MHM Recovery 6: Empty Days

Talking this week about those days when you wake up hollow and out of all resources. I see them as days when the collected stress of trying to cope with mental illness or recovery and trying to deny that it’s as hard as it is become too much for your head and it just taps out. Takes a rest whether you want it to or not, leaving you to deal with this awful sense of being empty or non existent. A zero spoons day if you will.

When I was ill these happened a lot, and I hated them, and in recovery they happened quite a lot at first too, until I realised how dishonest I was being with myself. I was trying to pretend like recovery was all great and fine and OK when in fact I’m pretty much perpetually terrified and/or overwhelmed. I was putting a double burden on my head in other words, feeling and yet struggling to conceal from myself the depth of my difficulties. Once I started being honest I found the days I tap out are less and less, as I’m being kinder to myself and being a little more thoughtful with my energy levels.

I think it’s the same for when you’re ill or in recovery that’s it’s best to be honest and admit things are too difficult at the moment, so your poor old head isn’t struggling with both the weight of illness or stress and the burden of your denial. It’s genuinely too much to ask of yourself. So be honest, share your struggles (even with your kids – being honest to my kids about when I’m finding stuff tough has been a huge help for them and me) and stop trying to live up to the ideal of stoicism. Sometimes you just have to say ‘This is fucking appalling and I’m failing to cope, please help!’


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