Accepting that your mental illness, is as valid as any other illness
For the past few weeks or so, I haven't been very well at all. I've been off work for nearly a month now, and I constantly feel guilty for it. Every day I wake up and feel that horrible feeling in your stomach that you get, when you've done something wrong that you should feel guilty for. After nearly a month of feeling this way, I had a sudden thought. Why should I feel so guilty, for having a depression relapse? When in matter of fact; if I had a cold, a stomach bug or any other form of illness, I would not feel guilty in the slightest, as I'm ill and need time off to look after myself. I don't even know why I feel so guilty, I guess its because I haven't got anything physically wrong with me, to stop me from going to work. Thankfully, my manager is so supportive, I couldn't ask for anyone better.
I've realised, that for so many years, I had to make up excuses to miss time off school, college and uni; such as 'I've got a migraine' or 'I've got a stomach bug', because I simply couldn't bring myself to say 'I'm depressed, I feel low' as I didn't think it's a valid excuse, and people would just laugh if I told them how I was really feeling. Thinking about it now, it annoys me. It annoys me that there's such a stigma around depression, to the point where people can't simply admit that they're ill, and struggle through daily life.
I've decided to take some more time off, and really look after myself, in hope that I'll feel better. I'm on new medication now, so hopefully that will help. I'm going to try and eat better, and get at least 30 minutes excercise each day. And you know what? I'm not going to feel guilty for my time off. Because I am sick, and wether it's mentally or physically, it should all be treated the same.
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