It’s hard to explain.
When I’m asked how I am, I will often answer “good thanks, you?”
But what does “good” mean?
Having lived with mental illness for around two decades, “good” for me has a somewhat different meaning.
My bad days are really bad. I mean, excruciating. Most of the time, I can’t even begin to describe it. So I end up saying “I’m having a bad day”.
On the days where it’s not excruciating – where I’m not in immediate crisis, where I’m not curled up in the fetal position in bed, muscles clenched as I endure the mental agony – that’s a good day.
If I can get up and have a shower – that’s a good day.
If I can hold a five-minute conversation – that’s a good day.
If I’m not so overwhelmed with racing thoughts that I can actually focus on reading a book – that’s a great day.
But that’s probably not what comes to mind when I say “good”.
Chances are I still had little-to-no sleep due to night terrors. Chances are I’m still terrified to leave the house. Chances are I’m still having flashbacks and I’m still startled by the slightest noise and I’m still wondering if there is any point to all this.
But it’s a good day. Because it’s so, so much better than my bad days.
I still have hope for actual good days. The kind of good days that other people seem to have. But for now, my version of “good” will have to do.
It’s difficult to explain the relativity of good and bad days when the very nature of your disability involves the scrambling of your thoughts, the loss of your words, and the sapping of the energy required to do so.
This is kind of a rambling post and I don’t have the energy to edit it or make it sound pretty.
I guess it’s just something to keep in mind. If someone’s response to “how are you?” is “good thanks, you?”, don’t assume that their “good” is the same as your “good”.
“Good” is subjective, and understanding that can be so important.