Living Alone in a Pandemic
This week marks two months since I started working from home and when things involving the pandemic, things really got serious. The whole pandemic has me thinking about a lot of different things – being an introvert, isolation, depression, gratitude, survival.
I’m living alone during a pandemic. And I don’t think I will ever truly be the same because of it. Everyone has a struggle in this, everyone, and I know some are worse than my struggle and some are easier, that’s just how it is. But today, today I want to talk about mine because it’s the one I have.
Back in January, I would have 100% told you I’m an introvert. I was on the verge of moving in by myself and I was elated. There wouldn’t be an annoying roommate to deal with after coming home from work and if I needed some company, I’d be able to see my boyfriend who lives two miles down the road. As far as I was concerned, it was going to be the best of both worlds (you know you’re now singing the Hannah Montana theme song).
You don’t need to hear me tell the story to know what happens in March. I try to practice to gratitude in any way I can (pretty sure it’s a coping mechanism for my depression) and I’m so grateful to have a job where I can work from home and an employer that allows us now to do so. There was no system set up for working from home before Covid-19 and they got everyone working from home in about a week.
Because I can work from home, I take it seriously, almost like a social responsibility, to stay home as much as possible to do my part in avoiding any kind of spread. That doesn’t mean it’s not lonely.
There aren’t really words to describe what this is like. Most days, I feel I’m doing well given every circumstance and the fact I’ve been in isolation for almost two months. Granted, I may forget how to interact face-to-face with someone by the time we get back. Like an old habit you stop doing and having to get back into it.
No lie, I have conversations with myself out loud just to make sure I can still talk because it’s weird! I’ve been listening to a lot of music, too, so it’s pretty much a concert in my apartment all day every day.
The biggest thing that frustrates me is that there is no good solution to the isolation, it’s really a waiting game. I can go a walk to get fresh air, but I still have to stay away from people. I can chat with friends and family on Zoom or FaceTime but then after we’re done talking, I could get a pet – but what happens I do go back to work and that poor pet is alone in an apartment by itself? I know what that feels like right now, I don’t want to do that to a pet!
Something that I’ve noticed a lot, people always have suggestions and it’s frustrating. The ideas might be in the right place, but every suggestion I’ve heard, I’ve thought of time and time again myself and I’ve realized I’m just stuck in this loop for the time being. It’s all about waiting for time and sometimes we need to just listen, to understand, not to solve a problem.
I know I’ve done this a few times to friends and I’m trying really hard to not just give advice. I try to listen, to ask questions to be better understand but I don’t want to give the impression that I understand anyone’s specific situation fully. But I all know we are struggling in new and different ways.
While I’m struggling with isolation, I hope your struggles, whatever they are, are at least manageable. Because that’s all we can ask for right now. That and I hope you and your family are safe and healthy still.