This has been on my mind a lot the last couple of months and it’s time to let it out of my head and drop it on the “paper” 🙂
As much as we as a society have made strides forward in mental health advocacy and understanding there is still a significant stigma attached to admitting that you are less than “ok”. Being in the midst of living through the grieving process of losing my son last year I am the first to admit that there are many days when I’m not ok. Let’s be brutally honest… more not ok days than ok ones really. But I get up and I go to work and I am a shining example of OK for the day. Then I go home and I crash. Not the healthiest way to process and deal with grief and I am beginning to see a real frustration building with me over this.
Why the resentment? Simple really… because if I had broken my leg or had a bout of pneumonia and needed to take time for my care and healing then it would be open and discussed and work time management would be resolved. Days off or weeks off would be arranged, colleagues would help with taking up the slack (even begrudgingly, they would do it) and my body would have its needs met for time to heal.
But instead…this wound, this illness, is quite literally, in my head and not visible. Not only is it not visible – it is hidden, purposely – hidden so as to not have to face the implications of being viewed as less able or less competent. Hidden so as to ensure that my job security is intact and that there won’t be an undercurrent of my performance and stability being questioned. So grief and depression are pushed away as best as they can be each day until they just simply can’t be anymore and then the issue becomes how do you put it out there that you need a day off, a week off…to close your office door and not speak to anyone until the moments pass. And the resentment builds that for as much as we, as a society, are fighting to remove the stigmas, they are still fully and completely present.
This isn’t solely a rant about this issue though but also a post to bring action. Check out this link : https://www.notmyselftoday.ca/about and read and talk and get it out in the open. Dialogue can help and dialogue is needed. I’ll be doing my part. I’ll be meeting with my direct colleague and no longer hiding. As a simple man with a great vision once said “be the change you want to see”. Talk is great but action is where it’s at.
Have yourself a wonderful day, and if it’s anything else, tell it like it is.