Today was a really good day: the first one I can remember having for some time. I had energy, I didn’t have to fight to be present, I didn’t feel misplaced in the reality around me. I didn’t have to remind myself to breathe every other minute and I had barely any numbness.
The maddening thing is that there were no particular circumstances that made it a good day. It seems as random as the numbing-out days. There’s no rhyme or reason to these days when you’re in the trenches of mental illness. I wish I had a magic formula to create a “good day”. I wish there was a way I could guarantee a day where I have a break from the Ache that weighs me down and numbs me out. I wish it was like a math equation or a recipe: put this and this together to make that. But it doesn’t work that way. There is definitely some self-care to tilt the odds in favor of a good day but mostly it feels like the lottery to me: random luck.
I woke up with no memory of nightmares like I often do. I slept in a little and the sun was shining through the window when I woke. The baby needed me all too soon but I didn’t mind much, at least I got my coffee right away. I spent a lot of solitary time in my garden in the fresh air. We went out for dinner as a family. On the outside it may look like a hum-drum day but I couldn’t get over how light I felt and how I wasn’t fighting every moment to keep my thoughts going in the same direction. A rare treat.
What I’m trying to say is this: cherish the good days, however infrequent. Don’t be down on yourself when you crash the next day, or two days later, or that evening. Try not to expect too much of yourself to have good day. Just do your best. I know it seems impossible sometimes – especially when you can’t remember the last time you weren’t aching in the shadow of self doubt or self harm or nightmares or traumatic memories. You fight your demons every day and you wish you could just have an f-ing break. I know. I have more bad days than good. You are not alone.