This blog was written by Garry, an unemployed man who is really struggling to find work, and is part of his JSA90 series. It tells his story in searing words about how bad being unemployed can make you feel, and how close it can push you to the edge:
'I've never seen any blogger – even on these types of blogs (unemployed, claiming benefits etc) – how being unemployed actually makes people feel. I’m feeling really down at the minute so I thought I could go through it on here to hopefully, at the very least, show the world that the unemployed do care; we don’t want to be unemployed.
I have no reason to be awake tomorrow. Almost, anyway. I could stay in bed if I wanted to but I wouldn’t be achieving anything if I did so what would be the point? I suppose I could apply for jobs but I’ve done that today, I done it yesterday, I’ll be doing it again tomorrow no doubt and to achieve what? I have no interviews lined up. I’m awaiting a response from one interview but it’ll be the same story all over again: the employer thinking he is able to assess the ability of the applicant for the job. Am I able to do the tasks outlined in the job profile? Am I able to use MS Office/Excel? Am I going to be awake and at work for 9 am? Do I want to do the work? Do I care enough, given that the job was a support worker, working with homeless young adults? The employer will probably think not.
See, that’s where my passion lies. Supporting those people who are classed as vulnerable. Homeless, drug and, or alcohol problems, offenders, mental health challenges like anxiety and depression, thoughts of suicide. If I had the world my way nobody would ever feel like that so I suppose that’s what I would like to achieve. It would be impossible to do it for everybody in the world but I could try my best to help as many people as I could. That’s what I’d love to do. And it’s not like I have no experience in the sector as I have worked with offenders in the past…
But you know what, I’m unemployed, I’m in dire need for a secure monthly wage that’ll pay my rent, allow me to eat and hopefully enjoy a few things on the side like a games console or go to see my girlfriend who lives all the way down south so ultimately I’ll be happy with any job. She has to come see me and I hate it. I do have a TV but no TV licence so I only use it as a monitor for my PC. My flat, thankfully, was from a social housing list and I’m really grateful for such a scheme to exist as I had been homeless since 17 (now 24). But it wasn’t my doing. I didn’t get this flat all on my own. I just applied to be given a number and eventually my number moved up the list until I was first for a flat after a viewing. It’s a small flat and it gets extremely cold in here – due to insulation, I suppose. I don’t know. But it’s freezing. If I had money I could buy gas. Mind you, if I had money I could also buy electric as I’m running out of that too. And food.
These things are basic commodities which we all need to survive in this country. I can’t just run away and join a tribe in a forest, nor can I go and live in a tent and live off wild deer. Wild camping is illegal as is killing dear of course. So the effect of having next to no money is not being able to fend for myself. And the effect of not having a job is not being able to survive and live a healthy and happy life. Sure. My girlfriend makes me happy but I see her once a month so it’s hard for that to be the main positive in my life, especially when she goes. But even aside from all of this, there are still more immediate concerns I have for myself…
My mental health is at an all time low. All these rejection emails from job applications – most of which I spent a lot of time writing cover letters for and rewording my CV and thinking I done a good job at that. I used to have no problems with my confidence as you can already see I do now. I’m already expecting to fail. I’ve tried to maintain positivity in myself but it’s next to impossible for me now. It does help but not when you have all this rejection and employers thinking they’re able to assess your suitability for the role just by talking to you for thirty minutes. Clearly, I’m depressed. I have just gone through my lack in confidence but there’s more. I have no motivation any more. I feel like I’ve worn all of that out. My moods change very rapidly too. Just forty minutes ago I found my new favourite song (https://youtu.be/G15btlaZR_k) and I loved it. It took all of my worries away but I can’t keep playing it over and over. I’ll get sick of it but more to the point, I have a very limited amount of internet to use until payday. The feeling of no self worth or value. Who cares about me? I know people do but why? What’s special about me? Nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing. Yet they’re the only reason I’m still here.
The most worrying? The thoughts of being better off if I were dead. It would be relatively easy unless I were to do it in a way that doesn’t bother anybody else but nope, can’t think of a way. And while I think this would be a cruel thing to do to my family, girlfriend and my friends, I don’t feel like I want to care about them. I know it’s selfish but right now, at this point in time, it’s only me caring about myself so of course I’m going to feel selfish. I’m the one that’s finding it hard just keeping myself alive.
I have been knocked down time and time again and before recently I got back up, brushed myself off and got the bugger on with it but no more. I don’t have the energy for it any more.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a cry for attention, nor is it a cry for help. I’ll plod along with these feelings because it’s what I’m used to. I just want people out there to know that if you ever think all of the unemployed love claiming benefits, if you think having nothing to do every day of your life, only really sitting around watching TV or chilling out is amazing and we have it easy then you’re wrong. It’s fucking awful and I’d do anything to get myself out. But how do I even do that? The ways I’m told are not working. I have applied for jobs, I can’t do training and even if I did it’d take at least a year to get a recognised qualification, I can’t volunteer for jobs any more either to get experience.
So what am I to do now? Sit around and hope that tomorrow is my lucky day; the day I’m finally offered a job where I can prove myself and take myself away from this torture? Because for all I know tomorrow might just be the day I have enough.
That’s how it feels to be unemployed.'