Sometimes a day is just a day

Thanks to all of you who read and commented on my post from two days ago.

I was wondering why I was choosing behaviors that I knew were unhealthy for me.  After reading your comments, I realized that my choices were directly related to some significant stress in my life at the moment.  (My husband is in the middle of a career change; we have been in limbo for a long time now and we have big decisions up ahead.)  It seems ridiculous that I hadn’t made this connection earlier – but such is the benefit of blogging about these things!  🙂

So there’s stress.  And that means I need to be even more diligent about my growing self-care skills.  I haven’t been mindful of that, and I think that definitely contributed to my day of self-sabotage.

But perhaps the biggest lesson I took from the comments is that I can write off a day as a not-so-great day, and start over again the next day.  Janice from Crazy Good Parent suggested that I can channel Scarlett O’Hara: “Tomorrow is another day.”

The idea that tomorrow offers a fresh start may seem obvious but it struck me as being very different from how I usually approach things.  I’m a scientist – by nature and by training – and I approach my depression with that perspective.  I like to collect data, to analyze results, to identify trends and correlations.  A bad day like the one earlier this week doesn’t stand alone – it gets added to the pile of data I’ve already accumulated and analyzed.  I try to figure out how it fits with recent trends. Maybe the bad day confirms the feeling that I might be slipping.  Or maybe it’s related to my menstrual cycle.  Or maybe the fact that I had a glass of wine means that I’m not fully committed to removing alcohol from my daily life.  Or maybe I should be working harder in therapy to prevent such poor choices.  Or maybe, or maybe, or maybe.

I would be in seventh heaven if I could input all these data points to a spreadsheet and have it spit out a graph that summarizes my mental state.

But… I’m beginning to see that I overthink these things, and in so doing, I create even more anxiety about my mental state.  Sometimes a day is just a day, plain and simple – with a beginning, an end, and a bunch of stuff in between.  It doesn’t have to be analyzed in 14 different ways.  I don’t have to draw profound conclusions and expand my lists of Things I Should Do When Stressed or Things I Should Avoid When Expecting My Period or Things That Could Possibly Indicate an Immediate Meltdown.

It’s just a day.

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6 thoughts on “Sometimes a day is just a day

  1. Have you ever seen the episode of Red Dwarf where Rimmer is revising for an exam? (Hmm, not sure how far old British Sci Fi comedies travel abroad, I’ve found a clip of the audio book if that helps but it’s not the same as the tv series … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5mqbKs1PoI) He spends ages making and colouring in a complicated revision time table so that he can make sure that he covers everything. Except by the time he’s finished it he’s used up half his revision time, so he has to start a revised revision time table. That would be me with a mental health / spreadsheet/ graph combination. My inner maths nerd helped by my perfectionist bent would spend ages half finishing several iterations before giving it up as a failure. Actually, I wouldn’t give up, it would end up in a pile somewhere in the house, gathering dust and looking messy.

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