BEING DEPRESSED IN YOUR POST-GRAD ERA:
My Feelings & How I Survived
In a post from October I listed five horrific realities of adulthood that completely slapped and punched me in the face. In case you haven’t read it, I basically talked about the “cons” of my post-grad life and how I was unprepared. While I covered everything from paying bills to my social life enigma, there are some things that I did not talk about.
I did not share the emotional turmoil I went through as a post-grad and how I overcame the side effects. Thus, I am writing this piece as a “follow up” post to not only go into detail about how I felt but also to discuss the methods I used to remind myself how AMAZING I am despite my dishearten circumstance.
When I say that I experienced side effects from emotional turmoil, I mostly mean that I suffered from extreme levels of insecurity, anger, and humiliation. These emotions stemmed from the fact that I didn’t have a job for five months after graduation. While my situation may seem trivial, the fact that I was jobless for half a year caused me to feel like I was a failure. I was a disappointment to myself, family and friends in my eyes. This negative self-view quickly led me to feel insecure, ashamed and angry.
I didn’t have a job nor money, couldn’t afford a car, and I moved back into my mother’s home. In essence, I had no life and I was a freeloader. It has never been in my nature to be a parasite or to ask for help, so you can imagine how my post-grad life really diminished my self-esteem. It made me consumed with self-doubt.
I think I’ve made it clear as to why I had feelings of shame and humiliation. I was an educated college graduate, a Vassar grad at that, who wasn’t working. This fact bothered me. How does one be highly educated but yet unemployed?! I avoided conversations with friends and acquaintances because I feared the question, “Where are you working?” I never had an answer for them.
Yes, I was mad. I was worse than mad….I was bitter! Hearing about my fellow teammates’ or classmates’ wonderful new lives made me upset because my professional life was at a standstill. Ugh!!! It infuriated me how unemployment prevents you from “officially” contributing to society. I was jealous that other people were relevant and productive. I am laughing now at my irrational thought process!
After five months of wallowing in my emotions, I finally realized that I shouldn’t measure my success and happiness solely by my career. I can still be unemployed and happy. I can be broke and happy. I can even live at home and be happy. A purpose-filled life is easy to obtain as long as I remind myself of how AMAZING I am. Thus, as a way to reboot my happiness, I started to focus on my faith, myself and family/friends. To do this I sat down with my journal and physically wrote down everything I was thankful for:
- A supportive mother and sister who encourages me to conquer the world
- Starting my blogary and sticking to it
- Keeping old friends and making new ones
- My monthly travel trips to different cities and/or states
- Family Redbox movie dates
- The blogging community
Writing this list reminded me of all the blessings that I received and the ones that are yet to come. It really helped me put my situation into perspective. So, it is not cliché to embrace the quote “Gratitude Works.” I experienced firsthand that it really does “work”!
My thankfulness led me to see life in a positive light. This outlook pulled me from the depths of depression to a state of enthusiasm, creativity and energy! It became easier for me to be genuinely happy for others because I knew that everything happens for a reason and in due season.
Have you ever felt helpless after graduating from high school, undergrad or grad school? I want to hear your struggles.
If this post resonated with you, feel free to leave me a comment, share and post this piece on social media!.
Until Next Time,
"Your life is happening now. Make it amazing!"