I am both a liar and a hypocrite, well sorta. I’ve always claimed to be an advocate for mental health and have tried my best to do my part to help end the stigma. Ahhh, but when put to the test last week, I failed, sorta.
No need for details…..
Loss is loss, stress is stress and I’ve been dealing with a lot of shit behind the scenes. Despite the fact that I had been trying to prioritize my health and take the needed action to remain functional, there were a lot of outside factors beyond my control that prevented this. Seeing this, I contacted my doctor to see what I needed to do next in order to prevent further escalation.
The advice was simple, take a day or two off work, disconnect and find a place to feel safe. Simple sound advice that I was already well aware of but having it reinforced by a medical professional helped. So I did, sorta….
I told my boss I was throwing up.
Well, actually I texted him since I was in no condition to speak with anyone and be expected to be rational or willing to be held accountable for my actions. Shitting, vomiting, tripping balls on LSD or having a panic attack from hell, it didn’t matter, the bottom line was that I wasn’t coming in. I was in no condition to explain the situation nor in the mood to stress about it anymore.
Then it hit me.
The sense of guilt, shame, and hypocrisy. After all the shit I’ve talked about standing up and destigmatizing mental health, I lied to my boss. As stupid as it sounds, I take this seriously and would never preach what I myself don’t practice. Doing so would only make me just like the thousands of posers I despise with a passion.
So I fixed it.
In a brief moment of clarity, I decided to rent a small motorcycle since it was the only thing I could think of to get myself thinking right again. I rode down the coast until my shoulder went numb and got the cheapest room I could find then sat on the cliffs overlooking the ocean Saturday night for hours praying, crying and healing before riding back Sunday. It didn’t fix everything but it did give me a bit of insight on what I could take action on.
Facing the music
Nobody mentioned my absence and just assumed that if I said I was sick I was sick, no need for an explanation. At the same time, I still felt the guilt and had to face the fact that until I took action, I was a hypocrite and a liar so I pulled the boss aside at the end of the night and came clean on why I had called out.
He was surprised but not pissed and understood that, when I was texting him, my communication skills weren’t at their finest. He also respected the fact that I was man enough to be honest about it and told me to be upfront if it was an issue again. I didn’t go into details but I made it clear that I wasn’t sitting around dwelling and that I had been managing it fine but had gotten overloaded.
But sadly, a lot of us have to face this. Either you take steps to manage it and learn how to cope and function or it can easily take control and run the show into the ground. Trust me, I’ve tried both ways and for years placed the blame on other people and situations while refusing to accept the fact that I was toxic. Once I started to accept the fact that I had some wires seriously crossed, I was able to learn how to reprogram how I process things and also recognize when I start going sideways.
It’s not easy and some days are total hell but there are enough good days to make up for the bullshit. The truth of the matter is that it keeps things interesting, I think I’d be bored outta my mind if I wasn’t fucked in the head. That said, if you’re struggling with any of this, please get professional help. I’m not saying you need meds (I only smoke weed) but having someone who knows how to help is a big help when things get dark.