Isolation is not accurately reflected by the image of an individual stranded on an island; rather, in modernity, isolation is the real-life situation of a person who is fully connected on Social Media, is surrounded by crowds of people, is seemingly engaged with others — and yet remains in isolation.
That is the conundrum of modernity, is it not? Greater “busy-ness” in the social arena = a wider sense of isolation. Activity is not the same as productivity; having less time does not result in greater wealth; and working harder doesn’t mean that you are any closer to the goals which have been set. Somehow, pushing buttons on an electronic keyboard or on scratch-resistant glass is not quite the same as the touch of a human hand.
Medical conditions only magnify and intensify one’s sense of isolation, precisely because the medical condition itself makes one feel that one’s own body is a pariah in a universe of contentious forces.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the growing sense of isolation felt is often part of the problem — the “pariah” effect, where others tend to see you as the wounded prey who must be abandoned in order to save themselves.
Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether the growing isolation felt will allow you to continue in your Federal career, or whether it is time to leave the isolation behind and find an endeavor where your talents will be better appreciated.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire