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People With Mental Illnesses Have Good Days, Too

After reading so many articles explaining how mental health, in my case depression and anxiety, can affect you when in full swing, I began to think… I don’t often see anything explaining how a good day goes for someone in my shoes. I think sometimes explaining the worst days, the days when everything is awful and hope seems lost, can create a picture outsiders can better understand. They can imagine their bad days and compare them and maybe empathize how we are when we have a bad day.

What they don’t seem to get is that we have good days too. It’s not all doom and gloom, but for us, a good day doesn’t necessarily mean sunshine and skipping along the path singing “zip-a-de-doo-dah” either.

I’d like to explain what my good days are like.

A good day for me generally will start with waking up after six to nine hours sleep. Any more or less, and I am more likely to have a bad day purely through exhaustion and/or lack of motivation.

I will take my medications straight away – the all important antidepressant that helps keep my bad days from getting too bad. On a good day I remember to take them. I then get my breakfast.

After this, I need to sit down to gather my thoughts, usually about 30 to 60 minutes. At this point I’ll go and get washed and dressed. Yes… I voluntarily get dressed… even if I don’t plan to go out. *High five to me!*

Getting washed may take a little longer than most would consider “normal” because I’m not used to it; I don’t have a quick routine, and I relish the feeling of being clean. Now I will start to get some cleaning done. This takes a few attempts, but eventually it gets done. I try to focus on one room at a time, so I don’t tire myself out too much and so I don’t get distracted and break my flow.

As I’m having a good day, I will probably decide to go outside. I may choose to go for a walk, or I might pop into town and go for a look around the shops. This can be dangerous… when I feel good I want to treat myself, and I can sometimes overspend. I’ve been known to buy some nice new going-out clothes, makeup, shoes all for a night out that is long overdue and that suddenly I feel ready for. These purchases often sit in my wardrobe for a long while until a good day hits me on a weekend.

I then get home and want to cook. I love to cook, but most of the time the energy and planning involved are too much for me. So I go ahead and cook a meal fit for a queen… and her army! Yes… my portion controls are a little out, but at least I can freeze the food and use it another time.

So, dinner is done, and it’s the evening time. I finally sit down and rest myself. This is when the tiredness sets in. All of a sudden I am so tired. I can barely move, so I find myself in my usual spot laying on the sofa with remote control in one hand and my smartphone in the other, and I slip into low gear again. In my good mood, I have expended all of my energy reserves, and I go to bed early in the hopes that tomorrow will be another good day.

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Thinkstock photo by sergio_kumer

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