The Mighty Logo

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

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

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

Originally published: July 2, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home