Taking Mental Health Sick Days

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I haven’t had one of those days where I physically think about admitting myself into a mental hospital in months. Months and months.

You know the sort of day I’m talking about. The sort of day where it feels like anything, anything in the world must be better than living your life. The sort of day where there is constant bad butterflies in your belly, where you’re either crying hysterically but can’t actually pinpoint why or you’re staring in silence at the wall, because you can’t quite bring yourself to do anything else.

You don’t have the energy to turn on the TV, you can’t even be bothered to refresh Instagram for the 27th time today, you just want to stop being a person. It’s not entirely like you want to kill yourself, you just don’t want to live your life. You’d like to switch off, take some time out and have somebody else live as you for a bit so that you can have time to recharge, recoup and hibernate and go back to your life when it’s a bit easier, a bit sunnier.

So yeah, I haven’t had one of those days in quite some time. But then again I’ve had a massive lifestyle overhaul in the past 6 months and maybe that goes to proving to some extent that depression and anxiety and everything in-between isn’t just down to chemicals in your brain. Or that if it is, the lack of happy chemicals in your brain is down to the 2015 lifestyle, the early mornings, the late nights, the 40-hour working weeks – that the horrible rise in mental illness is down to society and the way we’re expected to live.

Before I made myself my own boss and cut down my working week to about 25 hours a week (I won’t lie and tell you I do 9-5 every day because I don’t – some days I do two hours work and then go to the gym and play Theme Hospital and do stacks of ironing and take myself off to B&Q to buy cactuses and furniture paint), I hated taking sick days.

I’d come into work armed with Lemsips and tissues and people would tell me to go home and I’d battle on because guys, it’s just a cold, I’m fine. But other days I’d come in feeling like a 5 per cent version of myself. I’d be silent, I wouldn’t eat, just cradle tea as if it were a baby kitten. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate, I’d just stare at my screen and forget what I was doing approximately every 14 seconds. I’d feel nauseous, I’d feel on the brink of tears, I’d feel hollow and empty. Those were the days I shouldn’t have been at work, those are the days when I really should have been at home in bed feeling sorry for myself.

It’s hard to feel sympathy for something you can’t see. It’s probably the reason I rarely feel sorry for people with period pains even though I know when I get them I feel like my womb literally might just drop onto the floor at any given moment in a nice splatter of blood and mucus. But it’s hard to say ‘you should go home’ or ‘poor you – is there anything I can do?’ for an invisible illness, especially one which can’t be confirmed by tests or from a rash or blocked nose or loss of voice.

I also hate the word ‘depression’. Oh hey there you boss, I’m not coming in today because of my depression. Imagine saying that, like what? I once took five days off work because it all got too much and I went to the doctor and he said he’d happily sign me off for longer, but I didn’t want longer. Sure, I probably needed longer but I was too scared that I’d lose my career, my everything in London, if I was gone too long from my job. So I took off five days to eat Pop Tarts and crumpets (it’s all I could bring myself to cook) and paint a picture of dark swirls and nothingness.

The thing with depression, and I’m sure with a lot of mental health illnesses, is that yeah, you could probably do with a few months off work, but that isn’t realistic – so you could just get by with the odd day off every few weeks. The odd day when you wake up and the day is grey and bleak and you feel like you might actually fall into tiny pieces if you try and brave transport or strangers or every day life. Sometimes you just need a day to try and clear yourself of all the hazy mentalness in your head, but it feels as though if you ring into work and say that, then you’re a wimp. That you’re weak, that you’re a rubbish employee not committed to your job, that maybe you’re making it up because you’re lazy.

You become obsessed with the idea of people thinking bad of you. But more than anything you hate the idea that people won’t believe you because maybe you’re not mentally ill, maybe you are just making the whole thing up in your head. Maybe this is how everyone else feels but everyone else is stronger and you’re just weak and pathetic and need to man the fuck up.

Everyone’s version of depression is slightly different because everyone’s mind is slightly different, but it is real and it is painful. I remember once sobbing down the phone to my friend telling her that I wished I had cancer instead because then people would pity me, people would help me, people would understand and people would believe that I was really ill.

