Work Depression Broke Me. Here’s How I Overcame It.


I was overwhelmed when I received the email for an interview with the technology company, after 6 months of unsuccessful attempts in finding work.

It was 2019 and I had just graduated college.

And in 4 months I was close to getting a dream job, but that opportunity slipped away in a mysterious way.

I was desperate to find work since I had to extend my visa. From 8 am until 11 every day, I kept updating my resume and applying for jobs online.

The burden of bills was also piling up, which meant I didn’t have enough time to waste, and had to land a job so as to avoid spending away my savings.

Family pressure added haste to my job search. And pending education loans made it even worse!

So finally when I got the email, I prepared for the interview, which was the very next day. After the successful interview, I landed the job and started working the very next day.

However, I caught a cold (it was the middle of winter) and had to take days off just after joining. It impacted my training.

Once I recovered and got back to work, the work became busy and orders were piling up. Therefore, my training was discontinued and I had to do whatever menial tasks there were.

This carried on for a few months until the Christmas holidays came when I was off work. And then I got back to work on January 2020.

The workplace had just begun the new year of business after the holidays and everything had to be set up, and workers had to shift to work mode from holiday hangover.

I had to resume training.

Right in the middle of the year, the pandemic struck…

Unfortunately for me, being the newest recruit meant that I was to be laid off.

The business wasn’t doing well since they outsourced materials from China, where the Covid-19 outbreak had just happened, therefore exports were being controlled.

I was really worried about my future and finances.

I still remember that day, walking to the bus stop from my office, mentally rescheduling the plans for the whole week…

It is hard breaking the schedule for me. I had everything planned out for the week: budget, meal prep, cleaning schedule, etc.

Now my mind was occupied with new priorities like updating my resume, applying for jobs, preparing for interviews…

Everything I have experienced months ago will repeat now!

I felt urgency as well as exhaustion; there was need and repetition.

Well, without wasting time, I started applying for work that evening, after coming home.

And in weeks, I landed a job in a similar field, in a multinational company. This job was a dream.

However, due to Covid, the company had to downsize. Blame my bad luck, I got laid off again for no fault of mine.

This time, I felt no emotion. I was mentally ready to face life.

It was sort of like a break that was needed for introspection.

I wasn’t keen on applying for jobs, as my past experiences served as a lesson that nothing is in my control, no matter how hard I try.

For a couple of months, I lived off of the savings and traveled around. I also met new people, who were going through a similar fate as mine.

All in all, this period imparted many important life lessons.

That’s what life is like…

When the government had just announced Covid-19 benefits for the public, is when I got an email from the first workplace!

The email was from HR saying that the business has picked up, and they are short-staffed and would like to know if I am available to work starting Monday next week.

In my excitement and desperation, I replied to the email stating my interest to rejoin the company, to which they gladly sent the paperwork.

On my very first day after rejoining, HR asked me to wear gloves, and a mask, and to sanitize my hands at every shift, as Covid was at its peak.

The first few weeks went by just fine until the business started to get busy later.

By busy, I mean “crazy” busy!

Each day, I was entrusted to fulfill orders of 900 pieces of chipboard, and it was quite hard for me as I wasn’t as well trained as the other employees.

My training manager was a very strict lady and often pushed me to achieve the slightest perfection.

For 5 months, she made my life a living hell!

I noticed that she wasn’t as harsh to other employees of her own race. Maybe it’s racism to blame…

Life became a rose with thorns again when she quit and the old trainer was promoted to manager.

He too bullied many new employees, and I became his frequent target.

I was often assigned the most difficult of the tasks, and often ostracized to doing leftover work.

I became very numb to his taunts eventually and lost interest in my job. I had no choice but to keep continuing in order to get my permanent residency permit.

Slowly, my work became slow. I wasn’t achieving the numbers.

I didn’t know what was happening to me. I had lost interest in my whole existence.

All of my friends lived far away, and I shared my apartment with strangers.

I had no one to confide in, and my life was nothing but a mechanized chore!

I started becoming depressed. I often arrived late to work, because I had a hard time forcing myself to wake up and go to work.

I often missed the bus and had to take Uber, which cost 5 times more.

I wasn’t even interested in meal prepping anymore and often ordered food online.

Sometimes I slept at odd timings, and would wake up in the middle of the night feeling depressed. And as usual, there was nobody to hear me out…

I counted the months I have to stay in this job. I prayed that I wouldn’t have to quit again.

Even though the I was in a thankless career, at least it would help me pay my loans, bills, and help me obtain my permit.

By this time, I was given more menial tasks like packaging, etc., which was seriously starting to harm my self-esteem.

When they don’t value you anymore…

Many harsh days went by, until one of our team leaders, Sam, got Covid.

He and his family were ardent Christians who attended church regularly, where they came in contact with the virus.

According to the law, Sam was supposed to be self-isolated for three weeks.

His absence meant that the company had to replan the whole leadership positions. And by this time, the old manager had just quit for a higher-paying job.

My trainer, a girl the same age as me, was promoted to the managerial position, as she had the most experience and excellent programming skills.

What the CEO announced next shocked me.

I was the second-most experienced person after that girl, and instead of making me the assistant, they made a lower-level employee take charge.

And his skills with programming were so much more basic, as compared to mine.

Let me tell you, I felt broken!

It almost felt like somebody just smashed me into the earth, so that my existence is kept hidden.

I felt so neglected and unimportant.

I had gotten compliments from the CEO for the perfection of my work, as well as my ability to pick up coding very quickly, even though he had expressed concerns about my productivity.

I don’t think I went home and cried that day, but I definitely had developed an inferiority complex.

My pay never changed too. I was having a hard time saving up for my future.

That’s when I realized that I need to move on from this job, as soon as I get the permit and find work somewhere else.

I felt like I need to go to university, as I was good at doing mental work rather than hands-on.

Maybe I wasn’t bad enough, but just not who my workplace wanted!

The first step to freedom…

Time is like a slow clock when you’re involved in something you’re not interested in.

I felt like this job was a tight piece of clothing that I was desperately waiting to take off.

I felt congested, belittled, shunned, messy, and insulted. All in all, I didn’t feel a belonged there.

After I got all the paperwork done to obtain the permit, the universe finally decided to show me to the door.

The door of freedom!

My HR came up to me one day and said that the business is not doing well again and that they have decided to lay off many of their staff, which included me as well.

I was so overjoyed despite my concerns about paying the bills and saving up for college.

I packed up with so much happiness as if stepping out of prison. I opened the back door and walked out of the place with so much excitement.

It was winter but I wasn’t feeling cold, because my joyful heart was warm enough.

When I was laid off the last time, I wasn’t eligible for unemployment benefits from the government, as I hadn’t worked long enough.

But not this time!

I was informed that I was entitled to receive a full year of benefits!

I decided to take a break, move to a different town, and start my life afresh. My past was to be left behind in the past.

And that’s exactly what I did!

It was a hassle finding rooms, moving furniture, etc., to the new town far away from where I used to live.

And on top of that, I was sick in the middle of the winter and had to take rest for a month or so.

That’s when I got a call from the previous workplace, once again, stating that the business has picked up and that they want me to join.

I was attending school in the new town and I bluntly said no.

Though I felt victorious, it made me realize how I was treated as nothing but a disposable employee.

The CEO never even bother to acknowledge the email. But who cares, that job had served its purpose.

I was able to pay off my debt, make savings, and get the residency permit.

Now, I was in the whole new phase of my life, a turnover from the thankless past!

It was time to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new.

I close the email app, shut down the computer, pick up my bag, and head to college…

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