(Sick) days.

wallsWhat’s the policy for sick days when it comes to mental health?

Who decides if you’re sick enough to stay home, or well enough to go to work?

How is that decision made? What is the criteria?

Do you need a doctor’s note? Who writes it? How do they know?

Where is the line between “pack some tissues and get back to work” and “stay home and take care of yourself?”

What do you say when you call in? “I can’t come in today. I can’t get out of bed for no other reason than I can’t get out of bed.”

For most people, mental health days are those days when you just need a break. And I have nothing against those – they’re absolutely necessary in a world where we glorify busyness over everything else. But then what do you call those days when your mental health really needs some care? And how do you take them without losing credibility that you’re no less capable or qualified to do your job than anyone else, but that right now you have a mental flu.

I’m pretty open about my depression and anxiety because I don’t think that treating it as a big scary secret does anything to help reduce the stigma or people’s understanding of it. But it is difficult to understand, it isn’t a physical thing that you can see, despite very real physical symptoms, and it isn’t something that is easy to explain. I’m still learning how to deal with it and how to work with and around it, but I don’t know where to draw that line between getting on with it and taking time to prioritize taking care of myself.

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