When you have a mental illness, one of the first things you learn is that you have pleasant days and unpleasant days. Some months those unpleasant days outweigh the good. Other months they don’t. It took me a long time to come to terms with my bad days. Most of it was from the stigma of mental illness. I couldn’t let my grim days show. I couldn’t let people find out I was mentally ill. Mentally ill meant something was wrong with me. I wasn’t crazy yet, that is what I thought about myself. People would think I was crazy and they would shun me.
I put on a show for everyone around me for so long. I would smile when I felt like dying. I said nothing was wrong when nothing was right. Then my therapist told me, “It’s okay to have a bad day.” It was like I was getting permission to express myself. Yes, I know I didn’t need that permission, but it was as though a switch had flipped in me. I could say today is not an agreeable day. I could tell someone I didn’t want to take part in whatever they had going on.
Learning how to communicate that I wasn’t having a good day is something I still struggle with. I have children and they don’t understand why. Work isn’t as much of a problem since I’m self employed. I can step away from the computer and work, then come back to it when I’m feeling better. I try not to do that often.
Another thing that helps me is a good cry. I’m talking an all out breakdown, an ugly cry. Afterwards, I feel wiped out. I rest, and then I wake up feeling better. It’s good to just get it all out. That doesn’t always help, but it does sometimes.
Accepting that today is a bad day is another method that helps. Just saying today ain’t the day helps make it better. Mostly because I can start again tomorrow and it will hopefully be better. We only have to worry about the day at hand. For me, praying on it helps. Taking a few moments to pray about whatever seems to make the day bad can help me get perspective.
One thing to remember that having depression is not the same thing as having a bad day. Depression is soul sucking. It honestly is. I have bad days with my depression. These days I barely get out of the bed. Those days I journal more, I write my feelings down so I don’t head into a deeper depression. Those days don’t always magically end with a cry or some rest. They can linger for weeks. I take medication to help them be fewer.
Not every day will be sunshine and roses. I have learned to take the good with the bad. To take the day as it comes, as the gift from God that it is. To know that maybe the storm that is brewing today will be the catalyst for tomorrow’s rainbow. There are other moments that are so bad I’m certain God is hating on me at the moment. It’s the truth of both my mental illness and my faith. I’m not perfect but I the best version of myself I can be each day.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH YOUR BAD DAYS? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.