Sunday, September 6, 2015

Calling in Sick and Anal Glaucoma

I have never called in sick to work because I was hungover.  
Somehow, it felt extra dishonest to call in sick when I'd made myself sick.  Those times when I made a poor decision on a weeknight, I drank my Gatorade and went to work the next day because no one else deserved to suffer a bad day for my poor decision making. 
I've called in sick for food poisoning.  I've called in sick with migraines I could find no relief from.  I've called in when I was suffering from the common cold because I needed the healing power of a day spent cat napping, eating chicken soup and watching crappy daytime television.
But I am ashamed of the days in my past when I feigned illness to avoid my workplace.  Days where I almost called in to say I had anal glaucoma and I just couldn't see my ass coming into work.
People need time away from their place of employment. An employer who wants happy employees will encourage them to enjoy time away from the workplace. I believe employees should take those days and enjoy them.  I believe in mental health days: days spent doing whatever needs doing, time to just breath.  
I used that as justification to call in sick when I wasn't.  And I wasn't using my mental health days to just breathe.  
I once found myself in an employment situation where every morning I prayed for a car accident to derail my day.  There were days when I called in sick just because I couldn't face a day dealing with my abusive coworkers.  My manager not only ignored, but fostered a hostile work environment.  It wasn't unusual to experience yelling, name calling, threats, or feeling physically threatened weekly, sometimes daily. 
I hated calling in sick because I didn't want to experience verbal abuse for a day. I looked forward to flu season and strep throat because I could call in sick without the liars' guilt that came with feigning illness. I felt solace when I experienced illness I could get a doctor's note for. 
It was a hell I lived in for more than 3 years.  I should have left sooner.  But I spent a lot of time telling myself that work wasn't meant to be a cakewalk.  I told myself that no one loved their job.  I struggled to find alternative employment that would pay me what I was getting.  I wrote off the abuse as something that came with employment in a high stress environment and that's why I was paid so well.
When I left that job, I found myself in a relationship I took mental health days from. I called in sick and didn't tell my significant other just so I could sit at home in peace by myself.  
Looking back, I learned a life lesson.  Mental Health Days should be days you take to do things to take care of yourself.  They should be days spent doing things you don't always have time to do.  They should be days spent pampering yourself with things like sleeping in late, brunch, and drinking coffee in 10 a.m sunshine.  Mental Health Days shouldn't be days spent recovering abuse.  Mental Health Days shouldn't be hours spent preparing yourself for what will happen tomorrow.  Mental Health Days should be something planned and relished, not something obtained by leaving a hoarse, throaty message that you're too sick to work. 
If something in your life makes you feign illness, there's a good chance it is actually making you sick.  If something makes you want to call in with anal glaucoma because you just don't see your ass dealing with it, there's a good chance you need to tell it to kiss your ass and move on. 

1 comment:

  1. Been there...and still dealing with the abuse 3 years later :/