Working Through the Bad Days
We’ve all had our fair share of bad days.
At some points in dealing with RA, we even have more bad days than good ones. I know that has certainly been the case for me for the majority of the time that I have been sick.
And when you do finally move to a point at which you are having more good days than bad, that can make the bad days seem even worse. They are a harsh reminder of reality and what your life can be like.
As much as bad days are about pain, they are also about emotional health. I know that when my pain level increases, my emotional health decreases. I become cranky, angry, and generally down in the dumps.
But I’ve come to realize that part of getting through the bad days is treating yourself with kindness and compassion.
It can be easy to think that you are letting the illness win when you give in to pain or exhaustion. But sometimes you can do yourself more harm– both physically and mentally – by pushing yourself when you don’t have the energy or even the reserves.
I know that I am also inclined to go inward on the bad days.I try to avoid people and it has more to do with me than it does with them. I don’t want to bring other people down just because I’m not having a good day.
But sometimes engaging with those around you--people who understand your situation--can take your mind off what you are dealing with. Sometimes not, but I don’t think the default should always be to push people away and deal with what you are going through in a solitary way.
If you’re flaring, life can seem like one neverending bad day. I get that. But I think we can’t lose hope that things might and will get better, regardless of how long a period of bad days we are going through.
Still, sometimes you just have to throw the covers over your head and stay in bed all day. I know that happens to me sometimes. And it’s not fun. But sometimes it is simply necessary. There are definitely days when I alternate between napping and being barely able to lift my head off the pillow.
That happens sometimes. But I can’t beat myself up about it. I have to tell myself that it’s okay. Because if I don’t tell myself that it’s okay, who will?