Life can be tough sometimes. I sincerely understand that life can be excruciatingly tough. There will be horrible days. Days filled with loss. Days coated heavily by sadness or depression. Days when self-hatred becomes strong. Days that follow sleepless nights. Tough days for whatever reason. This might be one of them for you. It is for me.
For me this is a tough day. My mental health is off today and I feel down. My night was restless. Sleep didn’t really come. I can’t ease my mind. A debilitating dread is following me today. Even as I write this. I hardly have the energy. I barely have the focus required. But that’s okay. Days like this happen. Tough days happen. That’s why I’m writing this little letter to you now. Whoever you are. I want you to know that you are not alone.
Yea, this day might be tough. But we are tough too. We are stronger than we know. And this tough day is temporary. It is all temporary. This day will come and go. The fog caused by this tough day will eventually lift and there will be sun.
You might feel alone. I promise you are not alone. It might seem dark. But light can come. A good day can come. Followed by another. There will be beautiful moments. So many beautiful moments. Dogs that are happy. Books that make us smile. Films that make us cry. Food that makes us feel alive. Success. Rising after failure. It will happen. Keep going. Keep breathing. Even when life is brutal. Find a way. Please.
And be kind to yourself. Be kind to yourself in the meantime. Be kind to yourself when the toughness passes.
It’s okay if you don’t accomplish a lot during your tough time. Our idea of self-worth is tightly tethered to productivity. We feel worthy when we’ve been productive. That thought process can make tough days even tougher.
For me, being productive today is excruciatingly impossible. I simply don’t have it in me. And that’s okay. Our worth shouldn’t be measured by our productivity. We are always worthy. Our worth isn’t based on how much we accomplish. We are worthy. That’s it. All I can do today is take care of my animals. Maybe I’ll do a few small acts of kindness for myself; brush my hair, maybe watch a film, and rest. That’s self-care. That’s kindness. That’s all I have energy for. That’s absolutely okay.
This toughness will end. When this temporary toughness ends we need to remember that we deserve kindness. I understand the shame spiral that can follow a tough day. A tough week. A tough whatever. All the jobs we haven’t done. All the chores we’ve fallen behind on. The calls we haven’t returned. The people we’ve accidentally isolated ourselves from. We don’t deserve that spiral of shame and grief. Maybe it’s not like this for you. Perhaps it’s completely different. So whatever it is for you I hope you can move on from it. Once the temporary toughness is over we deserve to pick ourselves up and move on. We do.
You’re you, and that’s enough. Don’t compare yourself to others. I know, it’s so easy to do. I often compare myself to others — seemingly happy, socially capable, and confidently beautiful people. I see people posting their perfect lives on the internet and it sometimes makes me feel horrible. Does this happen to you? It happens to many of us.
This comparison game can make us feel like we’re not good enough. Especially on our tough days. The days when we aren’t feeling our best. Over the years I’ve learned to stop comparing myself to other people. The internet is deceptive. And it’s far too easy to put on a fake smile in public. We never really know what’s real anymore. Comparing myself to others is unfair to me. It’s unfair to others. We are all good enough. All of us. We are all facing challenges. We all have successes and failures. We are all gloriously different. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to each other. I’m doing the best I can, and that’s enough.
If you are like me, and you are reading this please remember that this feeling will pass. So much can change in a day. So much can change overnight. So much can change in a week or month. Badness and goodness ebbs and flows. If today is tough, hold on: there is amazing potential that tomorrow might be better.
If you are struggling, it’s okay to reach out and ask for help. Call a helpline. Go to the doctor. Go to therapy. Go to a community support group. I know that getting an appointment may take time. It can take time and energy that we don’t always have. I also know that not everyone has access to proper and affordable care. I’m sorry. But please keep trying. I don’t have all the answers. I’m still figuring it out myself. But I want you to try. Talk to a friend. Spend time on a hobby that brings you peace. Please ask for help. Try a free text or call line. Keep trying things. Keep asking for help. Keep reaching out. There is strength in asking for help. Do what you need to do. There is strength in support. You are worth it. You are spectacular.
This is very important to me. You are very important to me. You are why I’m writing this. You are why I’m summoning all the energy I have. You are why I’m sharing. I want you to know that you are not the only one. I’m not sharing this to receive affirmation from you. I’m sharing this in case you are also having a tough time. I’m sharing because I want you to know that you are not alone.
You are not stuck here forever. This toughness is temporary. You are not alone.