Depression is not just feeling sad. Depression is all-consuming – when you’re in the grips of it it can take over everything and stop you being a functioning person entirely. So we have to allow ourselves, as with any physical illness, time to recover. We have to admit when we’re not suffering from some tiny minor ailment and when we’re battling something that deserves attention, needs treatment and needs bed rest.

We have to change this idea that anyone suffering from depression is either about to jump off a multi-storey car park or is just throwing the word around because they’re having a bad day. Depression is real, and it is scary and it is extremely hard to heal from. So let’s do it, let’s try our hardest to cut ourselves some slack, to tell ouselves it’s OK – but more than anything, let’s stop second-guessing how other people feel inside their own heads and let’s be kind to each other, always.

 

  • I agree with everything you have said in this post, I suffer from BPD and have been off work since August last year, struggling each day. It’s hard to show people how hard it is and it’s so easy to put on a mask every day, but that doesn’t help in the long run. Spilling my feelings onto my blog has helped me immensely. xx

  • I feel like I’m having one of those days now. Not totally, but the way you describe going in to work and feeling about 5% of yourself – that’s me today sat at my computer unable to concentrate and feeling completely emotionally drained.

    For me it’s more stress than depression, and I think sometimes you do need a day off to destress and unwind as it can develop to be much worse. I really struggle with a work life balance. I work 9-5 but I’m still connected in the evenings and weekends as I work in social media and it doesn’t just stop at 5. And sometimes I think blogging doesn’t help, as then I’m on Twitter, etc even more – permanently connected to my phone or laptop.

    Thank you for sharing your post, it’s hard for me to even post this comment so I can’t imagine how hard this post was for you to write.

    • Sammi

      I work in social media and i feel the same! Sometimes things can really intense and even when you’re done for the day your not! Theres been a few times i’ve got really bad anxiety and there are daus were i can’t face going in – stress!! Thanks Hannah for writing this x

  • This is incredibly accurate! I have never seen mental Heath summed up in a better way! Great post! πŸ™‚ Xo

  • You are soooooo right. I’m so sorry you’ve had a ‘bad’ day and I hope that you find yourself smiling sooner rather than later.
    I can’t feel your pain, listlessness and lethargy – although you’ve done a darn good job of describing it through your blog – but I applaud you for speaking about depression and mental illness in such an honest and frank way.
    You know the saying ‘walk a day in my shoes before you judge me’?
    Well if we were all a little kinder, cut others some slack and most importantly took time to notice, really pay attention to others around us, life would be easier.
    All the difficult stuff wouldn’t go away, but we would feel less judged, more supported.
    Thank you for putting such an honest, personal statement on a public platform.

  • Grace

    This post has been a real insight for me. I don’t suffer from any mental health issues but my husband was diagnosed with depression and anxiety late last year. My family has always been of the ‘pick yourself up and keep on going’ mindset but I now realise it doesn’t work like that with depression. It’s an ongoing thing and some days will be better than others, but it’s really a comfort to read your experiences and see it from the side of someone who suffers from depression. My husband tries to explain but it’s hard for him to put it into words to someone who doesn’t really understand as, like you say, it is invisible and if you haven’t experienced it, you don’t know what it is like.

  • Thank you for sharing this post πŸ™‚ I have suffered with depression in the past and sometimes it rears its ugly head now and again. I found counselling helped for me as I couldn’t get myself out of the bubble I’d created x

  • Nicheala

    I feel like this a lot. More recently. I haven’t been diagnosed with depression but I’m sure it’s what the GP will say. If I ever find the courage to go. I withdraw. Heavy. From everyone and everything. I can resonate with barely eating. All I want to do is sleep. Recently dark dark thoughts entered ny head as I was watching something about depression on YouTube. 3 of my closest friends called me during watching that. That is sure as hell telling me something. So with this week off…I’m finally going to see my GP.
    Your blog is so open and honest and I’m very happy to of come across it.
    Thank you
    X

  • this is a great post – i understand completely. granted my life isn’t busy but i always feel overwhelmed and i’m always too afraid to let people know that i struggle. there’s such a massive stigma on depression and mental health issues, especially when you’re young. i have thought about being locked away for a while, just to be away from everything and get my head sorted. tempting, eh? but it’s people like you and i, and everyone reading your blog, that need to POWER through!

    with love,
    xo beth.

