man up, sally.
i graduated in '99. i left my first job to work at a firm. on my 51st week there, i was laid off (in 01). last one in, first one out. it took me 7 months to get a job. i jumped at a POP job with a company local to me at a lower salary. lousy company, lousy manager, great coworkers. i toughed it out there, sharpening my skills, reminded myself constantly of the low i had come from before this job, and really made a huge effort to improve myself. i made the best of it.
i finally found a position back at a firm in the industry i loved, in a part of the country i wanted to move to. loved the job, loved the owners, did a lot of good work, learned a LOT. by this time it was '04,'05.
fate struck again and after a few years, the firm was in a cash crisis and i was laid off.
i had a LOT of doubt about my career, my skill, my choices after my first layoff, but the second one was more stressful because i was now married with a mortgage payment.
luckily, the day i considered looking outside the region, i found a job out here in california (a coast to coast move). my wife’s company has just merged with another company with allowed her to seek employment in the same area internally. it turned out i was EXACTLY what this company was looking for. they had been looking to fill this position for about 6 months. i took it, my wife transferred and both of our careers have accelerated beyond our expectations.
you just have to tough it out. swallow your pride, keep your skills sharp. these hards times will make you appreciate the successes so much more. you can always use them as a reference when you get your design job and have ‘a bad day’ to keep things in perspective.
my wife and i still marvel at what has happened to us in just 5 years. if you would have told me then where i would be living and working and what i would have accomplished, i would have told you to GTFO.
persevere, never forget these times you survived, they will benefit you many years from now.