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Social Distancing and Telework

I am on week four of teleworking and to say that it is not affecting my mental health would be a lie.

Prior to this pandemic, I had this notion that working from home on a daily basis would be the best thing ever.  It’s really not.  I never knew how important the relationships that we cultivate in our office environments contribute to not only our lives but our wellbeing.  I miss the women that I work with and phone calls are not enough. 

They say to make sure that you have a space dedicated specifically for work so that you can have a separation between “work time” and “home time.”  Maybe my problem lies in the fact that on my scheduled telework days, I’d work from the comfort of my bed.  Attempting to sit at my computer desk where I have an additional monitor (which would greatly help my eyes out instead of just staring at a tiny laptop screen/give me a second screen to work with ease) is such a foreign idea to me that I don’t even want to attempt to do it.  Why? Because I feel as though that would confirm that this is my new normal. For me, continuing my usual scheduled telework day habits indicates that I’ll be going back to work and seeing those ladies. 

I’m having a hard time accepting this “new normal.” Point blank, period.

Don’t get it twisted, I know that I am extremely fortunate to be working during this time.  For five days a week, I have something that is outside of my normal routine that occupies my time.  However, I work so far ahead that I’m reduced to waiting for further action or response that out of my eight hours, four of them are spent avoiding my reality, while the other four distract me enough to require my complete focus.  Once I log off, the reality sets back in, and I immediately want to go to sleep.

What’s super frustrating about this is that I just dealt with my SAD, I was just coming around the bend and feeling life being breathed back into my body.  Now? My depression has gone from just peeking around the corner and hiding behind the wall once it sees that I’ve turned around.  It didn’t even progress to standing in the doorway.  No, it peeked around the corner and when my back was turned it ran as fast as it could, and replaced my shadow with its own.

What’s also affecting me is that in this “new normal,” one of my coworkers was not only asked to be removed from the work site but the company renigged on their original offer.  I’m finding it difficult to continue to speak with her as though it’s business as usual while she continues to work on her actions, working to tie up loose ends for an easy transfer.  Knowing that her days are numbered and when I return it will be a team of two is heart-wrenching.  Knowing there is nothing that I can do for her, knowing that I now have to watch my back and ensure that every T is crossed and every I is dotted to spare myself from the same heartless action that she has experienced.  Do you know what it’s like to feel as though you’re walking on eggshells at your job?! 

IT’S FUCKING HORRIBLE.

At a time when we are all still adjusting and trying to survive in this “new normal,” I have to do everything in my power to keep my job.  I am fortunate enough that I don’t have a household of my own to maintain but I do have bills, I do have student loans, health insurance, dental insurance, everything that everyone else has.  But during this time, instead of being relieved, feeling fortunate, feeling grateful, that I am still actively working, I’m afraid.  I am safe in my home with my family but I am afraid that I may unknowingly do something to lose my job.

Talk about an absolute mind fuck.  The only thing I felt that I could do today to ease my mind was to step out onto my deck and feel the sun. It felt amazing.  But the minute I came back inside and got back onto my computer, got back to texting in the group text and found out that she wasn’t given the opportunity to say her goodbyes in the manner that she wished to, because the word was already out, dropped me back into a pit of despair.

I’ve dealt with workplace toxicity before, but never to this degree.  At a time when compassion and understanding should be the focus it appears as though all of the snakes are coming out of the grass.

Until next time – Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease ❤

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