Yesterday I was talking to my sister at about 4pm. I was just about to take a nap and I called her about our upcoming plans later this week (for our birthday). Perhaps she could hear the apathy and dead quality in my voice, but something prompted her to ask (in the most chirpy, energetic voice) what my plans were for the rest of the day. I sighed and said, “Just getting through the day.” She paused before responding. Do you know the pause I’m talking about? That pregnant pause where you can feel the apprehension of not knowing how to respond?
She paused then said, “Oh, okay. Well, what else are you going to do?!” Because I know her so well, I could just hear the disappointment in her voice that she was trying so hard to conceal. I got off the phone pretty quickly after that.
I know she only wants what is best for me. I know I need to push myself at times and that, although I am doing the best I can, I always need to try harder. And yet, there’s something to be said for recognizing that my goal for the day was completely valid. It’s one that is hard for those not struggling with a mental illness to understand.
- I wanted to not harm myself.
- I wanted to get through the day.
- I wanted to stay alive and make it to tomorrow.
That’s good enough. Sometimes it takes all our effort to just get out of bed, to get dressed, to eat, to just exist. It can be an agonizing struggle and those goals that seem so paltry to others are enough. They are valid. They are important. And we should be proud of them.