@redheaded&crazy I found my black wool Armani blazer at one of those Breast Cancer Thrift Stores, nothing wrong with it, price 15.00. I'd wondered about the brand name thing till I wore it. Now, I get it.
My tip: sign up with a good temp agency. It's a great boost to shredded self-esteem to have someone compliment your test scores. The ones I've used have offered online access to their software training, so I could learn newer versions of Excel and Word, from home. Get to know the staff and call in every morning, ready to go to work. This has gotten me out of jams more than once in my career and also showed me I could work successfully in fields I hadn't considered.
I've had wonderful experiences temping. I'm always extended and often asked to stay on. I've been thrilled at being treated so kindly. My agencies have placed me in industries that I hadn't known I could succeed in, or even know how to open a career door into. An early agency said I had more skills than I knew, and took me out of low-paying work into much nicer and high-paying jobs. Don't forget, this is how they make their money. I learned how to work within their system, asked questions about the company, met people, asked what other work needed done/indicated I could do it, and the payoff justified the investment.
There are also those paralegal places "We The People" was one I used and it cost far less, about 300.00 back in the early '00's. I was shocked that I still got credit card offers, in fact ones that seemed to have gotten my name from the bankruptcy court process. I guess they figure you don't have another "easy out" and you'll have to honor your debts.
Because Online is Forever, I also want to add the importance of getting a physical workup and a blood panel from your MD before having a Psych doctor sit in their office on their French antiques and prescribe something. I was helped more by my Ob/Gyn catching my low thyroid condition (I mean, the thyroid supplement feels like a miracle) than my bs Psych telling me to "just keep taking it" when I complained of the debilitating side effects of the drugs she'd prescribed. Don't let them to this to you. YMMV
@UnabashedVixen PREACH. We spend all our money on wars related to controlling fossil fuel resources worldwide. There's such a disconnect between the rank and file and the millionaires who govern us that it will probably take a revolution to overturn it, but we're too busy sitting on our collective Barcalounger digging out the remote, to be bothered. I'm a whistleblower but I'm usually alone as no one will risk their safety, even when they see I'm fighting for them.
@SnarlFurillo Reading your post from the future/today and so glad I saw it. Thank you for posting!!
@notpollyanna I'm so sorry that you had this experience. You deserve to be well treated. I have had this abuse by mental health professionals, too. The field is a great place for sociopaths to hide, as doctors won't "tell" on each other, even at the expense of patient health and safety. I've called my County watchdog agency to report what I saw in a hospital's treatment program. They have not called me back, but I will call again. I had enough therapy that I don't keep secrets about abuse anymore.
For Americans, being employed means having health insurance. I poured myself into my work at the expense of taking care of myself, (an "overused skill" my manager said) and still lost my job due to too many days out. I have/had physical problems and complications from major surgery that contributed to my depression. Hindsight says I should have pushed the "Accomodations" button, as SnarlFurillo's excellent post points out, but I kept thinking I was going to magically fully recover. I did not. I got physical accommodations, but not mental ones, as I didn't know I could ask. I lost a family member to suicide where depression was a factor, so I feel I should have known better. I've been forced to disclose my treating doctor's notes in order to get Long-Term Disability Insurance, so there went confidentiality. But at the same time, I've decided I'm not ashamed to be ill, and I'll share information if it will help others.
At each re-appearance of the Landlord, I felt myself tense, as if it was my privacy that was being invaded. Later, I felt afraid every time the description of a small man got even smaller. A sensational read that swept me along with it. Mesmerizing.