing bills to cover. Regrettably, their support was lacking. While I did receive financial aid, they kept pressuring me to find a new job despite my mental health challenges. At the time, I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was persistently down and depressed, suffering from frequent migraines. The government even cut off my support for one month because they believed I wasn’t making sufficient effort to find a job. This led to mounting debts and immense stress. I felt lost and overwhelmed, even contemplating suicide. I was unable to cope with anything. It wasn’t until my father practically had to drag me out of my apartment to see my doctor, as I had isolated myself from everything. My doctor then referred me to a psychiatrist, and I had numerous therapy sessions each week for many years.

Reflecting on the past, I find myself increasingly agitated by the lack of support and understanding I received from the government all those years ago. I distinctly remember telling the individual handling my case that I wasn’t well. Their response was, “You don’t look sick.” Back then, I didn’t give it much thought, but revisiting those words now, I’m filled with anger.

I need to release these feelings and avoid getting worked up again. It’s incredibly frustrating. I wish they had treated me as a human being rather than a number, demonstrating some compassion and understanding. Perhaps they could have genuinely assisted me in getting back on track. Instead, I wasted twelve years, dealing with depression, attending therapy sessions weekly, and struggling to make ends meet with their limited financial aid.

As I type this blog, I find myself shedding a few tears. It seems I’ve pinpointed the cause of my anxiety today: my past experiences with the government. Maybe it was necessary to get this off my chest. Let’s hope that during the forthcoming phone call in a few weeks, they’ll be willing to assist me with my needs. I’ll need to jot down everything I want to say. I genuinely desire a normal life again, a job, the ability to save money, and the freedom to enjoy life. I’m tired of living like this. I’m keeping a positive outlook for now, and I know this too shall pass. There may be a follow-up to this post, who knows?

Thank you for reading.