A Creative Retelling of Every Lie I’ve Told to Get Out of Work and the Probable Truths Behind Them



I've used this example before, but unfortunately, it bears repeating. A modern-day employer would sooner okay a day off to bring your temperamental succulent to urgent care than give you 24 hours to regain your sanity at home. That scat-stained mentality leads those with mental illness to come up with socially acceptable white lies to secretly use sick days for our emotional ailments. Consistently harvesting vague and phony physical symptoms to request time off without judgment is as daunting as trying to give yourself a pedicure in a sandstorm. Hopefully, by way of continuing to speak our truths, there will come a day where skipping work to stay home and cry won't be the end of the damn world. So without further boo-hoo, I give you all the bullshit I've probably said (and truly wanted to say) to my bosses in the name of preserving my mental health without getting fired.

1. The lie: “I need to stay home this week. I’m having a personal issue.”

The truth: “My boyfriend text me ‘Excited to see you tonight!’ But the tone of his ‘!’ was #unclear. Circling back, I’m going to need to take the day off to text my Talkspace therapist each theory on why that “!” actually means he’s cheating on me with the caterpillar we saw in the park on Tuesday. Can I also use my bereavement leave to honor the loss of my four remaining marbles?”

2. The lie: “I don't feel well.”

The truth: “I honestly racked what’s left of my brain and can’t find a solid reason to get my body out of bed today (no offense). That said, I’m just going to skip the six meetings, two presentations, and 14 client calls we had planned to compulsively refresh my feed of Insta videos dedicated to cutting bars of soap into tiny cubes.”

3. The lie: “My stomach hurts, I need to stay home.”

The truth: “I don’t have the cash to refill my meds until Friday. Since I'm not properly medicated right now, I’m going to take all constructive feedback about my work as personally as possible. I think a temporary leave of absence to scream into my weighted anxiety blanket would be the appropriate action steps. It’s either that or watch me cry in front of our biggest account ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

4. The lie: “Is it okay if I get someone to cover my shift today?”

The truth: “This intern I used to work with who was born the year I got pubes tweeted that he willingly left the job In which I was laid off. Furthermore! He gracefully slithered into a new position at another sparkling company with zero unemployment time in between. Meanwhile, I, a 30-year-old, puttering pamplemousse, spent a year with no job and got laid off a mere seven months into the next one. I need to stay home and torture myself with defeatist thoughts until I form an ulcer. Have a great weekend!”

5. The lie: “I just threw up.”

The truth: “Full disclosure: my face looks like I exfoliated with a lemon zester. I picked my cheeks well into the hypodermis to suppress my anxiety and legally can no longer leave my home. Unless you want me walking into the office with the skin of a chicken katsu, I’m OOTO. All of this included in my out of office reply.”

6. The lie: “Sorry I missed work, I forgot I was scheduled today.”

The goddamned truth: “Sometimes my depression doesn’t let me shower for a week, and as a result, I develop ravishing cases of bacterial vaginosis. The aromatic notes are like that of a decomposed rind of Camembert left in the cupboards of an abandoned trailer in the sweltering Salton Sea. Should the company decline to provide gas masks for the team upon my arrival, I would like to request the coming days off to clear my infection. xoxo, Monistat Girl.”

If you'd like some suggestions on what to *actually* tell your workplace if you need a mental health day off, click HERE to read my post on that. As always, if you enjoyed this article, share it on your social media, leave me a comment, and give this post a fat like so I can become the world-changing mental health blogger of my dreams. xo!