A couple of weeks ago I wasn’t feeling well. No coughs or colds or flu-like symptoms, I was feeling hopeless, dumb, tired and angry as per my usual side effects of my disorder. That is unwell to me, unfit for work, especially customer service! Can you imagine telling your boss oh I’m feeling really down, I’m not well enough to work? Then them saying, oh no problem, take as long as you need. HA! It’s laughable just thinking about it.
I’m lucky that my boss is aware of my various mood changes and has dealt with my many emotional outbursts and breakdowns with patience and kindness – while I’m already at work though – but you try explaining to someone in a minute long conversation over the phone exactly how you feel, there wouldn’t be enough time to thoroughly explain before they’ve made up their mind that they don’t believe you or don’t think that it’s a good enough reason to haul someone else out of bed to cover you. For me it is. Our company doesn’t pay for sick leave and I really need all of my money, so when I say I need a day off trust me I really need it.
So, over the years and to prevent embarrassment from having to explain my many thoughts and feelings so that I could be considered for leave, I’ve taken to lying. Looks awful in black and white text but it’s true – see what I did there? – I’ve taken to calling in the early hours so that my voice is still raspy, and I say I’ve caught a cold. I do catch a lot! I’m not always lying, it’s only once every few months or so on those days. You know the ones when you’re really wondering why you’re on this planet and what purpose you were created to be a nothingness of a human being that takes up too much space and uses up too much valuable oxygen…You know those days!
When you just cannot face your awful job because one more vile customer, one more error could be that last nail in the coffin and you know this because you know yourself and your illness, enough to be completely aware of how much more you are able to take before you break. That is why you need that day, that one measly day to mend your head, a few peaceful moments away that could save your life.
But they’ll never understand that, will they?