In This Mental Illness Life, Some Days You Just Survive

It’s okay if all you did today was survive.

The other day I had one of those days. I couldn’t focus. I had trouble getting out of bed. The need to be productive was just not there for me. I could tell in that moment when I opened my eyes that this day would be one of those days I hate.

Then I realized. Some days you just survive.

I had a choice. Make me do things and feel worse or just survive the day. I chose to survive. I stayed in bed for an hour after waking. I have been working on getting my new sleep schedule, but it didn’t work this day. Not every day will be a perfect day.  Most days I get through just fine.

At first I started to be really hard on myself.

How could I let myself get this way after such great production? Depression and anxiety was fighting with one another and I felt if I let things go too far, it would not end well. For those first few hours I was down on myself. But realized something. No matter how things go, there will be days when you have no choice but to survive this mental illness life.

I have to give myself a break. I took the day off. I finished off one of my audiobooks. I listened to music. I binge watched some episodes of Dark Angel, my all time favorite show. My mental health was better for it.

If all you did was survive today, give yourself a break.

I woke up the next day at my regularly scheduled time, and while things are never perfect, life continues on.

Always keep fighting.

J.E.Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoJoshua Earle

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52 Replies to “In This Mental Illness Life, Some Days You Just Survive”

  1. So true! 💜 Beautiful written post. While I suffer from anxiety, some days are better than others. It’s okay to take a break. Sometimes all we can do is survive like you said and tomorrow will be another day to try again

  2. glad to have come across your blog. i’ve been thinking recently about negotiating this changing existence. we have to ride change the whole time, and adapt quickly to whatever faces us when we wake up. accomodating the days where we just survive is part of that, and part of living well with bipolar. you’ve expressed it all far better than me!! all the best (Elle)

  3. This is lovely to hear James. We set too high of expectations on ourselves. Great job for pulling it together and enjoying your day.

  4. I also binge watch my favorite shows when I start having my not so perfect days. I just had to keep my mind busy especially during such days.

  5. This is SOOOO true. When going through struggles with mental illness, we try to force ourselves to be super positive all the time like we think it will counter-act the things going on in our mind. Sometimes, we need to just let ourselves relax and just spend a day doing stuff that we enjoy; not forcing ourselves to do things that will only make it harder.
    It seems counterintuitive, but in all honesty, sometimes productivity makes things worse. You’re forcing yourself to work and work, but sometimes we just really need a Netflix day.

  6. Thank u so much for writing this. Funnily enough.. That IS all I dis yesterday and today I am back on track, fresh and energetic, out of bed since 6 AM. 🙂

  7. And here I am feeling guilty for “wasting” a day when I just had to give in to the calling of depression asking me to stay longer in bed. Thank you for this. ♥

    1. I know what you mean about feeling guilty. That happens so much. Sometimes you just have to give your heart and mind. Stay strong in the fight. Always keep fighting. You’re welcome for the post and thank you for taking some time to read it.

  8. I, too, had a day like this recently. I opted to *be kind to myself*, rather than come down hard like I can easily do. A helpful shift in perspective, I found.

  9. It’s taken me many years to accept that some days I have to let myself “just survive.” And it’s okay. That’s enough. Now, for the most part, I can let myself relax about it. It does feel awful when you’ve just had a great or productive day and then the next day you wake with that Uh, oh. Today isn’t going to be like yesterday… Just survive, James, if that what the day calls for. That’s the best kind of self-care.

  10. I totally agree with you… being kind to yourself is what you need to do and that means some days you just need to focus on just getting through the day… good to hear that you overcame the hurdle and are back on your path.

    1. That’s good. I have been struggling as well but I am staying within who I am. You can do it. It’s sounds cliche but one day at a time. That’s the best way for people like us.

  11. These kind of days are scary for me because I feel like I’ll get stuck in it and that I’ll never get out of bed. I always end up doing it, eventually, but the fear is still there

    1. The fear is the worst parts of this, because there is always a chance that you want to give up. It’s good to recognize because it gives a leg up on these types of days.

  12. Even with all of the meds I’m on, I have these days more often than not. I make myself do the absolute bare minimum for my husband on those days, but the rest of the day is spent in the computer or sleeping with one of the dogs. I hate them too., they make me feel lazy and useless. Having to take care of my husband, two dogs, and several stray cats, helps keep me getting up every single day. Do you have pets? Are you able to where you live?

    1. I was looking into a anxiety dog but where I rent does not allow pets. I would love to bring a pet in, I know people that say that they help so much especially with anxiety.

      1. They really do! I forgot about our little rescue turtle. Just a little guy in a fish tank. I’m sorry that you can’t have pets, they won’t make exceptions for service animals?

      2. I was actually going to ask my landlord. He is a friend of my fathers. It would not hurt to ask. Worse he can do is say no.

      3. I think one thing about emotional support animals is that they’re allowed in apartments they normally wouldn’t be (and on planes). Definitely check it out!

  13. I to have days like that. Although they are getting fewer and farther between they still come and I am incredibly hard on myself when they do come now. Now that they are not my normal I have less tolerance for them than I did before. Thank you for the reminder that it is part of a bipolar life and that it is ok for me to just survive some days.

  14. I had a very similar experience over the course of the weekend. My anxiety was so bad that I was in bed for most of the weekend.

  15. I have been having some days like this recently. Sometimes all we can do is hang on and ride this thing out, come hell or high water, as they say. I have been struggling but I am confident that God will get me through it. It is just a part of the cyclical nature of my life and I have learned that it will come and it will go. I just have to hang on until it does.

  16. A much needed reminder. I had one of these days yesterday but felt myself losing control the entire day. Towards the end when I felt like I was in the thick of it, I just told myself that this day has to close sometime. That tomorrow is a new day and even if it turns to be another bad one, again all bad days come to an end at some point. Living for the good days is what I’m growing to accept right now.

  17. I have days like this too. I sometimes don’t “live” I just exist. When the anxiety takes its grip on me all I want to do is curl up in a ball in bed, but I have 2 young children so can’t really do that. This is a great post!

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