Anyone who follows my twitter will be aware that a while back, I had a fairly lengthy string of really bad energy days. On one hand, I’m okay with it because I planned on making a post about them eventually, and experiencing them is a good way to get notes on how I feel so I can write about it later. On the other hand, those days make me feel like unproductive garbage and the more I have in a row, the harder it gets to try and be positive.
I can usually tell my energy will be bad for that day within an hour of getting up out of bed. On particularly bad days I know before I even get up, because getting up in itself is suddenly a much more monumental task than it was a day or two ago, and is accompanied by more pain than usual.
How they feel is difficult to describe, because they’re something you’d really need to experience to understand entirely. The most prevalent feeling is the heaviness. It’s like my arms and legs have weights on them, and are doing their best to drag me down and make me slower than usual. If I had to compare it to anything, I’d say it’s similar to how your body aches and feels bad to move when you have the flu, except it won’t go away with rest and proper care like flu symptoms would, and is usually there in some level of severity every day.
Walking and moving, in general, seem to suddenly take up ten times more energy than before, and what little I manage to do always feels like I’m trying to move through a large body of water. Something as simple as going up and down stairs becomes painful, my feet literally hurting with each step. It should come as no surprise that I tend to spend these days huddled upstairs in my room resting, only coming downstairs if I absolutely desperately need to for food.
Brain fog gets worse on these days, too. Focusing on books and games is tiring. Memory buggers off for a while. I’m also absolutely notorious about genuinely forgetting to eat. I’ve had to download apps to remind me to take my medication because otherwise, I might forget. Hell, sometimes I take too much by complete mistake because I thought I hadn’t taken them yet.
The worst part about these days, however, is the anger.
Despite having an official diagnosis and knowing full well not being able to do much when I have no energy isn’t my fault, I still sink into the horrible habit of mentally berating myself for every little thing I can’t do. I know the saying is ‘you are your own worst critic’, but sometimes that little voice can be an upsetting and unhelpful little demon.
To combat these negative thoughts, I was given a thought challenge by a psychologist when I went for a check up regarding my depression. She asked me if I’d treat myself as badly as I do if I had something more physical, like a broken leg. I said that I wouldn’t because it isn’t my fault I have a broken leg and couldn’t do things because of said leg.
Suddenly, a switch flipped in my mind, and now on bad days, I try to remind myself that I wouldn’t do this to myself if I had a more obvious physical issue bringing me down and that my current condition is no fault of my own. It’s hard to do some days, but it’s definitely been a very helpful thought challenge for me.
Feel free to share any thought challenges you may use to help cope in the comments! Maybe get a helpful little dialogue going.