Most of the colds I had sophomore year weren’t actually colds. They were depression. Taking a sick day therefore meant deciding what kind of explanation, if any, I was planning to give. On the one hand, I could tell the truth and pray to god that my professor was someone both knowledgeable of and sympathetic to mental illnesses. On the other hand, I could supplement the purposefully nondescript doctor’s note with any innocuous lie that I felt like telling — sore throat, fever, allergic reaction — you name it. The options were endless.
Instead of taking that first step, it’s much easier to just ride the wave of terrified optimism and tell yourself that you are, in fact, in control of the situation, as if this disease is just God’s way of measuring your willpower (or something like that), even though you aren’t actually Christian.
I mean, when you’re depressed, what better way is there to go? In theory, it would be quite literally a painless death. And when everyday feels like washing an open wound, the promise of sedation is far more thrilling than promises of happiness in an unseeable future.