I have a mental health condition that pretty much never surfaces on medication. Sometimes though, usually triggered by some sudden change in life or conflict in relationships, the effects can creep back. This happened the other night and I felt unsafe going to work yesterday, so I called out sick, simply announcing to my team that I wasn't feeling well.
I have some wonderfully friendly and supportive coworkers, and tomorrow they're sure to ask how I'm feeling, and inadvertently, what it was, e.g. "Did you catch the cold that's going around the office? Are you all better now?"
I actually don't feel unsafe revealing my condition to coworkers if I had to, as I work for a relatively with-the-times, mental-health-aware company (which is why I'm also not too scared to ask this question on a public forum like this). I just don't feel like actively revealing it. I don't want to be a mental health awareness hero.
But I am really not great with lying or being quick on my feet with responses. I don't want to look sketchy tomorrow, recovering 100% in a day after claiming to have gotten so sick I couldn't even log in from home. In the past I've used excuses like "mild food poisoning." I have also pretended to still be a little sick the next day. I don't mean to lie but I'm just not very graceful at trying to keep my privacy while also not raising suspicion or making well-meaning coworkers feel weird they asked.
Is there a more tactful route I can take that doesn't involve (as much) lying? Or maybe just, an acceptable lie that might not cause me to feel as guilty?
Something I failed to mention is that working from home is a widely-used and supported option in my company, everyone having unlimited sick days and bringing laptops home. This is what compels me to express that I'm indeed "sick" enough that I can't even log in from home. Which is why it then feels weird to me to come back the next day, seemingly fine.