Some Days Are Better Than Others

I have been told that some days are better than others when it comes to depression and anxiety. The goal is to eventually have more good days than bad days. “use your coping tools,” they tell you. “Be assertive with yourself; make the choices that will make you feel good.” Sometimes all that shrink talk goes out the window.

My problem is that some days I just lack the motivation altogether. Yesterday I was feeling motivated and excited about things, but today the motivation turned into apathy, and the excitement to anxiety and worry. For example, yesterday I was pretty stoked about cleaning out my closet, but today as I continued with the task, I actually found myself worrying about it. “What if I do all this and my closet still looks messy and cluttered? What if I can’t part with the clothing that I know I really should let go of? What if I accidentally throw out too many things and end up with only clothes that make me look fat?” There you have it, a glimpse into the mind of someone who has anxiety. The thoughts got so overwhelming that I abandoned the project, telling myself  my old standby comforting phrase: “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

I considered making this post private rather than public. My brain anticipates the response from readers: “If this chick’s biggest problem is cleaning out her closet, then she has a thing or two to learn about what ‘anxiety’ truly means.” My intention in sharing this anecdote about cleaning out my closet is not to show the breadth of anxiety conditions, but rather to share how anxiety can affect even the most seemingly innocuous moments in everyday life. I ultimately decided to publish this post publicly because I think I would be remiss to share with you only about my good days. If even one person finds this post and reads it and knows that there is someone out there like them, then maybe I have made one step in helping to destigmatize mental health issues (sorry if that sounds grandiose, but I couldn’t think of a better way to phrase my feelings at the moment).

My personal wish is to only have good days to share on my blog, but i know the kind of life where every day is a good one does not exist. You can do your best to make every day a good one, but ultimately some days are better than others, and that’s perfectly fine and does not make you a sicko.

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2 thoughts on “Some Days Are Better Than Others

  1. When I have the same kind of anxiety about a task, it helps me to pause for a moment and ponder, within the context of my fears, the variables of Probability and amelioration.

    Probability: How likely is it that the thing I fear will happen if I do the task.

    Amelioration: If the thing I fear happens, how difficult will it be to reverse or deal with the negative effects.

    I rationally evaluate the balance between the two and then l proceed with or defer doing the task. For instance, yesterday I was tempted, for just a moment, to use a rotary wire brush with in a power tool without wearing eye protection. I only took me a moment to realize that the probability of a piece of wire being thrown into my eye was very high and ameliorating the effects of a damaged eye would be very difficult or impossible, so it was a simple decision to put on eye protection before proceeding with the task.

    As another example, I was also faced with whether I should put some peach pits in the garbage disposer, since in the past the temperamental disposer would often get jammed. I had since installed a new and better quality disposer; nonetheless, I reasoned that the probability of the new disposer getting jammed was unknown, but because ameliorating a jam would not be a major ordeal that would result in great expense or loss of my time, I decided to proceed. The new disposer performed flawlessly.

    The moral of the story is that in the vast majority of my anxiety-producing quandaries, the probability of my fear being realized is low as is also the difficulty in remedying the situation should my fear be realized. Additionally, the effects of my inaction, will in most instances, be worse than the realization of my fears.

    It works for me.

    • Annie, I do need to clean out my closet. I even have some of your clothes from high school in there! We all go through those emotions you have about letting go of things. I find doing things in smaller doses works for me. Instead of cleaning out your whole closet, doing laundry and trying to put it all away at one time, choosing to go through those bags you had would have been enough. The next day tackle your tops, sort, keep, give away etc. Each day going through a different group. You know this is how I have coped my whole life, doing small parts of my house work each day, and maintaining the rest of the house. Knowing when to stop is not a bad thing, listen to yourself, if your feeling overwhelmed, then you are doing to much, too fast. Now I’m going to go take my own advice and clean out a section of my closet!

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