  • Stacey

    Thank you for this inspiring ‘cut yourself some slack’ blog. Youv help me accept that today I need to listen to my body and rest. Even though others can’t see the mental health pain and exhaustion that is caused, sometimes accepting to ‘take the fighting face mask off’ is needed xo

  • Sarah

    This is so true. For two years I’ve had my depression ‘under control’ but every now and then I still get days where I wish I didn’t exist. It’s nice to read such an honest account of what depression is to someone else.

  • Love this post. Thank you for sharing.

  • vicky

    Thank you for posting this. Every word of this resonated with me but it’s all things that I don’t say, I just keep in my head and you’ve been brave enough to share it. I can’t tell you how many times I too have thought “I wish I had cancer rather than depression” and then hated myself because it seems such an awful thing to think. It’s reassuring to know that i’m not the only one who’s had that thought and it goes to show just what a horrible thing mental illness is. There’s so much stigma around it, still, which makes it all the more harder to live with. The sad fact is I’d be better off telling my employers I’d been sacked or had a criminal record than admit I have depression.. It’s frustrating and seems unfair so it’s reassuring to know i’m not as alone as it feels I am. I don’t really ever comment on anything I read but this was like you’d just read my mind and written it down! So yeah, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ Hopefully at some point the good days will outweigh the bad xx

  • This is such an important post and a great point well made! I really appreciate your blog Hannah, it’s always such a nice pleasure when the email pops up in my inbox. And I really like how you have more to say than just product reviews and hauls, but actual things that matter and effect people’s lives x

  • Ahh this blog post was much needed for me on this bleak Monday morning.

    I suffer from SAD a form of depression. Although I have been feeling ‘OK’ lately I do have those odd days. I feel like I am having one of those days today so this really reassured me. Reading your blog I would LOVE to have your life (from what you post – obviously I have no idea about your personal life) but its so refreshing that even though I admire you and would love to be in your position its nice to know you have bad days too. We are only human at the end of the day and sometimes in the society we live in people forget that.

    xx

  • This post was a big deal for me to read. I’ve been suffering with these sorts of feelings a lot lately; at first I put it down to work stress, but things are ok right now with work, yet I still had one of these days on Friday. After a day of feeling numb, I came home and sobbed on my boyfriend’s shoulder. 2 days later, I feel as if the clouds have lifted slightly.

    I agree with what you’ve said. These feelings are relatively new to me, so I’ve not yet taken a day off work because of it. And honestly, I’m not sure that I would….like you say, it’s not visible, and even as the sufferer I don’t know whether I’d feel a fraud for being at home feeling ‘physically’ ok. I don’t mean to cause offence to anyone when I say that, it just goes to show the pressures society puts on us with its unrealistic work ethic.

    This post verbalised a lot of what I’ve been feeling lately and I found it really valuable. Thank you, Hannah.

    Lorna // Scared Toast

  • I don’t really have anything to say apart from, this is a fantastic post xx

  • Rachael

    Hannah I just wanted to leave a comment to say a massive THANK YOU and tell you how much I admire you for writing these articles. Having had diagnosed depression for a year and coming from two parents who have suffered throughout my childhood it’s made me feel SO SO SO much better to see you writing about exactly how I feel – it’s reassured me that i’m not being stupid or selfish or melodramatic and I think you’re incredibly brave to put those thoughts out there.

    I originally followed you on Instagram and your blog because I love your fashion and lifestyle posts (and your hilarious sarcasm about being basic – so agree with this and it makes me laugh so much!!) but your posts on depression are making your blog even more of a must read as I feel like i’m listening to someone who understands how my brain is working!

