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Having a Good Day When You Have a Mental Illness

Today was a good day.

I woke up at 6:35 a.m. I opened my eyes to sunlight coming through my blinds, but it was different from the day before. Today, it signified a fresh start, a beautiful beginning and happiness. Most days, the sun feels like it’s mocking me. It usually feels cruel, how it makes everything so bright when my brain stays so dark. Today, I rose with the sun.

I looked beside me and there was my boyfriend, still dreaming sweetly with a slight smile on his face. At that moment, his eyes blinked open and his smile grew. He reached for my hand and drifted back to his dream while I smiled next to him. How lucky I was to be able to catch that moment. How lucky I am to have someone so caring, so loving, so gracious and so kind.

I quickly realized that this day was going to be unlike many I have had in awhile. My brain has been an awfully messy place to be. My anxiety usually doesn’t let me rest and it’s been evident with my sleep patterns. Usually, my mornings are filled with dread, panic and a million questions I ask myself before my feet touch the floor. I overanalyze things until I cry and stress to the point that my eyelashes have started to fall out and I break out in hives all over my body. I find myself wishing I would be able to outrun my thoughts and I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times I have cried into tear-soaked pillows at night until I fall asleep. I have taken my sadness and anxiety out on my loved ones more times than I feel comfortable admitting. Anxiety and depression have had their way with my soul and mornings have gotten increasingly bad.

It was so refreshing to wake up and take in the beginning of the day without worrying about something. I thought clearly for the first time in months. I felt loved and appreciated from not only my boyfriend but from myself too. I felt like I would be able to not only get through the day but really, truly make it mine.

For those of us who fight anxiety and depression, good days can be few and far between. I believe they are designed for a reason and reach us at the exact moment we need them. We savor the good days because we know we may not get another one for a while. We enjoy the good days even more because we know how bad the bad days can actually be.

I am not foolish enough to tell you to find a day and make it good because it isn’t that easy, but I will tell you when the good day arrives, grab on to it with both hands. Squeeze every second of joy you can get out of it. Make memories to calm you when the hard days are upon you. Know there will eventually be more days like this, but never take for granted the one you have been given now. Laugh loud and laugh hard. Smile, breathe, feel the warmth of the sun on your face and remember you are worthy of days like today.

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Thinkstock photo via mladenbalinovac