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What to Remember When You’re Doing Everything ‘Right’ and Still Not Feeling Better

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These past couple of days have been rough for me. And let me tell you why that is difficult.

I did everything right.

It’s hard to grasp that I had a panic attack in my psychiatrist’s office on the day I woke up early and had breakfast with a friend.

It’s hard to grasp that I’ve been focusing on things I am grateful for and I still skipped an appointment because I couldn’t get out of bed.

It’s hard to grasp that I’ve worked out every single day these past couple of weeks and I still lack energy and feel depressed.

It’s hard to grasp that I’ve been doing mindfulness exercises every day and still feel anxious.

It’s hard to grasp that I did it all right and I still wasn’t “fixed.”

I felt so crushed and ashamed. I wanted to hide that my life wasn’t perfect. Shoot, I even hid it from my therapist. I spent our whole session talking about the one amazing day I had that week. Don’t get me wrong, that session, the awesome conversation, the focusing on the good and the quality time with one of my favorite people was absolutely amazing and necessary, but the hiding of how rough some things were probably wasn’t helpful…we’ll hit that next time.

Everyone always tells me that if I just work out more, if I just walk more, if I just wake up earlier, if I just drink more water, if I just socialize more, if I just stop focusing on the past, etc., then life would be easy — my anxiety would disappear, my energy would be boundless, my depression/mania would go away and my PTSD would heal itself.

So, when I did all of those things and my life didn’t suddenly become perfect for all eternity, I became frustrated, scared and upset.

I just knew if I told anyone about my bad days, they would think I was moping and wallowing. They would think I was lying about doing all the things I had been doing to try to keep my head above water.

I didn’t want to tell anyone about my bad days. I was ashamed of myself. I was scared life was going to be hard and bad forever. And I didn’t want anyone to know those things.

But after one of my horrible, no good, very bad days, I forced myself to realize the fact (after a helpful urging from my Mom) that bad days are part of life.

No matter how much good stuff you do, there will still be bad days.

And yeah, that sounds rough. I know. I hate it. But, you know what? Without the bad days, we would never appreciate the good ones.

Think about it. If every day was awesome, we would stop thinking they were exciting and joyous. They would become mundane and normal. The bad days makes us long and hope for the good ones, and they make us love the good ones even more.

The bad days suck, but more often than not, they aren’t your fault.

On the bad days, you are still more than enough. You are still worthy. You are still deserving. You are still good. You are still human.

Remember those things. Remember how enough, how worthy, how deserving, how good and how human you are.

Don’t let the bad days make you question any of that. Don’t let the bad days make you think that every day will be bad. Don’t let the bad days make you forget the good ones.

Don’t let today being bad make tomorrow bad too.

Always remember that tomorrow will come. This is temporary. Things will get better. The sun will come out tomorrow, right? Tomorrow may not be in 24 hours, but I promise it comes. The sun, the happy times, the joy you’re seeking, the peace you need, it all comes. You just have to hold on.

Keep on my friends. Those bad days are so discouraging, but the good days are worth waiting for. Think of the bad days as stepping stones to get to the great days, and maybe that will help you get through. Reach out to people, spend some time on yourself, take a break from the things that are too hard to do right now, email your therapist. If you can — go for a walk, do some art, practice some mindfulness, but most importantly — be kind and patient with yourself.

Unsplash image by Julia Caesar

Originally published: October 8, 2019
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