    Thank you so much, you are brilliant! xx πŸ™‚ <3

  • I don’t have depression, but I do suffer with anxiety and my previous job just did not agree with it. I would go into work, sit down at my desk and was so worked up and stressed that I couldn’t focus or do my work properly. I ended up having to take days off and then felt so bad about having to that I wound up having further panic attacks and just crying so much. Reading this post has made me realise that actually I did the right thing because sometimes it’s ok to just not feel like yourself and to take some time to fix that. I completely agree with you that everyone should try to change the way they view mental illnesses and to take a little time to try and understand that it really isn’t something you can just snap out of x

  • Thank you for posting – it’s sad how depression is overlooked. It’s hard when some people tell you ‘oh, it’ll pass’ or when they brush it off as no big deal. Frankie x http://www.joieandthevivre.com

  • This is an amazing post Hannah! I too suffer with depression and am a medical student at the same time, which is really really hard. Sometimes I just need a day off to spend in bed sleeping and watching re-runs of Gossip Girl, but I feel like I will get thrown off my degree if I do too much of that. The stigma around mental health needs to change and we need to be able to take a day off work without making up a physical illness.

    Thank you so much for writing this.

    Hannah xx

    http://www.pull-yourself-together.blogspot.co.uk

  • Katie

    You really have hit the nail on the head. Amazingly honest as always. Thank you for writing this.

  • Wow. Actually just Wow. Nail. Struck. Head.
    I cannot agree with this enough and I’m so glad you were able to put this into words.
    xx

  • This is perfect. Thank you for voicing this so eloquently. It’s easy for days like this to make you believe you’re alone, goodness knows I believed I was, it’s comforting to know that isn’t so – so again, thank you.

  • Really wise words Hannah, you’ve described depression in a really relatable way. I think posts like this are very admirable because of how honest they are.
    Hannah x
    Hanniemc.co.uk

  • I got told to take some time of work by my doctor a couple of weeks ago. I were like “I’m not sick, im fine!” But I had let stress get to me, it was deeply effecting me and I wasn’t seeing it people had it in front of their eyes. It was only when it became obvious that I could see how unhappy I was. Like you said, I was more frightened of how people viewed me then taking the time off which was detramental to my work.

    Horrible to live with but people do need to be educated about it more so we don’t have the stigma on mental health illnesses anymore.

  • Emma-Louise Renton

    Beautifully written. Anxiety has plagued me ever since I can remember and last week I took a holiday from work to just enjoy laying in, eating and seeing Perth. So needed and makes all the difference. Love your work. X

  • It’s unreal how much I can empathise with this post. I feel insignificant and worthless when I one of THOSE days – it’s comforting to know just how many others feel this way too, though it’s frustrating that even though you know that others feel this way, you still feel so singular, and as though you’re letting people down…

    positivity is the key, I suppose! <3

  • This is an incredible piece of writing, and I applaud you for being brave and talking about mental health. I myself have feelings of not wanting to exist, and struggling to function like a normal person and I know the stigma that comes with depression. To read someone so eloquently describe feelings I can relate to is incredible. Thank you for this.

  • Great post lovely. I remember feeling totally embarrassed and like a massive failure whenever I’ve been signed off work with depression, but also wondering what the hell to do to actually get myself better during that time off too. It’s sad that it’s still such a taboo subject in workplaces years later.

  • Natasha

    You have summed up in one blog post what I have struggled for years to communicate to my friends and family. And now reading the comments I see how many others feel the same. Wow. Needless to say I find myself feeling far less alone. THANK YOU!

  • Wow. Just wow. I’m sat here in tears because you’ve just translated into words, exactly how I’m feeling today. Yesterday, for the first time ever, I contemplated taking a day off ‘sick’ because I just couldn’t function. I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore… But I didn’t know what ‘it’ was.
    I cannot thank you enough for sharing these amazing words. You’ve kept me going x

  • LydiaGrace

    I didn’t go to uni last week. My coursemates think it’s just laziness but I just…I can’t even. I’m angry and I’m tired and I’m bored and I’m lonely and I’m helpless, and every day I’m not there is just another day I’ll eventually have to catch up on, but for the sake of my sanity I’d take a million days of catching up over one day of anxiety.

