“Some days, doing my best means accepting that I’m not actually doing my best. I’m not perfect, I can’t give 100% every moment of every day. Some days, I do good enough, and I have to be okay with that.”
That’s a quote I stole from someone and if I ever remember who it was I will give them all the credit in the USA. This has been my go-to phrase for the last few weeks, and an idea I’ve had to deal with for years.
I have chronic depression. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but I am still often taken over by feelings of helplessness and apathy. The apathy is always the worst. You just lay there and you can’t feel anything, no matter how much you want to. Sometimes you just cry; aggressively and passionately, and you have no idea why. You start thinking of things gone wrong and suddenly there’s a reason for the tears. On the bright side the apathy is gone and you are feeling something again.
Sometimes these episodes only last a couple hours. Sometimes they last a couple days, and my worst ones have lasted a few months. On days like that I have things to get done; i have to go to college or work or I need to do simple things like get out of bed, eat, or brush my teeth. I have dogs to take care of and I have to deal with life. On days like this that particular message means a lot to me.
I try as hard as I can, but sometimes I need to remember that just getting out of bed and going is an achievement in itself. I shouldn’t feel bad that I didn’t do cardio for an hour or that one time in a week I ate junky, easy food like ramen or microwave dinners. I should feel good that I did some exercise instead of none, I should be glad I got out of bed and ate instead of wallowing in self pity all day.
I always had problems on particularly bad days where I wouldn’t leave bed, and then I would chastise myself for being lazy and not doing anything at all that day. I couldn’t accept that some days you need a break and taking that break is okay. Eventually I began to accept the little victories, and while it didn’t make my depression wane i certainly made it easier to deal with. Less often would I end up depressed, punish myself and become more depressed for longer because of thinking how useless I was by not getting anything done.
Effort is always better than no effort, and as long as you’re actively trying to reach your goal then you should feel good about yourself and the steps you took today, even if they aren’t the leaps you usually make.