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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Walking through the valley

Previously, I blogged about my current jobless state and how it has rattled my cage.

I have been mostly silent about this whole process over here at my blog the last few days, but the emotional roller-coaster has been throwing me around, tossing me about and driving me nuts.

Last week was especially bad.

I had seemingly exhausted all known leads for possible job prospects and none had gone past the "phone-interview" phase.

In fact, by Tuesday I was almost convinced that I was truly unemployable and that I had to make some drastic decisions about my future and my family's well-being.

And I mean drastic.

Drastic but ill-advised and possibly, dumb.

My logic was off-balanced by my depression, but even in that grasping-on-to-the-straws state, I hung on to the tiny bit of hope/trust I have in God.

I was describing my condition to someone as hunging on by the skin of my teeth, and yet I was aware at the back of my mind that underneath me are the everlasting arms of my loving Heavenly Father.

Anyhow, I survived the emotional down-swing of my bipolar condition and came out of it slightly scathed, but with a little glimmer of hope that I might have found a job
that is ideal for me, given my passion, skills, experience and personality.

It is not only a job that my skills, training and experience will put me in good stead as a worker, but it was also a job with a company whose ethos and culture in which I belive I could thrive in. So, I went in to the interview and was really gung ho about it all. I sold myself like I have never done so before.

About fifteen minutes into the interview, one of the interviewer said to me, "____, I am sorry, but I do not wish to waste your time and mine. You are just not the right person for this job."

I thought, Hmmm, good ploy. He is only trying to see how I handle objections. So I put out a teaser and after a couple of exchanges to determine that it was the right move, I went into my Objection Handling Spiel.

He put out the palm of his hand in front of my face.

"Let's just leave it at that, shall we?"

To say that I was dismayed is understating it.

What do you mean? You hardly know me! I am so right for the job! I can do it too! Wait! You are making a bloody mistake!

As I drove away from that interview, anger turned into self-pity.

If only I had been more agressive. If only I had given them more information about ...

Self-pity turned into self-loathing.

You fucking idiot. You blew it! I knew it! You didn't have it in you! You bloody imposter! Who do you think you are! You are a useless no-good sonofabitch! You're a bum!

Self-loathing turned worse...

In the midst of all this mental self-torture, I saw that I was beating up myself because of how I was viewing myself.

You see, I judged myself based on who I thought I was. And that view of myself was based on what I had or had not achieved. And what I have or don't have in my bank accounts and my non-existent stock portfolio.

Further, I also saw that my depression, or at least some of what was contributing to my distress, mental torment and my generally downcast feeling was the idea that I was solely responsible for supporting my family, being "successful" in life and fulfilling my duties as a father, provider and defender of my family.

God had to jolt me out of my stupor and think outside of myself. He had to lead me to the place where I have to acknowledge His Lordship and Providence for my family.

When I finally came to realize that He is indeed my Father Who cares for me, loves me and provides for me, I begin to open my eyes to the vast resources He has already prepared for me. I begin to pray, "Lord, help me to find my strength, resources, contentment and completeness in you alone."

My wife reminded me that the promise that He has given us in Genesis 50:20,21 and Psalm 81:10 still hold true.

She also reminded me that when my mind goes astray and starts to wander in the labyrinths of worry and fear, to only dwell (think/meditate/reflect) on
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable.
This I will do, and I will rest on the Lord.