I Called In Sick From Work Today

I called in sick from work today. I didn’t want to. I just put in for a really big career move and don’t want things to look bad- but I am not well today. I woke up from my third work related nightmare this week after receiving bad news last night. My mother just made it very clear that she doesn’t support my engagement to a woman (I’m pretty sure that she’s spent the last seven years hoping that this lesbian phase will end soon). I’m anxious and the very idea of having to talk to anyone I don’t love is horrifying to me right now. I’m exhausted and my mind is spinning in circles- I apologize because of that, this probably isn’t the best time to write a blog update, but that’s where we are.

If I had the flu, I wouldn’t feel bad about calling in to work- they would be better off calling someone in who could give the shift 100% effort. If I had a stomach virus, I’d call out because operating at 50% in between mad dashes to the bathroom isn’t remotely efficient. And I wouldn’t feel bad about that. Yet I feel horribly guilty for calling in sick due to poor mental health. Even though I know I wouldn’t be able to give my best work and would probably have to hide in the bathroom and cry at least once.

I debated posting a Facebook status saying I was physically ill, as if being mentally and emotionally unwell today isn’t worth taking a day off to care for myself.

I’m going to go pull the mental health equivalent of a nap and chicken soup, and hope you all are doing well. Later this week I have a few blogs planned- I want to talk about the film Hidden Figures which was amazing and I encourage everyone to go see.

She Drowned in Moonlight, Strangled by her own Bra

Carrie Fisher

I wasn’t really a Star Wars fan as a kid- I just never saw the original trilogy and can only assume my parents weren’t fans either because they didn’t ever take me to see the prequel trilogy as the movies came out. I didn’t see the movies in their entirety until a little while before The Force Awakens came out (still haven’t seen all of The Phantom Menace, but have been assured that I’m not missing very much). That said, five or twenty-five at first viewing, I love Princess Leia. I immediately loved the beautiful diplomat who helped lead a revolution and stayed focused on the rebellion when family drama unfolded. I loved the Matriarch of the rebels. I loved the woman who would strangle her abuser with a chain while wearing a metal bikini.

I’m mourning Princess Leia, but even more than that, I’m mourning Carrie Fisher. I feel like I’ve lost two heroes all in one go.

I suffered from depression while I was in college- I still do, but my life has gotten significantly better and my support system is much larger and that all means less crying on the floor of my shower. When I read about Carrie Fisher- a successful woman who has been so very open about her own struggles with mental health and substance abuse, I felt a kindred spirit. And I saw a woman who made it to sixty despite having a mental illness similar to my own, with a successful career and a child- she was an actress and a writer and an advocate. A woman who dared have a life and not be the sex symbol society wanted her to be forever. Princess Leia is my role model for leading a sci fi rebellion, but Carrie Fisher is my role model for living life.

For the last three years or so, I’ve been struggling with the worst writer’s block of my life- words won’t come out right and the best I’ve been able to manage is angst-ridden stream of consciousness (I think fourteen year old me trying to write fanfiction was doing a much better job). I’ve been afraid that all of those dreams I had weren’t really worth much and I was going to spend the rest of my life folding the socks of dancers in a theme park, which while not awful, is not glamorous, exciting, or at all artistically satisfying. But I’m going to try my hardest to put something out there this year.  Over the Christmas season, friends have been giving me gifts that all seem to say ‘you need to be writing’ and now with Carrie’s death, I keep reading quotes encouraging others.  “Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”

So I’m going to write that novel. Because if she could be Princess Leia and an author and humanitarian, I can manage my twenties and try to hold onto what I’ve dreamed about doing since I was around twelve.

“I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”

How To Get Through Depression Lows

 

(from someone who has actually been there)

In college, I suffered from terrible depression- therapy, medication, the whole nine yards. I was deeply unhappy and pretty much the only thing keeping me from doing something drastic was me not wanting to bother my mother. It sucks and there were weeks of me wearing the same pajamas to class every day because I didn’t have it in me to change.

However I did find that some things helped me feel like a person and less like a Blob of Death.

  • Change your clothes. Fresh underwear, a new pair of sweatpants and a clean sweatshirt 100% satisfy this suggestion. You’ll feel mounds better and instantly more like a person. A nice bonus is throwing your clothes in the dryer (if you have access to one) for a few minutes before you put them on.
  • Most people tell you to try to clean your surroundings. That’s stupidly hard when you’re depressed. I’m not going to tell you to do that- however I will suggest that you make your bed. You’ll be less likely to turn into a Bed Monster that’s trapped in its layer if the bed is made. Really, the only other cleanliness tip I’m going to give you is to get food trash and dirty plates out of your bedroom- they will make you feel icky.
  • A self care shopping trip. Go to Target or Walmart whatever is closest to where you live. I have a small shopping list for you.
    1) A new toothbrush
    2) Fancy toothpaste. I’m pretty sure some brands make fun flavors (technically for kids). Get it.
    3) New shampoo and conditioner in a smell that you like.
    4) New soap or bodywash that smells good.

    Now, you’re going to get home and you’re going to lock yourself into the bathroom and you are going to take a magnificent shower and brush your teeth with your new stuff. Make taking care of yourself something pleasant, not some sort of chore that’s insurmountable. Embrace the vanilla scented bubbles and put on clean pajamas and maybe things won’t feel so bad? Plus, the shopping trip has the added bonus of forcing you to leave your home for just a few minutes.

You’ve got this.