I haven't had anything that extreme. I've been out of work before. It doesn't feel great, though it can feel okay when it was my choice, like in June 2008 when I quit my hospital transcription job. (I got put into a crappy work situation, I wanted out, I got out and deliberately took a few months off seeing friends and traveling). I was able to hold off searching for more work that time until October 2008; I reactivated as a temp and spent a few months at the TriMet main office. Not a bad job.
I've had good jobs and bad jobs. I've had one temp job that was two days long and I should have run out of the call center screaming after one day; that was, if I remember correctly, in early 1997. I had one of the most stressful days of my life during a different two-day temp job around the same time; luckily I was allowed to bail out of that assignment after day 1 because I needed to deal with the stressful thing, and no, you are not getting any more details about that here. (I'll add: that day didn't compare with the stress later of September 11th. A day I worked, by the way.)
A job can help you, it can help others, it can help you and others, and it can be a millstone pulling you down and wearing you down if you don't do it well, or can't do it well, or aren't allowed to do it well. (That does happen.)
And I've gotten into the trap, at times, of letting my job, whatever it happened to be, define too much of my life. I was a small-town reporter for three years, from September 1997 to August 2000, but I didn't really do much beyond being a small-town reporter. (And I didn't at least ask out Sarah, a cute reporter from a TV station nearby, for a date. Shoot.) Once I realized I could accidentally think like that, though, I did a little thing: I edited my Facebook profile to say "WORKS AT Me for now." Sounds high-falutin', but it helped, and it helps.
As much as I like being useful, there's more ways to be useful than work.
I'm figuring out how I can be useful at the moment. Bonus: it could give me more stuff to write about... *grins*