  • Well done for putting this out there, and so eloquently. As you can see from the above comments, you are not alone. So many blogs show that their writers are leading the most wonderful lives, which obviously cannot be true all of the time. Posts like this are so much more important. The more people talk about mental health and, yes take the time off they need, the more others will hopefully, albeit slowly, come to realise how big a problem it really is.

  • Ally

    Thank you. It needed to be said.

  • this is written amazingly, it sums up my entire thoughts on depression (also hate that word, it’s such a horribly confusing label) and work. I’m currently on the good side of it all, years on with a lot of help from prescriptions and sadly not doctors. I do believe a lot of it is taking control of your happiness if you can! fab blog by the way, definitely a new follower! xo

  • oh my gosh hun,

    This was like you were speaking to me. I have depression and ups and down when yes I totally believe the world would be better with out me. This really helps know other people struggle to

    http://Www.missljbeauty.com

  • This is so accurate, thank you so much for making this post! I find it really difficult because I’m always worried that people will think I’m a drama Queen If I take a day out, but sometimes it feels as if you literally cannot leave the house & It’s comforting to know I am not the only one xx

  • This was just beautiful. It summed up exactly how I feel when having bad days with my mental illnesses. I’m in my 2nd year at uni, and haven’t been to my uni in fulham since November; I’ve been at the bottom of the blackest put since.

    I too have a blog if you want to check it out!
    http://whatisnormalblog.wordpress.com

  • Kate

    This is such a great post Hannah, I know exactly how you feel, and it’s so hard to justify taking a mental sick day because you feel like you should be more ill, and not able to go outside and try and make yourself happy.

    I recently took a week off from a new job because I was just so overwhelmed and started to feel myself becoming stressed an unhappy. London can be a tough place and I think it’s really important to know when to pull back and take some time for yourself, especially if it makes you a happier and more focused person in the long run.

  • Heather

    This! Actually made me cry…but not because I’m sad. Because someone just said everything I actually want to say into sentences that make sense. Thank you.

  • Such an honest post Hannah and I agree that I think a lot of this stress is down to our hectic lifestyles. Good on you for working hard on your blog so you can do whats best for you.
    xxx

  • Hannah, I could have written this. Well I couldn’t, because I couldn’t have worded it so beautifully. But i have felt all of those feelings, and them some. I was signed off work for 3 months with depression and my god, the GUILT. I was going to write a post about this, but you did it so much better than I ever could, so I’m just going to share yours instead. Thank you x

  • Yes….yes…yes!! That is all I can say.
    Perfectly explained, I find so hard to explain this to myself never mind anyone else
    (apart from the crying/sobbing, I can’t actually do this for some weird reason I can’t express any emotion, I just shut down)
    Thank you for being so honest and open about a subject so relevant for lots of people.
    Problem is, too many people go on until the point they hit rock bottom and can not go on anymore, they are often too afraid of letting people down or admitting to themselves or others that it’s a problem and then it’s too late.

  • Tor

    “you just don’t want to live your life”
    This. I find a lot of your posts are explanations of what going on in my head but this just sums it up. Not all the time… But the bad days just suck.

  • Lucia

    Just wanted to say that ive had cancer, depression/anxiety and now suffer from an incurable invisible illness as a result of my cancer treatment all as a 15-25 year old and trust me when I say you get so little sympathy/understanding especially with cancer outside of family and hospital professionals (angels) and a choice few friends as so few people our age get it or can empathise as to the hell it causes even long after treatments over. I loved your post and really related to it but that comment about cancer being really understood pissed me off as its not the reality.

  • Rebecca Ellis

    Firstly I’m very proud of you as a reader for writing this. I definitely experience one to many of these days, and if it weren’t for the fact my parents know and let me have days off I’d probably have been in school more and forced myself to pass my GCSE’s (oh well.. I got science, my favourite!) but then I moved on to College and everything changed.

