Too long unemployed. Now unemployable

I work at home as an amateur composer. I also work as a volunteer with my church in our Legion of Mary group. This gives me the wide berth of flexibility that I need to cope with the extreme, and frequent migraine headaches that I get from 1 to 4 times a week, week upon week. They are pretty regular and constant. Even if I didn’t have a mental illness, I doubt very much that I could work with these headaches. I also have a bad case of degenerative arthritis that affects my whole body, but, especially my lower back. I could not do any kind of work that would involve bending over or lifting anything. Which would limit me greatly, as my educational training is in nursing. But mainly because of my psychiatric problems, I have not worked for the past 20 years. I have tried to apply for jobs occasionally, but, have always been turned down because, as they say, I have no recent work history.
My questions are:

  • Do you guys feel you could work a paying job? If not, why not?
  • Do you volunteer? If not, why not?
  • Do you find that you have just been out of the paid work force too long? And how are you informed of this?

I was just curious about how many of you were working paid jobs versus volunteering versus working the full time job of keeping yourselves well. Just curious. Cheerio.

I have been at my janitor job for 5 years. It’s an easy job and pays relatively well.


My son was schizophrenic and he was a janitor too. He also said it was an easy job, and he said it was the perfect job for someone with his illness. He even said it was mentally relaxing.

[quote=“mylifeiswonderful68, post:3, topic:21166”]
He also said it was an easy job, and he said it was the perfect job for someone with his illness. He even said it was mentally relaxing.
He was correct. Sorry about your loss.

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Thank you. 15 character.

After about 20 yrs punching my own time clock I recently started working as a housekeeper at a motel down the road from my place.

It’s pretty cool, my boss is really level headed and realistic, co-workers are really cool.

The pay is just enough to pay the bills but I think what I’m getting out of it by being around people everyday is great.

I use to do my delivery a few days a week which took maybe 4 hours then I’d pretty much hide out in the apartment self medicating.

I did that for a few months at a large resort…was pretty relaxing most of the time but when busy at certain times there was some pressure to keep things clean…I mainly took care of the bathrooms…please don’t ask me why people wash up in the sink and have to spray water all over the mirror and even on the ceiling. I won’t talk about the stalls, LOL…except people sometimes drop money there…guess that was my tip? $30 one time, but mostly change…maybe they had some issues with picking it up from a bathroom floor? Well, I had latex gloves!

I’m sorry for your loss. I’ve been on the same customer service job for 4 years. I applied for Ssi after I had my last manic episode but they turned me down twice so I went back out there and found this job it’s ok. I have a child to support so I couldn’t just sit there.

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I did film making and music production. I feel somewhat accomplished

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Thank you. 15 characters.

It does help your self esteem doesn’t it? And that’s important for people like us. Are you still producing music and films?

I have not worked at real paying job since 2001. I had one job at a newspaper and lost it due to losing my temper and screaming loudly. But, I am so fragile and they pushed me to the brink. Each day, it seemed like they were adding more tasks to me and complaining that I was not a team player. They also complained that I was to “slow” in my tasks. Me? Basically, they were asking me, “Why I can’t I be like everyone else?” There is more to the story. I, then, worked several temporary jobs and most I was treated very well. I then obtained a state government job and she seemed to help me and appreciate me until I went “permanent.” It was like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I got my raise; but, she berated me constantly, changed deadlines on me, compared to previous employees. Again, on the job, it became pure hell!!! One day, she inquired if I was looking for another job. And, again, I HATED IT ALL! To this day, I do not completely understand it. She wrote me up and threatened to fire me for something that she set up for me to fail!!! I quit just like that. I gave her two weeks notice three days after 9/11. I had been talking to my VR counselor all the way through and in fact ran up my cell phone bill talking to at lunch in my car away from her. My boss was so impossible that she would make me go into another room and make me sit on the other side of a table while she secretly talked to some unknown person about me- I guess. It was only she and I in that small office. I would listen through the walls to an adjacent office and they were always laughing. I wanted to laugh again, also. Through all this agony of both jobs, I had a major personal issue to deal with; my best friend, roommate; and very beloved was ill and dying of cancer. When it snowed heavily in January 2000, the newspaper bosses made us work everyday for two weeks straight. I tried to take off to help my sister get groceries. She could no longer shop alone. They said basically newspaper work is more important than your sister (family) This was not the first time they said this evil stuff. Once, they told me that I needed to choose between her and them(the newspaper) So, you can imagine how my mind had become so upset by that hot July day that I blew like a volcano! I went to attempt to get a job through supportive employment because VR had it confirmed that I had a “severe and persistant mental illness.” Eventually, I talked to my supportive employment counselor. He was a very nice man and it was decided that I should apply for Social Security Disability. I have been on disability since spring of 2004. I have mostly gone to Psycho-social rehab programs; but, in the summer of 2013; I went to volunteer for a non-profit agency that matches low-income people with services to spay or neuter their cat or dog. I left that last September; because, I moved to a different town. I am presently not in either volunteer work or psych-social work; although I think my therapist wants me to attend one when funds are available. That won’t be until summer. Most of days are spent on the computer, appointments, errands, communicating with my best friend, my cat, helping my mother, trying to clean my disaster of an apartment, etc. On one hand the move was good for me. I got out of hot, crowded city living with my judgemental, critical mother and now have a place of my own again. I also now have beautiful cat. Living with my mother; I could not have a cat. She equates cats with poisonous snakes. She is fearful of them and hates them. On the other hand, all my symptoms returned and I have had to endure some painful adjustment. However, things are finally looking mostly better. I think I have finally gotten on the right medication and I am doing some great reading and even walking in the evening depending on the weather. I am beginning to learn or rather re-learn who I really am and why I have suffered so much. And, I do have my cat. I miss my sister every moment of every day. And, by the way, I will never work again. That kind of suffering would probably lead me to what modern humans call a “premature death.”

Not currently. May get back into it at some point. Gonna be recharged and I think I have retained my knowledge of the software so my best work may be ahead of me. But for now, I’m a consumer

Last I worked was in 1995, when it was only hell on me, me alone personally. I was the only one that caught hell from the boss. Everybody else had it easy on the job from their bosses. Nowadays, it seems like EVERYONE gets picked on, universally. Now, everyone at least knows what I went through for years.

15 characters. 15 characters.

Well, at least you’re holding open the possibilities.

LOL my father’s favorite saying is " life is about nothing but working… Paying taxes then waiting for your turn to die"… I don’t believe that.

It’s easier on short answers to just hold down the “period button” until the notice disappears.

How incredibly depressing!!! I don’t believe it either. Back in the day, I used to have a saying too. It was: “Life is Weird, and it Just Gets Weirder”.