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Shouts Out to the Bed: The New Home Office

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Waking up and realizing that your depression has decided that your body will not be leaving the bed today is a wonderful reality for many of us living with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). 

Before I started working from home; that reality had me running late to work, avoiding even the most basic of hygiene, and completely missing breakfast. All because my mind could care less if I had a job to do. It was content to keep me and my body strapped to my bed, feeling empty.

But thankfully I received an opportunity of a lifetime when I was hired by The Mighty and began working from home.

At first, I did not realize the blessing I had been given. I was filled with so much anxiety and hesitation to truly embrace all the benefits remote working gave me. 

I woke up at the same time I used to, getting dressed in button-ups and pants, and preparing for a grueling 2-hour commute that would not come. 

I would sit in front of my laptop preparing for meetings that would not start for hours and obsessing over my inbox, waiting for tasks that would be coming much later.

It wasn’t until I woke up one morning, a heart full of emptiness and a body weighed down by so much despair for the coming day that it finally clicked that I had nowhere to be. That, in fact, as long as I had my laptop nearby and was diligent at my tasks, I could really work anywhere I pleased.

At first, I took advantage of this new realization by arriving “dressed for zoom.” I showed up for work only concerning myself with my upper half, still sporting my button-ups and a smile. But as for the rest — I gave myself the grace to realize it didn’t matter to me or anyone else.

When my depression got worse during the winter, I allowed myself to dress for comfort. Long sleeves and pajama pants. After the winter ended the long sleeves were changed out with T-shirts and the occasional polo on more formal occasions. The pajama pants stayed.

Soon, my bed became a place not only for relaxation but my central hub for meetings, coffee breaks, and head-down, hands-busy work. 

It was liberating for me and my depression to know that if my body was not up to leaving this plush bed of mine, I don’t have to. 

If I’m feeling the blues while working on an assignment I can get up, take a stroll around my house, get some food I know I like, and get back to it once I’m recharged.

Now, I’m proud to say that my bed is my new home office. From here I write these words, and it is from here that I meet with my team, update clients, and draft reports. 

Depression is with me always. And while there are days that have me scrambling to find a shirt to wear in time for a meeting or times when my eyes glaze over from an influx of requests, I’m happy knowing home is only a step away, and I can always find respite, no matter how brief, by closing the laptop and snuggling up in my soft and squishy home office.

Originally published: December 2, 2021
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