    Now that I’m in what is classed as adult learning, you make the decision to show up yourself… I’d get dropped off at a friends house every morning because I live out of town and contemplate taking the day off and most of the time I did…. Believe it or not I took the entire month of January off (shocking, I KNOW!) but I kicked myself up the bum as of Feb and returned to education straight away, thankfully I hadn’t missed much but now I have tonnes of assignments to catch up on… in ways I’m glad I have something to do in the evenings, it stops me from laying around, I’ve also managed to cram my room full of books to read, and taken up exercise in the evenings. I need to get my diploma in Health and Social Care as well as pass Maths essential skills to get anywhere, and even if I don’t make it into University my career has just begun, (I landed a job as a care assistant last Thursday) I can’t tell you how pleased I was I actually made a point of stopping in the park and doing a little dance.

    Although there will be days where I want nothing more than to curl up on the sofa and shut out the world, it really is impossible if you want to get anywhere in this life… and it’s a shame we need to push ourselves over the edge at times to guarantee a future… x

    http://www.sheintheknow.co.uk

  • nueyork

    There is a stigma around all mental illness. Because there is not a physical wound, a lot of people won’t acknowledge that you are suffering. That being said, you are 100% right in saying it’s not practical to take all that time off work – Work can give purpose and make you feel part of something larger and overall is a very positive thing, circumstances allowing. I love your idea of a “sick day” for mental illness. On those really bad days, just taking a day for yourself would do the world of good.

    nueyork.blogspot.com

  • Gweni

    Wow that was amazing how much that hit home, thankfully my depression never got that bad though and I really feel for others who get it worse. I totally agree with everything that you say – it’s so important that people understand what depression actually is! I felt like such a failure for deferring my exams last year due to depression – yet it was the best decision I ever made and my grades are proof of that! Just sucks that stigma is surrounding it. I do think that peoples minds are changing though. Thank you so much for sharing this πŸ™‚ xxx

  • I understand x

  • i think every job I’ve had I’ve been called out on the sick days I take, because I had too many dotted around. It’s only at my current job, where I can work from home and sick days are understood, that I feel like I can take some headspace. Lo and behold the amount of sick days I have has dropped drastically as a result! It’s amazing what a little understanding can do.

  • clare

    This is absolutely beautiful.
    I struggle with words, but reading this has made me feel ‘normal’, I know im not the only one that just doesn’t want to live MY life sometimes.

    Thank you, so glad I chose yours as my first blog!

  • Sophia

    Thank you for writing this. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety two months ago and have been really struggling. Before my diagnosis my family would just get angry and tell me to get over it; there’s such a lack of understanding. Even now I worry that the fact that I do have good days, and can laugh and have fun mean that my illness isn’t real. It’s always in the back of my mind that people think I’ve made it up. So thank you for this post, it really touched me, and made me realise that you have to do what’s best for you and screw what other people think of your illness.

  • I love this! I agree that sometimes it’s SO important to take mental health sick days when the world gets just that little bit over-whelming! You can allow yourself to have at least one day not having to hide the fact that you want to cry/scream at the world and then once you do feel capable to face everyone again, can do it with a much clearer head. Thanks for posting this xx

  • This is one of my favourite blog posts. Everything you said is completely relatable! It’s horrible when you feel like absolute rubbish inside but need to be “fine” on the outside when all you want to do is cry! Suppose it is the force making yourself so things that is supposed to help though… Apparently.

  • I have never agreed with a description of depression as much as I agree with this one! I’ve been in this position multiple times, wishing that my bed would swallow me whole so I didn’t have to face the world for a day. I’ve thought I must just be broken because everyone else manages to deal with every day life.

    Thank you for writing this post, you’ve reminded me that I’m not alone xx

  • Hi Hannah. I’ve already posted a comment yesterday, just wanted to say however your feeling today, I’m sending you a hug. I sincerely hope that today is a better day for you, but if it isn’t then I’ve not forgotten about you or your honest post and hopefully a virtual hug and a lil acknowledgement will help you see the sunshine sooner.
    Sammie x

  • It’s so refreshing to see bloggers be so open about mental health. I personally suffer from BPD and it’s hard on a day to day basis for me. However blogging does seem to help me somewhat. Also I want to raise awareness but just don’t know where to start on my blog just yet. xx

