We all have our bad days

Today’s post is going to be somewhat personal, as it’s what I have the energy and mental capacity for today.  I’m still recovering from my FINE[1] day yesterday.  I get them every now and then.[2]

One of the things I’ve found over the past year that it’s actually helpful to acknowledge such days and even indulge in them.  Prior to entering therapy last January, I would fight hard against such days and demand that I “just get over it.”  After all, it was “just a feeling,” and I should be able to control them.[3]  I would seek to diminish my rough days if not outright repress them.

The problem with that approach is that they never really go away.  Things just build up, waiting to get out.  Eventually, when you can’t hold it in any longer, it all boils over, explodes, and makes a huge mess.

Yesterday, I actually had a much better day by acknowledging that I was having a bad day and allowing myself to do so.  I was able to both indulge in a bit of self-pity and make light of it.  It made the whole experience not great, but far more bearable and manageable.

As a society, we tend to encourage people to put on a happy face, to act like nothing’s wrong, and to think of people who “have it worse.”  The problem with this is that while there may be people with worse problems out there than what we are facing, our problems are still very real and we need the freedom to deal with them.  And we can’t do that if we can’t even acknowledge them or feel like we have to downplay them.

[1]  FINE is short for “Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional.”  An old coworker taught me that.  He learned it when he was in counseling years ago.

[2]  Right now, they seem to be happening every other week or so.  I think it’s the holiday season combined with the fact that a few “major events” happened in my life around this time of year, and my mind tends to gravitate towards the associated memories.

[3]  The need to be in control is a major issue for most codependents.  One of the big wake-up calls I faced when I finally acknowledged my codependency and got help for it was acknowledging just how much I needed to be in control of not only myself, but my circumstances and others in it and how I sought to exert that control.

2 thoughts on “We all have our bad days”

  1. If it springs any comfort, you aren’t alone. The Thanksgiving to New Years time frame tends to harbor a lot of bad days for me as well.

    I don’t have much in the way of family (Was raised by almost cult-like religious grandparents who disowned me over certain life events around the age of 19, biological parents aren’t in the picture at all…Only have any sort of relationship with my half-sister), so the holidays are always a rough time for me, what with the media blaring HAPPY FAMILY TIMES! in my face, and my friends all being busy with theirs.

    So, hugs.

    You also have a very good point with the “people need permission to face their own issues” thing. That was something that I didn’t learn until a couple years ago. Still working on it, really. Sometimes, it’s easier to just pretend that your problems *don’t* matter, because, really, what are your problems compared to what others are going through? But it’s not healthy. And being able to give yourself that permission is hard lesson to learn.

  2. @BabyRaptor: I think it’s comfort in some sense. It’s always nice to be reminded that being down during a time of year where society makes extra effort to convince me I’m supposed to be all cheerful is not something all that peculiar or unique about me.

    I’m sorry to hear about your bad family situation. That has to be hard.

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