I honestly do not understand people who try to help me put a positive spin on the Mack truck sized whole in my work history. They always tell me things like say you were a homemaker (that was true for about 2 years out of 4 years of marriage), say you got married and didn’t need to work ( I have been divorced for 3 of the 9 year employment gap.) All of these things to say would be lies; do you honestly want to start a new job having told lies during the interview? At some point, the Bipolar disorder will rear it’s ugly head.
I know people mean well when they offer these bits of advice on how to handle a really ugly work history deficit., but I do not feel comfortable just straight out lying about the reason I have been out of the workforce. I would rather say something to the effect of “I suffered an illness, and I have spent the last few years recovering. I am recovered now, and ready to rejoin the workforce.” That isn’t a lie. It is all true; I am just leaving out the Bipolar part. Once hired, I am covered by the ADA. I have, however, been feeling mostly normal for a while now. I am really not liking staying home, but the last time I went job hunting, I applied for about 20 positions and got 3 calls, and no return calls after revealing that I had been recuperating from an illness, and that I was fine to work.
All the job sites I have read recommend facing the problem head on, and being honest about what and why you were out of the workforce for so long. I do not like lying, so this seems to me to be the logical path to take. Besides, if you lie, you have to remember the lie, you have to live the lie, and you certainly cannot reveal the real reason you haven’t been working. It just doesn’t work for me all the way around. If an illness can return, then the employer needs to know about it so they can provide reasonable accommodations.