Guilt from taking more than one 'mental health' day!

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 year ago.

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    Hi guys, I hope everyone is well! I was just wondering if any of you have told a white lie to your boss to take some time for yourself? I have been feeling more and more stressed recently, I’m really unhappy in my job and want more than anything to leave! But due to my current financial situation that isn’t really possible right now. I am trying to focus on the fact that it is temporary and I can move onto something else very soon, but recently it all became a bit too much. I had a really stressful weekend, worrying about work and then having a big row with my partner stemming from the work situation too (I have been under so much pressure that I have been pushing him away and snapping at him). So when Monday morning came my body and mind were exhausted, I had no appetite and I had bouts of eczema appearing on my hands and wrists. I couldn’t even pull myself out of bed let alone go into work, so I phoned up and told my boss that I wasn’t well (that I had a bad stomach). Yesterday I got up and forced myself to go in, but I couldn’t concentrate and was on the xerge of crying all day so I left to come home. And today I still feel exhausted, my mind and body feel like they’ve been put through a wringer and are now out to dry. So I phoned this morning and called in sick again. My boss isn’t someone I like, I find him rude and belittling and he shows no sympathy in the slightest nor offer a get well soon. I will have to go into work tomorrow, as I can’t afford another day off. But I am frightened of facing everyone and having to keep up the facade of being so unwell that it warranted 3 days off. I feel guilty and ashamed for taking those days, but I could not physically or mentally bring myself to go in. Has anyone else experienced this? Do you have any advice for how to make going back a little easier? Or how to reduce the guilt felt for taking 3 days off?

    Thank you x



    Dear J:

    First I would like to suggest to you that you … expand your guilt to include you snapping at your boyfriend. Better contain the distress and not mistreat others, specifically here, a person who just happened to be there.

    Second, here is a thought: the word “mental” indicates to most people not physical. Thing is, mental is physical, it involves physical chemicals produced and released in the brain and in the rest of the body that lead to those distressing emotions and the exhaustion you’ve been experiencing. Mental can be so physical that it is not uncommonly fatal, as a person is more likely to drive unsafely when distressed and exhausted.

    In my last job of many years I was paid only for days I worked, so sickness pay was not an option for me. Of course, I am familiar with the concept of mental health days. It is definitely better to take a mental health day than it is to get killed. Or injured in an accident because of inattentiveness. Better every time.

    Better yet, of course, is to find a long term solution, another job, that is.


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