Everyone on the planet has bad days, there’s nothing special about having ongoing mental issues that make it less than perfect to function. Hell, everyone has anxiety or sadness from time to time. I’ve always suffered from depressive episodes, periods of mania, and general anxiety. Every now and then though, the dysphoria creeps up on me in the most crippling ways.
The problem with these bad days, like anyone with any mental illness can tell you, is that you cannot lie in bed and “get better”. Life goes on. Just like if you had a cold and still went into work, you still have to get up and do your normal day despite the feeling of a heavy weight with every step. Unlike a physical illness, however, no one will look at you and say “take it easy, you look awful”. They just assume nothing is wrong, or worse, tell you you’re being dramatic. Even parents, who never get to shut off even when terribly ill, can lie on the couch or do the minimum while they recover. No one walks into a trashed house with a SAHM on the couch sick and says “you’re just being lazy”. When I am drowning under depression I am expected to do it all.
So yesterday, and the reason why this post is late, was a bad day. I opened up the post, wrote in the title, and stared – stared for a long time. The words wouldn’t come. My hands couldn’t move to type. Everything was as distraction and nothing made sense. It’s like my brain, my normally clear functioning and quick mind, was wading through sludge. Everything I did, thought, and felt was slow, heavy, and deliberate. I had to force myself to do even basic tasks, let alone stretch to anything beyond keeping my children happy.
It’s difficult to explain to people because it’s so much more than just feeling blue. Someone can understand about your bad day and why you’re bummed. They can’t understand why yesterday you were perfectly fine and now today, when nothing has changed, you’re not. Their words cut deeper than they did in the past and your whole emotional well being spirals out of control. In my case, it goes from feeling like I have a handle on things to a serious case of the why bothers. Lately I’ve been feeling really good about my decisions to move forward but I can’t help but fall into a hole of “why”. It’s a lot of work for what feels like a little bit of payoff. In the same breath I can say I wish I’d done this years ago and why do it at all.
On bad days, getting dressed is painful.
On bad days, the questions feel condescending.
On bad days, the future scares me.
On bad days, I cannot cope with my children.
On bad days, I want to be alone.
On bad days, I need love more than ever.
The bad days are becoming fewer, the episodes are getting shorter, and every step I take is an inch closer to happiness. I hope in the future the bad days rarely come, or come with reason, and I will be a better person for my family. Until then, thank you for helping me through this.