To Those Who May Not Understand

By Kelly StricklenDecember 14, 2015

This month we’re looking back on 2015 and sharing the most popular blog posts from this year. Want to help us make 2016 our best year yet? Check out our #into16 campaign here

Days like today make it very hard to remember the good days. When I come across days like these, it can be nearly impossible to remember that there ever were good days to begin with. When I try to explain this to people who haven’t struggled with depression, it can be difficult to get them to understand what I mean. I often get the reaction of, “Oh you’re having a bad day? I thought you were in recovery? I thought things were getting better?” When that happens, I usually walk away or change the subject because I’m unsure of what my reaction should be.

To those of you who may not understand, I’ll try to explain:

Yes, I’m having a bad day.

Today I feel like there is no hope left for me – like it has been sucked out of the air – and that at any minute I might suffocate from the overwhelming absence of something so vital.

Today I can’t stop repeating these words in my head: “I want to die.”

I wish, more than anything, that I could stay in my bed and cover my face and not speak to anyone.

I feel heavy, like I’m carrying bricks in all of my pockets, and the weight is too much for my muscles to carry.

I feel ugly, and I feel scared.

But yes, I am in recovery.

Because despite the way that I feel today,

I got out of bed this morning.

I went to breakfast with a friend.

I sat on the floor, colored a picture with my niece, kissed her cheeks, and put a bow in her hair.

And even though every bone and fiber in my body wanted to,

I didn’t tear apart my house searching for something to help express my pain,

and I didn’t succumb to the temptations that filled my every thought.

Yes, I am in recovery. Because even though today was hard,

I’m still choosing to be here tomorrow.

I used to think that it was prideful to think of myself as strong.

But I’ve come to realize that my strength is not only something to be proud of; it’s also something that is achieved in a million little ways every single day.

Every tiny victory or decision that leads to a healthier life points to the strength that was placed inside of me from the moment I was created.

So to those who may not always understand,

please remember that, even on the bad days,

we’re still fighting the good fight,

we’re still running the distance –

no matter how slow we may seem to those on the outside.

And to those who are in recovery or to those who maybe haven’t quite figured out what that means,

please remember that it is quite OK to have bad days.

It’s what we do with those days,

how we let them change us,

that matters in the end.

Please remember that you have the strength to overcome this,

even when it doesn’t feel like it,

even when you have to blindly search for it in the darkness.

Sometimes our strength is found alongside our weaknesses.

Please do not forget that, even at your darkest,

you are immeasurably loved,

your story will always be important,

and the days will once again be good.

Want to contribute to our blog in 2016? Send an email to [email protected] with a submission or pitch. Make sure you put “Guest Blog Pitch” in the subject line of the email.

Leave a Reply

Comments (14)

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015 « TWLOHA

  2. Darquetta

    I’m having a really bad day today, I skipped today and just said skip it. I have Major Depressive Disorder and it’s a battle every single day like today.

    Reply  |  
  3. Narnia

    Thanks for that, it’s hard to see the end when your stuck in the middle, going round and round, spinning faster and faster, trapped inside a turbulent tornado of negativity and depression, spiralling out of control.

    Yet, somewhere in the distance, a glimmer of hope exists, though it is blurred by your tears and anguish, it is still there. Yet somehow you just don’t recognise it, distracted by distress and your own inner turmoil.

    Thank you so much for posting this blog!!

    Reply  |  
  4. Shelly

    Thank you. This was just what I needed to read today.

    Reply  |  
  5. Leah Barlow

    I acknowledge your pain and I acknowledge your resistance to it. You are acheiving – every day you get out of bed – you are fighting. My thoughts are with you every step of the way. Stay strong. People care about you and want you to be OK – no matter how long your journey takes.

    Reply  |  
  6. Cristie

    I too chose to get out of bed today. Every year I wish my life were different. But its not. I have a difficult time accepting people for who they are and not who I want them to be.

    Reply  |  
  7. Jonny English

    Thank you for posting this, its really helpful. I always find my bad days really scary, I haven’t self harmed in over 2 years. But on a bad day I get scared that I will do and the whole downward spiral will start again. I hope that I’ll remember this on future bad days. Thank you

    Reply  |  
  8. Sarah

    I read this a couple of days ago. I keep coming back to it. This has helped me make it through the past few days, and I know it’s going to help in the days to come.

    Reply  |  
  9. Marsha Jones

    These writings seem so professional written and I believe they have depression, and are on the way to recovery. My depression and recovery seem so different in the way the writings are written it is tough to relate. This is a hard time of year for me so maybe that is why I feel this way. I do know everyone depression is different.
    The recovery is different and some of us struggle at certain times.

    Reply  |  
  10. Veronica

    This really helped me tonight it helped me to chose to stay strong and have that hope and be ok with having bad days. I could’ve cut myself tonight and this made me realize how far I’ve actually come. Thank you TWLOHA

    Reply  |  
  11. tabi

    You are great
    You can do this
    We can do this.
    Whatever you’re suffering from and how lost you seem to be, there is always hope somewhere
    Be patient.
    We get through this.
    You’re doing great work, twloha

    Reply  |  
  12. Lexi

    no matter how bad i feel, i get out of bed and i continue on, because one day getting out of bed and continuing on won’t be so hard if we keep pushing. you fight for love and hope and strength, we may lose some battles but we always win the war.

    Reply  |  
  13. Veronica

    Yes, I am in recovery.
    Because I understand now that recovery exists, even on the worst days.
    Because, although I feel no hope, I know it might exist.
    Because I scream at God that I want to die, but I don’t do it.
    I am in recovery, even though today may feel like the opposite. HoPe is rising, although I don’t feel it.

    Reply  |  
  14. Jai Shane


    Reply  |  
Get Email Updates

Sign up for our newsletter to hear updates from our team and how you can help share the message of hope and help.