I will try to make this as brief as possible but I am in need of either support or advice - I am feeling so lost.
I was technically homeless throughout my 3 years of nursing school. I couch surfed and lived with boyfriends and their families to have a place to live. (I came from an abusive family and have little contact with them.) At this point I became very depressed and suicidal. I began to take antidepressants to stay afloat, while I accomplished this, everything else suffered.
I was so depressed, I could barely care for myself but I dragged myself to class, clinical, and lab. My teachers/instructors began to find fault in me for not being as engaged. My depression became worse but I dealt with it the best way I could at the time. I kept everything a secret in fear of being removed from the program.
I ended up graduating last May, powered through a month of non-stop studying and passed the NCLEX-RN on the first attempt.
A month after, I was exhausted and my depression finally came crashing down on me. I attempted suicide. I was unsuccessful thankfully and was checked into a mental health facility for a long stay.
Since then, I have been working on my mental health religiously. I have a therapist, I do not engage in any alcohol consumption, etc., I have a stable home life, I work out regularly, which has made a huge positive impact on my mental health. I have worked hard to change my mindset.
Fast forward to now - I have been seeking employment and have applied to over 60+ positions and none have worked out. I am getting close to my year mark of graduation and I feel like I may never find a job. I am terrified for my future. During interviews, I have been asked "Why do you think you haven't found a job yet?" I don't know how to answer this question, but I feel I can't be completely honest about my situation.
In school, I worked part-time in an ICU and never had any complaints about the care I gave, work-ethic, etc. but that I would call off often.
The only good thing I have going for me are my compassion and dedication to patients in my care, my co-workers also praised me on how willing I was to always help. I have won multiple patient satisfaction awards with past employment - but my references aren't good from my supervisors because of call offs and tardiness.
This downward spiral took place all over a course of 3 years, These consequences are my own fault but I am in a much better place and cannot seem to rid myself of my past.
I know what it takes to be a nurse and to be apart of a team. I know that my past reflects on my mental health and not who I want to be as a professional nurse, but I fear I may not get the chance to prove that.
Any advice or words of encouragement is greatly appreciated, I feel so stuck... Thank you for taking the time to read.