Help me rejoin society?
January 6, 2014 1:53 PM Subscribe
I have been unemployed for a long period of time and it's really worn me down. I have an interview coming up, but I feel like I'm going to let my anxiety get the better of me and let this opportunity fall through if I don't get some kind of help. Any advice?
I've basically been unemployed for over 7 months now. I'm 24 and I live with my parents and I would really like to be able to move out again. Long story short, I graduated from university in 2012 and then eventually got a temp job that lasted 7 months (during much of this time I was living in my own apartment), and then I had these big life plans to move across the country, and I did that for a little while but I didn't really feel like it was working out so I moved back home. Since I didn't find an out-of-state job that I could deal with (I learned that I am too emotionally fragile to cope with crappy retail jobs), I have nothing on my résumé anytime after May 2013. Unfortunately I didn't end up volunteering, doing contract work, or freelancing (unless Amazon Mechanical Turks counts, but I've made barely anything from that and haven't done much of it anyway, so I'm kind of thinking it doesn't).
I'm being financially supported by my parents right now, and I feel like they don't care enough about this to force me out of the house, so I could potentially be here for a long, long time. And I don't want to do that to them, plus it's a huge embarrassment for my social life...I have a few friends left, fortunately, but I'm too ashamed to try and meet new people.
Now, someone wants to interview me next Thursday. The job pays well and it's similar kind of work to my last post-college job (incidentally, a permanent version of that job opened up recently as well and I applied to it, but I don't want to just assume it will work out). The problem is, my interview anxiety is so, so strong and beyond what is acceptable among normal humans. I have a pattern of setting up an interview, panicking shortly before it happens, and then canceling. I don't always do this, but I've lost count of how many times I have done it. I would like to not do that this time, but I'm afraid I may have to because I have no idea how I can convince someone to hire me after having been unemployed this long and not having anything to show for it.
So, is there any advice you can give me that will a) convince me to go through with this and b) help me be successful at it, considering the circumstances? I've read advice about this online, but it seems to be geared toward people who are more advanced in their careers, and it tends to assume that people have been very productive during their unemployment period. I don't even feel human anymore; I feel like people who go to work every day to a regular job are of another species and that the idea of me even trying to succeed at an interview is laughable. How the hell do I overcome this?
P.S. Because I think someone might ask and I want to try not to threadsit, yes, I do struggle with what one might call "mental illness" (I dislike that term) and have been involved with the mental health system for a long time. I am not currently receiving treatment of any kind...I'm considering it, but I don't think it's going to help me out with next week's interview in any case.