Tuesday, January 23, 2007

When Your Emotions Hit Rock Bottom

I can't remember a time where I thought I knew how depression felt -- sure, I've been "down" in my life before, but I don't think I had ever really felt real depression.

I think that's changed now.

Last week, I bottomed out emotionally. Getting off the couch seemed to be too much of a chore; I didn't want to eat; I didn't want to read; I didn't want to do anything. None of my favorite things interested me, and I didn't feel like going through the motions of even showering or getting dressed every morning. At certain points, I felt like a caged animal, walking in circles around the house and not really knowing where I was supposed to be going or what I was supposed to be doing.

My wife encouraged me to pick up a project I had been pondering for a while -- a series of articles on the Civil Rights Movement in my hometown. For a time, I felt rejuvenated, and I had a wonderful trip back home to visit family and start some preliminary research on the articles. I thought that perhaps I had pulled myself out of the spiral (although a spiral implies movement, and I didn't feel like I was really moving).

And then yesterday, I got rejected by two more jobs that I had interviewed with -- interviews that I thought had gone exceptionally well, and for jobs that I was hopeful I had a shot at. In fact, I had been told that I was one of three finalists at one of them -- and now, they've suddenly pulled in a new candidate that had a previous connection to the organization and who, as I was told in the e-mail that they sent to me, "has the perfect background." It doesn't appear now that they feel there's any need for me to come in for a final interview. Having your hopes dashed and being insulted in the same e-mail; what a day.

So now, I feel pretty much that I'm back where I was last week. I showered and dressed first thing this morning in an effort to feel like I've got a routine -- but the routine at this point is just me moving back to the drawing board. One rejection I expected, three isn't surprising. But a baker's dozen? Makes you feel really under-appreciated.

And with a new daughter on the way two weeks from today, and being concerned about how to support a growing family, the gray sky that I see outside the window seems very appropriate. Even the snow outside has morphed into that slushy, brown ice -- perfect for the day.


Dave said...

Hey Matt, after leaving a comment on my own blog in reply to yours, I dropped in here to see what was new.

You're in a tough spot and I feel bad for you. My prayers are that you will find the right place where your talents can be put to productive use, and quickly. It's been a long time since I was unemployed, but I did go through a phase of that when my wife was pregnant with our youngest son. Those words you wrote really hit home. I hope the situation improves for you soon.

Kansas Bob said...

Not sure that you caught my post on my experience with depression. Here is a bit from it:

"In all this I have had to change and change has not come easy for me ... needing to change has been cause for depression ... giving up on my life goals has brought darkness ... it has not been easy for this onetime fundamentalist. I have found, and I continue to find, that life can only be found in the Lord."

Seasons like this Doug are the heart of the battle ... seasons I hate ... but seasons that change me. Embracing the rejection without letting it define you is very hard ... finding encouragement in the Lord can feel impossible.

I hate that you are going through this Matt but rejoice in the redemption that YOU WILL FIND in this season. John Eldredge really lays out the battle in Waking the Dead when he says:

"The story of your life is the story of the journey of your heart through a dangerous and beautiful world. It's the story of the long and sustained assault on your heart by the Enemy who knows who you could be ... and fears you. But it's also the story of the long and mysterious pursuit of your heart by the God who knows you truly and loves you deeply."

Praying that God will bring you out of this season stronger than you went in.

Blessings, KB

brian said...


This is a rough time. I've only been unemployed once and it was very difficult for me. I realized that a large part of how I defined myself was in what I did for a living. Not to mention the stress of wondering if you'll ever work again. But, this is just a season and this too shall pass. The depression is an emotion, and like all emotions, will also pass.

To have this hit in winter is probably especially tough. The gray skies always put me in a bit of a funk, no matter how well things are going. But, I'm trying to learn to embrace this time, too.

My thoughts are with you. I hope you find employment very soon.

Karen said...

{{{Matt}}} Echoing what the others have said, too.
I know it seems frightening with a baby on the way, but this will pass, you WILL find a job you enjoy. It just takes time. Sounds like you dodged a few bullets with the ones you interviewed.
It sounds trite...but I remember the last job I had that was in an office...took me awhile to find it, had a young child...but it was worth the pain. Prayers for you!

rdl said...

So sorry to hear you feeling this way. It always suprises me when someone I think is so cheery and postive suffers from this as well as me - who is the original doom & gloom. You sound like you have a handle on it and I know you will be fine.

Margaret said...

Matt-I just caught up on reading blogs, and this really touches me. I wanted to let you know I'm praying for you...don't know how or if that helps, but I wish that things weren't so hard for you right now. There aren't really words for this...just know I'm thinking about you.

ipanema said...

I've been there - though mine was losing someone I love dearly. I know the feeling. Sometimes we have to think about all the good things that are still in front of us - family, friends, life itself. It's worth celebrating after all. Money, prestige, career give you a different high but life isn't all that. Learn to appreciate small things to be fulfilled and to see what's in store for you. Hopefully you'll see the light.

All the best.

SusansPlace said...

Matt, just read your post here. I am sorry for the struggle. Have you seen a doctor or therapist? I am actually looking for a therapist to help me with a few issues. I read that Einstein when asked about the hundreds of failed attempts at creating electricity said that there were no failures, just experiences that taught him and brought him closer to the day that he would find the formula for electricity. That is a major paraphrase of what Einstien said but I can't help belive that you are learning something with each interview and that you are moving closer to the formula that will bring you into a job that is just right for you.
Keep on keeping on, Matt!