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14th May 2024

‘Having a bad day doesn’t mean I’ve failed my mental health recovery’

Kat O'Connor

Mental health recovery is never an easy process

Recovering from mental health struggles, whether it’s a bad bout of depression, a panic attack, or months of battling suicidal ideation, is not straightforward. Accepting that every day will be different is something that has really helped me through the heavier and more complicated days.

A couple of months ago my mental health was in one of the worst states ever. It was an exceptionally low point in my life, but I had faced similar struggles before and knew I’d get through it.

I’d tell myself that you’ve been here before and made it through so you can always find that strength again.

I started experiencing more good days than bad, but that can be both a blessing and a curse

Recovering and feeling mentally well is something I never ever take for granted because you never know when things could change again. I try and embrace every good day as best I can, but then a bad day can rear its ugly head and knock you for six.

I’m very lucky and privileged to have more good days than bad lately, but a recent wobble really threw me and it’s because the bad days aren’t as common anymore.

I’m not used to feeling as anxious as I used to and dealing with suicidal ideation or low mood is something that doesn’t affect my every day. A sentence I never thought I’d write.

However, the bad days can make you feel like you’ve lost. They come with a sense of defeat and upset because you feel like you have to start your recovery all over but that isn’t the case at all.

A bad day does not make you a failure and doesn’t take away the progress you’ve made.

They’re a normal part of recovery, something even the strongest people will encounter, and you need to be kinder to yourself on those days more than anything.

I used to dwell on the bad days and beat myself up for not feeling 100% perfect and stable, but it was simply impossible.

Bad days, good days, simply okay days, and unforgettable days make up our lives.

There’s a Matt Haig quote I often turn to on the not-so-wonderful days and I hope it provides comfort for others too: “There will be other days. And other feelings.”

It reminds me to not give up hope and keeps me moving forward toward better days and warmer feelings.



Mental Health