  • I wish I could say that I have no idea what that must feel like! But, yeah, no, I found myself agreeing and relating to everything you said in this. I mean everything! I just got home after a rubbish day, went straight to bed and mindlessly scrolled through bloglovin and came across this post and it has made me feel like I am not alone! Ive started a blog and YouTube channel and hope that I will write posts as relatable and comforting as yours, thank you for helping! Ellie xx

    http://sincethestart.blogspot.co.uk

    http://j.mp/ElliejadesYoutube

  • Kelly

    I think I may have just deemed you my new best friend. This was one of the most honest and real post I have ever read. I know the exact feeling and the guilt that trails along with it, keeping me company. Life is hard. Living sometimes deserves more of an effort than I have in me to give, but knowing that someone else gets it, is pretty amazing and immensely comforting. Thank you.

  • Nike

    I’m reading this at 1.30am, after a massive sobbing fit I’ve had to hide from my fiancΓ©, in case he asks me what’s wrong and I have to tell him “I don’t know” I mean, how stupid is it to not know why you’re crying hysterically for your mum in the middle of the night at 28yrs old? It’s not stupid, not at all, but it feels it. And it makes me feel so much better to know that I’m not alone.

    I’m so glad you explained the feeling of wanting to not be a human for a while, I’ve struggled with this for ages because I’m not suicidal, I don’t want to die, but I would like to drift away for a little while and now thanks to you I finally know how to vocalise that feeling.

    I know I need a few weeks at least away from work and college, but how would I explain that to my parents or my fiancΓ©? It’s also not financially viable and I’m pretty sure that although people have sympathetic faces, I’m sure on the inside they’re thinking “you need to man the eff up and deal.” To be honest, I’m thinking that myself, even though I know it’s not possible.

    I’m so sorry for the wall of text, but I just wanted to thank you, for when I’m feeling lower than I have done in a while, for letting me know I’m not alone ❀️

  • Thank you for such a thoughtful, introspective post that a lot of us probably needed to read today.
    http://www.getchaglowon.com

  • Nat

    I love this post so much. I like how honest you are and open about depression, as not many people can be.

    I know I suffer from depression and recently it’s turned bad again and I could relate to so much you were saying on your post. I wish I could be honest with my readers about my depression, but I feel too scared to. So you’re so brave!

    Keep safe and well hun, things will get better. <3

    https://theremightbecoffee.wordpress.com/

  • Alex

    Thank you. All I can say is thank you, and how it brings me to tears to read about other people suffering the same way as I am, and to know that I am not alone in the way that I feel.

  • I really liked this post and hope you’re feeling better. It’s nice seeing an honest blogger though.

  • Every parent/employer/teacher should read this. I went through a period of about 3 solid months like this. It was awful but since no one could see it, no one said anything to me. It was hard but I eventually got through,I have bad days every now and again but can’t afford to take days off school because of it which is shit.
    Emma xo | Missemmalouise12.blogspot.ie

  • Found it physically impossible not to relate to this post, everything you said was so true.

    -E x

  • I do love reading peoples own stories and this is worded brilliantly so thank you for sharing! Having dealt with anxiety & depression, I totally understand and aim to help raise awareness too, Seeing others blog like this really helps. I hope today is a good one πŸ™‚

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  • I know this is an older post but I am a new reader of your blog and I really needed this today. I’ve been off work since July and my return date is Dec 7th so I’m kinda building myself up to facing the office again. Thank you x

  • Sam Joyce

    What a great article, thank you for writing this.

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  • Rachael Tremlett

    Hannah,
    I’ve come across your lists and articles through searching for various things on the internet and they never fail to make me snort with laughter and I love how much I can identify with all the amazing things you come out with.
    Only recently have I stumbled across your blog and I am hooked! (also followed you on insta cause your photos are just the bomb!)
    This article in particular really spoke to me in the way you were so honest, so many people including myself try to hide the way they feel out of fear of what others may think. So thank you for making feel like its ok to feel the way I feel & to treat people as I wish they’d treat me as they could be feeling the way I do.

    Rachael x

  • snow-white

    I push myself so hard mentally, that I come into work on days am physically sick because I can no longer see the difference. It’s because I am pushing myself so hard all the time to do even small things, I fail to see when it is legitimate to take a day off. There have been times, where just taking one day off would have made a massive difference to my mental health, but picking up the phone to HR/ or reporting that I am mentally unable to make it in because am depressed… I have never been able to do it.

