so. i am one of those people who very rarely calls in sick. i dragged myself to work throughout a hellish cold last month, because i didn’t want to lose any money or seniority at work.
but today i woke up at 7:15, when the sky was still dark and the world was still cold, bleeding profusely, and i was like, “you know what?! fuck it!” i called in sick to my manager, who seemed mildly horrified that i was honest about having cramps, despite the fact that she is a woman and the mother of several daughters. but whatever. the funny thing is, i wasn’t even feeling crampy. i do get really sick usually, but i didn’t get sick today, because i took care of myself.
sure, i could have gotten out of bed, taken a shitload of pain medication, packed my heating pad, and trudged out into the snow and single-digit windchills. i could have waited for the bus, gone to work, plugged my heating pad in and snuggled it next to my abdomen, hiding it under my desk all day. i am very fortunate to have a physically easy, sit-down desk job. it wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world. i’ve done it dozens and dozens of times.
but today i decided to opt for some self-care, to act like i am a person whose needs and comfort matter, and so i called off, and snuggled with my sweetheart underneath our blankets, and slept for a total of 12 hours, and took a bath, and just didn’t push myself on this day where, month after month, i am completely exhausted.
well, on the lucky days i am completely exhausted and just feel vaguely like shit. on the unlucky days i am on my knees puking violently and crying about all the things that i can handle the rest of the month, just crying hysterically about my friend in solitary confinement and my other friend in the graveyard and all the fucked up things going on in the world, every fucking thing, i can feel it then, i feel it so intensely and it’s so, so awful.
and i also called off (you see, you see how much i need to justify it to myself? crazy i tell you) because i was thinking, if the world were run by women we’d all get an automatic day off every month to deal with this shit, no shame, no questions asked, no docked pay, just a day to curl up and reflect and not push your body past its breaking point. and of course in the world as know it now that wouldn’t be possible, all these men would be making a stink about how “unfair” it is that women get an extra day off, when what’s actually fucking unfair is how half the population has to go to work, or school, or go about their daily routine, feeling totally horrible and sick, and not only that but we have to hide it, act like everything’s fine, be vague if a crack in our armor shows and people ask what’s wrong and keep smiling! keep smiling! oh, you’d better keep smiling because if you are not smiling through every situation that life throws at you, you have completely failed as a woman. gaah. i don’t even care how much this sounds like a 15-year-old new-to-riot-grrrl rant.
all i am saying is, i am glad that i took that day for myself. nobody gave it to me, i took it. i am glad that i have a job where it isn’t a super big deal if i miss a day (although i don’t have paid sick days and i lost about $80 not going into work, i am also glad to be in a financial place where a day’s pay lost isn’t a disaster), i am glad that i was able to wake up and say “fuck it” and spend the day taking care of myself, and i am in a much better mood in general for having had that experience.
on a much-lighter-but-still-menstruation-related-note, i ordered this poster from iheartguts last month and it makes me so happy! it’s soooo cute!