Spiralling downward after layoff

Hi everyone,

I was just laid off last week unexpectedly due to the agency I worked for deciding to “re-structure”. Although I’d been thinking of leaving for a while, I was waiting for the right opportunity came along until I guess life made the decision for me.

I’ve been successfully managing my depression after falling into it pretty deep starting about a year and a half ago. Well I guess successful depending on who you ask, but I’m not crying over the stove-top while I cook dinner and managing to actually go to work even though I could never seem to make it on time as waking up was one of my biggest obstacles.

Anyway, I managed it with a mix of whole foods, natural supplements and I found a really great counselor.

Now that I’ve been laid off, my week has gone to shit (excuse the french) along with my mental state.

I’ve been trying to apply to jobs, but either I don’t meet all of their requirements, or I’m trying to aim for remote since I realize the hourly tracking and long commute isn’t helping my mental state. It’s time consuming, not to mention most developer jobs aren’t simply sending a resume, it’s a multiple step process.

I ran out of my supplement for mental focus/anxiety a week before I got laid off. Can’t afford more.

Now that I’m laid off, I can’t afford to go crazy buying groceries, especially organic and actually healthy groceries, and am now just buying/eating what I can even if it was on my “restricted” list because I don’t have a choice anymore. I’m also trying to hold off to see if I can get food stamps.

Been back and forth trying to apply for food stamps and unemployment, and whatever assistance I can get. Unemployment won’t let me claim till next week so odds are I won’t be getting a cent out of them till the following week. Food stamps were supposed to call me for an interview earlier this week. Never did. Woke up super early this morning to go there in person just for them to tell me to go back home and they’d call me for the interview. SURPRISE! They still didn’t call. So now I have to go AGAIN tomorrow morning and the food in my pantry is slowly dwindling. I just received my last paycheck today. I no longer have any source of income.

I only have around 300 savings and my microwave broke yesterday as well. Can’t afford to fix that issue either.

I also had to cancel all doctor’s appointments including my counseling appointments because I can no longer afford it.

I no longer have health insurance.

I had to either cancel, postpone or downgrade multiple bills.

Also about to run out of vitamins. This is really sucky.

Oh my god I am trying to be strong and patient, but those numbers in my account are a discouraging thing.

Meanwhile my significant other who is also unemployed and we’re both looking for work, is accusing me of slacking because I’m not there day and night hovering over the computer applying to every job in existence blindly. He’s not a developer so he doesn’t understand that it’s not a matter of just applying to them ALL and hoping one will work out.

One job is in the works and it’s remote, so that’s great, except there’s no sick days - just 12 PTO days a year which terrifies me because 1) I get sick, a lot and 2) my mother has cancer, and I tend to be needed by her as well. Just next week I’m picking her up from chemo because my father for laid off as well and ended up at a job where he no longer gets the days off that she has chemo. So she has no one to pick her up from chemo anymore and I can only do it for now because I’m unemployed. Anyway, so 12 days doesn’t seem like it’ll cut it, but it’s the best chance I have right now at working as nothing else has reached out to me aside from the vague hourly jobs recruiters spam me with for skillsets I don’t possess. And that’s IF they even decide to hire me after this long process.

Now my impostor syndrome is at an all time high and the clock is ticking till my Tree House account subscription gets paused as I had to do that since I can’t afford to keep paying for it for now. It’s hard to sit there and learn though when you’re desperately trying to find work that won’t interfere with your mental illness, and you’re wondering how many days you have until you no longer have money. My lease is about to renew as well in a month along with my electric bill’s level payment renewing. Which means a rent raise and updated deposit along with possibly owing electric if I went over throughout the year.

Sorry I’m ranting but I just needed to let it out. Right now I’m gonna eat a tuna sandwich and just try to keep on. I don’t expect anyone to have magical solutions. Am I just being too picky by not wanting to commute anymore? I don’t know what to do… I’m tired…

Hi Rachie, so sorry to hear you are going through this. They did not provide a severance package? I would be having similar feelings as you in the same situation. We also try to eat organic, and with my student loans and a family to support being laid off is a worst case scenario.

