Mental illness is a constant battle, even in recovery. Recovery doesn’t mean you’re cured. It just means you have your illness under control. So bad days can and do happen. They might come on suddenly and leave you feeling like you have slipped backwards. You might even feel like you have failed at the fight to stay well, but you haven’t failed or slipped backwards. Bad days are okay. They are part of your illness. You can’t be strong all the time. You have to allow yourself moments of weakness.
It’s alright to have days when you want to just lie in bed, when tears fall freely, when your soul sinks, and when you don’t fight the darkness in you. The important thing is how you handle that day and if you are able to stop that day from continuing on.
I’ve been in recovery for a while. There are days when things get tough and I just have to sit down and cry. Sometimes my illness gets the best of me. For no apparent reason at all I just feel this overwhelming sadness in me. At times life and my illness are too much to handle.
This year has been a challenge. I have faced one medical issue after another. Trying to deal with my physical health and combat my illness has been a struggle. I have to fight to stay positive while all this bad stuff happens to me. It’s been hard. I keep telling myself I can’t let this push me down the hole. A few days ago I stayed in bed until one thirty in the afternoon. When I got up I lay on the couch and allowed tears to fall. My fight to look for the good suddenly seemed hopeless.
I turned to my husband and asked him if I was slipping backwards. He held me tight and said, “No, you’re fine. You’re just having a bad day. We’ll get through this.” I wrapped my arms around him and just cried. Everything happening to me seemed hopeless and darkness seeped into my soul. That day I didn’t want to combat my illness; I just wanted to let go and not be strong.
While I allowed myself to have a bad day, I took time to take care of myself. I turned to my husband and friends for support. I took my medication and reminded myself this is just for a day. Tomorrow I’ll be stronger and will go on fighting. Lou reminded me things will get better.
The next day I woke up in the morning and listed the positive things in my life. I reminded myself the medical problems were all fixable and could have been worse. I took a shower, dressed, and went to work. I kept my mind focused on moving out of the darkness. A good cry seemed to be refreshing, because that following day I felt even tougher. I took control of my illness and found the light once again.
If you have a bad day, don’t think it’s a sign that you lost the battle. See it as a day to just let go and let your feelings flow. Remind yourself there will be bad days and that is okay. Just remember to take care of yourself during that time and not to allow the sadness to continue on for a longer period of time. You’re only human; you can’t be strong all the time. Everyone has bad days; it’s just important to know you can lift yourself up afterwards.
I know I will have bad days from time to time, but I also know I can pull myself up. I am too strong to slip backwards. Since I am able to pick myself up after bad days, I will continue to dance within the light.