Feeling isolated working from home? We’re alone in this together

29/10/2021

Like many of us, 38 year old author and writer Naomi wished she could work from home. Then the pandemic hit. Nineteen months later, she is trying hard to combat depression and challenge the notion that working remotely doesn’t mean you have to be remote.

Be careful what you wish for.

Those were the days; woken up to the screeching sound of the Monday morning alarm clock, wrestling with the warm duvet to get us out of bed, dreading the hustle and bustle, and sometimes chaotic commute to work. For many who wished we could work from home, we suddenly got it. Before we knew it, we were woken to the sound of silence and left wrestling with ourselves to get out of bed. For months I thought this was just me, but I recently discovered I am not alone…

January 2020 – a time where I finally felt settled. The previous year I had gone through psychotherapy, my first book Hef Off was published, and I was newly married.

Then the pandemic happened.

With a sudden crash, everything changed, and we were stuck at home with a fresh reality where no one quite knew what to do. But as the weeks and months passed, it was as though the world had united, we were all sailing the same ship, facing the dark storm head on as one. As scary and as devastating as it was for so many, we all learnt something from it and were able to create a time where we got to appreciate things many of us hadn’t before.

  • It was like an overnight spell had been cast but it was in fact a slow deterioration I didn’t see, until I was back in that dark hole once more.

In 2011, I was diagnosed with depression and PTSD, so when I was made redundant earlier this year and I saw people around returning to work, I started to feel uneasy. I put my energies into finding another job, and before I knew it three months had passed and I was feeling shaken and frustrated, which led on to feeling desperate. I eventually took a writing job, but it was fully remote. The summer arrived and all those festivals and events I was so excited for, were dampened by my days working from home alone. I had gone through some extremely dark episodes over my years and where I thought I now had it ‘under control’, they had abruptly taken hold of me again. It was like an overnight spell had been cast but it was in fact a slow deterioration I didn’t see, until I was back in that dark hole once more.

Those feelings, thoughts and fears had re-formed that thick black cloud that clung on and dragged me down. That dark tunnel that I had once stumbled through was back in full view and it felt like it had no ending. At weekends people surrounded me, all fun on the outside, but inside I was swallowed up in isolation, loneliness, frustration, fear, paranoia, you name it; those demons were back. During the week I was struggling to get up, I wasn’t getting dressed, eating properly, or taking care of myself, and people saw me stressed and out of character.

Sadness is never seen, no tears will convey, no panic is revealed.

My fear is articulated in rage, my loneliness is a display of resentment, my frustration is exhibited in outbursts.

  • If you are still working remotely at home and feeling isolated, know that there are many of us out there feeling vulnerable and lost, but we are alone in this together, we will get through it.

Remember this - YOU are too important to neglect. Whether it’s losing a job, feeling isolated and alone working from home, whatever your background and whatever your story, if you are feeling the same as me, you are not alone. When I don’t feel good, I find it helpful to reach out to my community, drop a friend a message, or if I’m not ready to talk today, do something that’s just for me, even it’s as simple as reading a good book in the bath.

If you are still working remotely at home and feeling isolated, know that there are many of us out there feeling vulnerable and lost, but we are alone in this together, we will get through it. Just keep going.

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