My Life has Become Stagnant

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

After looking for work for almost 3 years I am become reluctant to put any more effort into this fruitless action. I feel the same way about pursuing any kind of relationship. I have no goals, dreams, or plans for the future. I’m also tired of hearing ” why don’t you go back to school?” from what ever person i decide to confide in. i cant go back because i cant get any student loans until i pay off the old one. Honestly i just want to walk out of the house with the clothes on my back and embrace the fact that i shouldn’t run away from my fate of dying on the street. I’m not even sure what i should ask.

A: I don’t blame you a bit for feeling discouraged. I don’t blame you a bit for getting depressed. The situation stinks. Your self-esteem has taken a major hit. My guess is that most of the people who counsel you to go back to school just want to have something to say to you. They feel as helpless as you do.

Without knowing more about your skill sets, your work history, and what you’ve tried already, I can’t offer you any specific advice. What I can suggest is that you’ve done what you can on your own. You need both practical help and emotional support during this difficult time. Did you know that Cal State at Long Beach has a Women’s Resource Center? The Center has a Career Development Program that might be helpful. If they can’t offer you help themselves, they might know who you could call. For information about the Women & Careers Project, call the Women’s Resource Center (562) 985-8576 or the Career Development Center at (562) 985-4151. Their website says that there is a career workshop in the spring. You might find that useful as well.

If you are managing to get by with unemployment benefits and savings, you could also be using this time to maintain and develop skills through volunteering. Yes, I know it’s more gratifying to be paid. But you’ve now got a three-year gap in your resume. Start volunteering so prospective employers will see that you’ve kept up your skills. A volunteer position can also help you with the networking that’s needed these days to find a job.

The fact that you bothered to write shows me that you haven’t really given up. I encourage you reach out for some help locally.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Mar 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). My Life has Become Stagnant. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/03/13/my-life-has-become-stagnant/

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