By Jacinta Corrigan

I called in sick to work today. I was due to do a 5am to 5pm shift, my usual. I’ve been sick for over a week now. I had to make some drastic diet+lifestyle changes to control my symptoms which haven’t been easy.

A Mental Health Day

But how do you tell the work sick line that it’s not the physical issues that has me off today. That it’s whats going on in my head. That I’ve been up almost all night stressing about seemingly little things, being out of my comfort zone at work. Unable to deal with certain issues in store due to lack of knowledge training or experience in that store. That I’ve muted my phone to only accept messages or calls from Scott+Rachel+Tracey incase there’s an emergency with Taylor or dad at home because I feel like I can’t function as a regular human today.

That since mum passed away, these days have been all too common. I wonder if the antidepressants are of any use at all. That the tablets I’m currently on for my stomach are used to treat anxiety also yet I still feel so panicky and agitated. Is it still grief or what that makes these days happen more often? Do I need grief counselling as was suggested before, or am I just really especially shit at dealing with emotional upheaval and change in my life?!

That I can’t bear the thought of all the work group chat messages beeping in with everyone stressed. Staff moaning not getting their breaks due to orders above me but it’s us team leaders who get it in the neck. That the thought of going out into the real world today terrifies me. I thought about if I have enough food to last me indoors so I don’t have to leave the house.

That because of this I’m now stressing about my job. Whether I can handle the role long term, if it’s what I really want. If what I really want matters when i have a child to provide for. If it’ll affect my health more in the long run with recent diagnosis and restrictions placed on my diet and activities.

That I wonder if i’ll ever function as a regular member of the workforce again. If I can hold down a good job and not let my physical but especially my mental health affect me so significantly. Whether I’ll ever be able to afford to buy a house or a car if I don’t keep a decent paying managerial role.

Whether Taylor will be disappointed in her mother who some days just cant make it out of bed. That because of years of suffering with depression and anxiety, I simply can’t human today.

But how do you tell the work sick line this over the phone?! So I’ve said my stomach is killing me again today, which it very much is, but probably partly because of my mental worries on top of my dodgy gut at the moment.

Hard to Admit

Why is it still so hard to admit to physical pain but not to mental anguish as the cause of our sickness. Why do we feel shame and embarrassment attached to it when discussing with employers. Maybe because my new manager has specifically called staff members with mental health issues out. He tried to force them to leave by saying he’ll push occupational health on them to say they cannot fulfill the job role. That if I admit to being in the same boat my job is at risk too. Even I just told said staff member not to let him get to them. To fight and not back down and look after number 1 above all else. Why aren’t I brave enough to take my own advice?

Reproduced with permission, originally posted here


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