Having completed yesterday’s challenge of “Explain a ‘good’ day” – where I detailed a list of those things which go to making a ‘good’ day. The urge (and I think certainly an understandable reaction) to today’s question “Explain a ‘bad‘ day.” would be to simply list the opposites.
And so it would read…
What makes a ‘bad’ day…
a) My mind is addled or fuzzy or my thoughts disjointed.
b) The dialogues and thoughts are constantly at me and critical.
c) When I have to focus a great deal of energy on repairing damage done on previous “bad” days.
d) When I am unable or have to strive so hard to focus and achieve things.
e) Where my mind throws up alternative fake realities and corrupts and distorts the true reality.
f) Where I find it so hard to encourage or even hold a conversation.
g) Where I know that others are going through trials and yet I can’t focus enough to show them any support.
h) When I sit at blank piece of paper and can’t get my mind even offer anything to draw or when I look at my screen and don’t have the first idea what to write.
i) When the idea of spending time with others is just so alien and off-putting to me.
j) One where my mind simply can’t comprehend even the fist three words in a sentence or has forgotten the first three words by the time I have read or thought the fifth word. So reading my bible, (or anything else for that matter), stringing together an intelligent prayer, relating too a worship song are all things which I just can’t do.
k) One where most (or all) of the above apply and where I just know that something else is being forgotten or ignored – where some damage is being done behind the scenes.
Don’t get me wrong. Nothing in that list is exaggerated nor indeed is anything inaccurate. And yet somehow it doesn’t seem to give the full picture and somehow it all seems too detached, too clinical. And additionally, it’s very presence masks a very real and very important truth.
And that truth is that sometimes you simply can’t explain why or how you are having a bad day. You just know that you are.
Some days, or at least in my experience some days, you can have a ‘bad’ day and just not know why. Either because the underlying reason(s) for that ‘bad’ day is too well hidden. Or because my brain just can’t grasp what is going on.
In my post of yesterday I wrote about having ‘ability’ and ‘freedom’. And as I re-read that post I realize just how much having those abilities, that freedom means to me and how the loss of them affects me so very deeply.
“I want and need to be free to be who I truly am” is not, I believe, an unreasonable statement. And yet is certainly is one which speaks volumes within the context of my mental illness(es).
The truth is, that for me personally (and perhaps for others – but that is for you to consider) a day can be thought of, or classified as, being a ‘bad’ day purely because on that day I feel or experience a lack of freedom to be me.
It is a day when my mental illness(es) and thus my mind, seems uncooperative or to take over.
I found this picture over on lovethispic.com (no copyright infringement intended) and it really spoke to me.
“Lack of freedom to be me”…
But does the statement, ‘that I feel or experience a lack of freedom to be me’, say something about how I view my mental illness(es) or poor mental health? And if so what? And, if so, is this necessarily wrong?
I have experienced poor mental health or mental illness for as much of my life as I can remember and it is entirely possible (I simply don’t know as I cannot remember my early childhood) that I was born with this. In which case I and my mental illness are arguably one.
And if we are one – intrinsically linked from birth, then arguably my mental illness doesn’t stop me from being me it simply presents a different side of me. And why is this so important? Because it shapes the very way in which I see both myself and my mental illness.
And it is at this point of reflection. At this point of recognition and indeed admission that I need to add something to my above list of what makes a ‘bad’ day. And that something is…
l) When I; see myself, view myself, treat myself, with anger, self-reproach and frustration. When I fail to see or view or to treat myself with compassion, understanding, tolerance, acceptance and love.
Lack of Freedom to be fully loved…
I am now on Day 28 of this ’30 Day Mental Illness Awareness Challenge’ and I have but two more days to go. In truth, when I started this challenge I did so in order to ease myself back into blogging and in the hope that in doing the challenge I might (as I hope with all my posts on this blog) help someone, somewhere to understand better, to become more aware of mental illness.
Foolishly, whilst I realized that it would entail my undertaking a journey of re-looking at my own mental illness(es). I never fully anticipated how deep a journey that would be. Or how much I might increase my own awareness of my own mental illness(es) and my attitudes towards my own mental illness(es) and myself.
But through this challenge and through the resultant personal conversations, emails, comments and indeed conversations through those comments, I have started to become so much more aware. And I want to personally thank all those involved in those comments and conversations. (You know who you are.)
And that recognition and admission that I mentioned above, places directly in my heart the question, “Have I ever, do I ever, truly allow myself to fully be loved?”
In truth I have little to no idea how much my mental illness(es) effects my ability to allow myself to be fully loved. In truth I have little to no idea how much the hurts of my past, or my own past or current frustrations, or even my own actions and attitudes within my past affect my ability to allow myself to be fully loved.
Likewise I have little to no idea how much they all affect or influence each other.
But I know that I would be a fool to think that they didn’t.
In truth I am not sure if I truly really know how to allow myself to be fully loved. But I do know this one thing – If I don’t afford myself the freedom to do so, it will never happen.
So let me close by adding to and amending both my answer to yesterday’s “Explain a ‘good’ day” question and to today’s, “Explain a ‘bad’ day” question…
“A ‘good’ day, is any day when I have afforded myself the freedom to be fully loved (even and including by me myself), no matter what my mental illness(es) (or my reactions to it) may throw my way that day. And a ‘bad’ day is any day when I have not.”