It’s been a hard couple of weeks.
I was completely unprepared to work from home 100% of the time. Working “remote” is one thing, when I can be surrounded by the indistinct buzz of a coffee shop or an office, but Zoom calls are exhausting for me, and home is maybe even more so.
I love my home. My wife and I bought a house a few months ago and it’s everything we hoped it would be and more. But living where I work is a painful mental shift for me. We love to hate work commutes as a culture, but I miss my 10–15 minute drive to work. There’s something about that short time window that shifts my brain into work mode. In reverse, it shifts back to home mode on the way back.
But there’s no barrier here. I sleep across the hallway. I eat most of my meals downstairs. I don’t like these things being so close together.
I think I also associate being home all day with laziness. After being called lazy many times growing up, I now actively avoid it, for fear of appearing worthless. I think I was more careless when I was on medication-I was certainly more tired-and that led to my lackadaisical approach to chores and work. I was embarrassed about my own existence for about ten years growing up, and it’s been a hard climb to pull myself up.
There’s terrific news, however: my wife and my coworkers have been enormously supportive. I broke down the other day at work out of stress and exhaustion, as worried as always that I was worthless and unhelpful, and they encouraged me to take care of myself. The reason was that they knew. They have all worked thankless jobs, been abused and hurt, been cheated and manipulated, beaten down by this crazy operation we call life. That’s why my support system is the best group of people in the whole fucking world, and I couldn’t be more grateful that they’re in my life.
The beautiful thing about broken people is that they don’t want their hurts to recur in others. I don’t want people to be hurt, but those hurts have a way of making us the best we can be. The most patient people were pressured; the most generous people were stolen from; the kindest people suffered the greatest cruelties. I don’t think I could find a more perfectly broken group if I tried.
Originally published at https://www.novumopus.com on April 21, 2020.