    Thanks for writing this post. It has helped me understand that it might just be OK to legitimately take one day off, even if it’s just one day in the year to recover. I never “pull a sickie” and never have my whole life.

  • Dee Rodriguez

    I knew I needed today off after crying in the middle of the grocery store alone Sunday evening. It happened after a very bad interaction with ex spouse and countless requests asking him to leave my home and him refusing to leave forcing me to yell and scream crying begging for him just to leave…oh my God he’s horrible like really horrible (and that’s not even half of it – cheated lied abandoned me and it even got abusive during the marriage and maybe i just feel safe here telling this because I’m realizing he’s horrible). So i digress – What made it Im not sure if worse or better but definetly eye opening was I called him after the grocery store for support – at first he was sympathetic but then just i dont know how to explain – not normal – not helpful… So even on phone callz he qont let me go, like he tries to Control me – okay so i hung up on him.

    Okay so the day off..Im so used to him and that stress for years (we were married 9 yearz) that I know its not just him but that I really am alone alone – I mean alone, someone would have to shadow me to really see because I have 1 family member that keeps daily/weekly contact with me (my dad which has been a salvation and I know is more than some people have) but 1 family member and no close friends post divorce has been to say the least..a beast…and way less support than alot of people.
    So being 36 and mature and adult I know what needs to be done like reflecting meditating building myself back up…
    So i knew being older and slightly wiser about myself I didn’t want to just waste today to where I still felt bad tomorrow – so i googled “what to do on day off work to mentally feel better” for extra support…. First up in google was article from Shape and then Daily Burn. Oh my gosh I felt like an executive wrote Shapes article to sort of help you but ultimately slap you on the wrist about taking off…basically it made me feel worse ! Daily burn was ok and helped a little…but i didn’t feel fullfilled so I scrolled down four or five sites and saw this and clicked on it..not only was it real…..was it heart and helpful..but it reiterated the true benefits of positive reinforcement – no its not giving permission to take advantage of the system – but this article at least for me assessed from experience a fellow human being going through a moment when taking a day or two off can help someone so much and in addition this article says in a way hey sister you’re not alone it’s okay –
    And i kid you not right after i read it..it was like a sister just spoke to me and I started talking to and petting my two bosties – realizing in that moment for myself but for anyone else reading this – maybe just maybe you work way hard every day and you’re not getting any acknowledgement or like me you dont have a support friwnd group like sex in thw city or a support husband or a support family but if you have 1 dad like me or if not even that k ow that you’re not alone – you’re not alone – so take the day off and recuperate – my pets help me tremendously – whatever u have draw from it today and let it help you feel stable again like the daily article said – build back at least 15 to 30% of youre stability back and go to work tomorrow thankful for you’re coworkers and job knowing that had you not taken this day forbyourself you might have come across unrhankful and we all know thats just not you because like me you landed on this page for similar reasons as me and we dont need to be reprimanded as we are strong and give alot of ourselves to the people who are in our lives and to our jobs . go rest and smile..you got this..

    Ps just tell work “I’m ill” especially if youre just missing 1 or 2 days, if further questions are asked I just say with a smile on my face..im just under the weather..i should be better soon..just need to rest..

    Good luck ! And thanks for the Article !!!!!

    • Dee Rodriguez

      Ps at the grocery store a young college aged sacker asked me how my day was going – i said not great but smiled – he said sorry – i said its okay how is yours – he said pretty good – i said thats great thats good ! May i ask what made your day good – he said ” I’m just happy to have a job and happy to be alive”
      I hope like Hannah’s article this helps somebody else out there πŸ™‚

  • Emily

    Thank you so much for sharing this today. I had to leave work after half an hour this morning because the panic attack kicked in and I couldn’t stop shaking. I am really lucky to have a supportive workplace, but I definitely needed this reassurance that I shouldn’t have to feel as though I have let my self or my colleagues down by taking time to regroup and get my brain thinking straight again.


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