To Anyone Else Staying Home Today Because It's What's Best for You


I’m sick today.

I don’t have the flu or a fever or mono like we’ve suspected so many times in my life; it’s not that easy. Sometimes I call it my “depression sickness.” But not always.

Because to most people, having a chronic mental illness isn’t an excuse to be ill. And I hate that.

Because why should it matter if it’s sadness or a virus causing me to feel exhausted, in pain, dizzy, sick to my stomach? Why is the asthma I haven’t had to use my inhaler for in months more legitimate to some people than the emptiness that’s kept me in bed all week?

My family is going to the zoo today. I had to tell my mom I’m not up to going. Again.

I always get anxious thinking she won’t believe me. And I always get sad, because yes, I know what I’m missing out on. I want to see the koalas and the grins of my little brother just as much as you do. But sometimes I just physically and mentally can’t.

I know my weaknesses; I know heat makes me more sick. I know I’ve been sick all my life and I probably always will be. I know sometimes I need to rest and take care of myself. And that can suck.

It sucks when everyone sees you as the lazy hermit who is always shirking responsibility and hiding from social interaction.

But in the end, you know what’s best for you. You know when you need to get out of bed and fight through it. You also know when it will do more harm than good to force yourself.

I’m taking care of myself today.

For those of you who need to do the same, I challenge you to rest unapologetically. I challenge you (along with myself) to stop comparing yourself to friends who aren’t going through the same hell you are, because that doesn’t help anyone. I challenge you to stop making excuses for something you shouldn’t have to make excuses for.

In the words of Twenty-One Pilots, “Our brains are sick, but that’s OK.”

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

Woman swinging on swingset reaching out to the empty swing next to her

How 'Losing' a Friend Changed My View of Mental Illness

Kathy’s friend, Misty She is one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known. Truly, both inside and out. She loves people well and gave generously of herself. She is an amazing mother to her four children, an incredible teacher to “her kids,” and a friend, who would do just about anything for you when [...]
student sitting in front of a table of books with words written on a chalk board behind her showing her stressors

I Felt I Had to Choose Between School and My Mental Health

To most people, school is on the top of their list of priorities. To do well, get good grades, study a ton and excel in your classes are all important. Most people have an end goal: college and a career. This year as a high school junior, the pressure to be “perfect” in school went to an all-time high. [...]

When I Decided to Stop Comparing My Mental Illness to Others'

I look great. I am nearly six feet tall, my hair and nails are colored to perfection, I coordinate fashionable outfits and wear an accent of makeup. More than that, I do great. I’m a model, competitive dancer, gymnast and runner. I play in symphony orchestras on three musical instruments. I got an A+ on [...]
Older woman leaning on man's shoulder

What It Would Sound Like to Talk About Mental Illness With No Shame

Anxiety. Obsessive compulsive disorder. Bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia. Self-harm. Depression. Post traumatic stress disorder. If we talk about these topics at all, we lower our voices. Our tone often becomes apologetic, entreating others to understand we know. We acknowledge this great personal failure of having a mental illness or a mental health issue is entirely ours, our [...]