Living with Adult ADHD in Unemployment Land

When I had a job, I had a boss barking after me. Now the days just plod along, as I try to fight unemployment boredom.
ADHD & the City | posted by Jane D.
Jane D.

A few weeks into unemployment, and I am already running out of much-prized patience. What does an impulsive adult with attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD) do in the aftermath of losing his or her full-time job? For me, it was, Eat lots of Ben and Jerry's, cry, and then fall into sweet sleep.

The father called this morning at 7:50 to make sure that I was awake. It is a depressing reality that, well into his 60s, he continues to harp after me. I jokingly told friends that I was like Britney Spears. In her case (her father has custodianship of her), it seems to be working, since she's back on Billboard's top 10.

My situation, though, is near hopeless. Not only do I need to find a job, but I am an ADD adult seeking a job. This requires more skill and organization than when I actually had a job, since I had the she-boss barking after me. Now no one barks after me.

I asked the stepmother what I should do to avoid boredom, and she sighed and said, "Obviously if you even have this question, you are not desperate." I have no idea what I should do. I start writing the CV and the cover letter, sorting bills and business cards, cleaning out the closet.

And at the end of the day, when the father—my new boss—asks what I've done, I say angrily, "Nothing." I have opened lots of boxes and made a mess basically. I can hear the peanut gallery in the stands, "Lazy, you should try harder. You need to get off your butt and find a job. This is no joke." Sometimes I find myself saying this out loud.

Already I have become jaded from the nightmare of filing for unemployment. I spent two hours on the phone and two hours online trying to file. The automated system seemed so sensitive that the sound of an inhale or exhale denoted a wrong yes or no. I would get through 80 percent of the application over the phone, and then suddenly be disconnected. In the end, the cell phone died, and I was tempted to hurl it across the room. May it die a painful death.

Online, the process was worse. I went through the application perhaps 18 times to be met with "click yes" to confirm, followed by "error, the system is not working right now." Damn this recession. In the world of the laid off, time has slowed. Somehow, the days just plod along, reminding me of summer vacation as a child.

Mostly though, I've discovered that New York City is one of the worst places to be unemployed. In a place that is go-go-go, I literally have no real place to go.

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