I totally understand that commuting is not ideal, but right now you need to stop the bleeding, so to speak. Just my advice, feel free to do what is best for you, but I would take the position just to get income coming in again. This would give you more freedom, and time, to look for a better opportunity. Best of luck and I hope you find something soon!

Hi Rachie! Sorry to hear about that. Sounds like you are going through a rough time.

Maybe it’s worth sharing your story at Reddits’ Personal Finance subreddit? I’ve seen similar stories like yours being posted there and getting great feedback, tips, offers and what-not. Might be worth it.

See: https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance

1 Like

Hi @Blurb,

That sounds like a good idea. I can use any financial advice I can get haha, thanks! :slight_smile:

Hi @desmond,

They only gave me one week severance which is what I just received this past Friday. So beyond that once that money runs out, I’m up the creek so to speak.

I bought some non-organic spinach today, that hurt my feels a bit haha. But I guess pesticide ridden veggies are better than poptarts, which I’ll admit, I ate today because hey. Gotta eat. It’s a little hard to stick to healthy eating now but at the same time, I did enjoy those poptarts. :slight_smile:

I am starting to look for all positions now although remote is still preferred, I’m compromising. I do need money so the “dream job” might have to wait… Thanks for listening. I appreciate the thoughts.

I’m still unemployed. Waiting on multiple pending things that either don’t show results or are taking too long. Got a small contract for a few hours a week, but they’re not going to pay me in time for me to get all my bills in order.

This is scary as shit. And hard. I really wish I could talk to my counselor if I had the money. Feels like I’m on the verge of a heart attack sometimes with all this anticipation. I’m not sure how much longer I can mentally do this…

Is my development career over? Should I just go grab a job in retail or whatever I can get my hands on? I’m trying not to panic…

Rachie, how have things been since? I found this site only after the last update here, and I can’t help but wonder. Hope you are okay.

Hi @radiance

Thanks for asking! Well the good news is, that I start my new “permanent” job this coming Monday!

I admit, I had a lot of ups and downs the last 2 months. There were nights where my mind was racing and I was in a cold sweat, tossing and turning, and mulling over all the impending doom that can happen to me ranging from homelessness to being screwed over financially by this shady person I’m freelancing for. Oh man.

But I actually ended up freelancing for the first time to get by. I went from having literally nothing in my account to catching up on the bills once the money kicked in. I had no idea what I was doing - I never freelanced before. I mean I knew what I was doing code wise, but as far as freelance culture and common sense, I had to read up a lot of things. Like how much taxes to put aside, important clauses to make sure is included in contracts etc.

But I made it! Somehow. And I’m definitely going to save up this time. My mindset is no job is permanent and being in that situation didn’t help my mental state at all. There were days and nights that I had no sleep or felt like I was on the verge of some sort of breakdown. But I tried to eat healthy and tried to keep a routine. Having my SO help me through it and help me push through the mental “noise” helped as well.

So I’m on track again. And the job I landed is really, really good. So it took a while, but I’m happy that’s where I ended up. Glad I didn’t give up.

Another word of advice, a portfolio and code samples. Definitely make sure you have those at all times even if you’re employed - bc the day you’re not employed, you will need them.

The first thing I’m looking forward to now that I’m about to be steadily employed again is being able to make appointments with my counselor now that I can afford it again. So much to talk about! :smile:


I’m so glad to hear it’s taken a nice turn back to the sunny side again, so to say! Wishing you all the best with your new job - and I feel that the advice about having portfolio and code samples is just so, so important to heed. So thank you!

Freelancing is something I have relatively little (bad) experience with, but my brother has used it as a means to make enough money to get out of a debt or two, or earn some money for himself while studying. Definitely comes hard for him, but it is an option, apparently!

Do save up. There’s a word of advice I once overheard that you should strive to put aside at least 10% of your income at any job ever - for emergencies, for investments, for anything. Unfortunately job security is often not a thing we can count on.

1 Like