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Disability Narratives

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Interview excerpt: One option for Stella was to take sick-leave for a period of self-care, but coming in to work was providing her with an incentive to keep going.

Image representing Stella© Disability Narratives

So I finally sort of told - I suppose told my manager, maybe a couple of months ago. And just sort of let her know that I might have to take a few days off because I just need to get, It's like that self-care thing I might just have to get things organised, my house is a mess, I haven't slept in days, you know. You know, and to cut my - you know - all these things that you don't do because you don't look after yourself. And her response was good. She sort of emailed back and said that you know, think it's something like you can take three days off without needing a doctor's note, and things like that. So I was like 'that's fine'. I kind of felt, I suppose I felt supported. I felt - I didn't feel - you know - I didn't have a negative feeling there. In the end, I didn't really have to take any - Did I take time off? No, I don't think I did. But it was just good to know that that option was there. And that she was okay with it.

And just being able to - it's quite difficult just to even say to someone, "I'm struggling here." But the flip side of it as well, is like when you - so when you're depressed, like - So there's one part of your brain that just wants you to - wants to stay in bed and doesn't want to do anything. And then there's the other part that goes 'no, no, no - you've got to get up, you've got to make money, you've got to - you know - you've got to do the thing, you've got to adult'. [Laugh]. And you know, as I sort of alluded to, kind of the other side wins out and gets me out of bed, even though - you know - I'm probably - I probably looked horrific for months. You know, going to work. But then it's like when you - It's almost like once you do get to work, and once you've started working, things are okay. And if you do a good day's work, you get that little sort of boost, and it does make you feel better. So that's why I'm saying sort of time off wouldn't have helped me.