Mental Health Days

It frustrates me that I make people uncomfortable when not smiling and bubbly. It’s not like I’m running around crying and screaming hysterically. The way I feel inside always shows through on the outside. I am not, and have never been, one of those people who can mask their feelings. I certainly try to, because it sucks to be at work and having a rough day (for a particular reason or because my brain is a real dick sometimes) and having people actively avoid me because I look upset.

I mean I get it, I notice when people look upset. I usually want to give them a hug, but I doubt the stranger I saw walking down Broadway with tears stains on her cheeks would have appreciated it.

These are times when I wish mental health days were as acceptable as sick days. When someone is cold, offices usually don’t want that person coming in because they’ll infect everyone else. Well you get the same nasty looks when your eyes are puffy from crying like when they are from sneezing. I get zero work done when I’m depressed, anxious, or mentally drained from being depressed or anxious. I wish it was ok to be able to go home and try to work from the privacy and safety of my bed.

The problem with letting people do this is that people who don’t have mental health issues take advantage of it. I’ve read so many articles about people pretending to be depressed so they could leave work. The fact that people do that makes me sick. IT ISN’T “FUN” TO HAVE TO LEAVE WORK BECAUSE YOU ARE DEPRESSED. It’s humiliating and really difficult to cover up.

I try so hard to have a “normal” life where I can live independently and hold down a full-time job. There was a long time where I couldn’t do either of those things. Now that I can, I realize there are days when it feels almost impossible to do so. Depression and anxiety can be so crippling, as can mania which is even harder to explain. Then people just think you’re crazy.

Maybe someday mental health will be taken serious is school, work, and everywhere else. I was lucky that I had a mother who let me take mental health days as a child when it was absolutely necessary. But now that I don’t have a mom to call in for me, and for fear of losing my job or having people think I’m an alcoholic or drug addict, it gets exponentially harder to take those days (or even part of days) I so desperately need.

If the works get done it should matter when or where, right?