If you’re sick with a cold or the flu or, God forbid, cancer, you don’t expect that you’ll be able to do all of the things you can do when you are well. The same goes with mental illness. You can’t expect, as a depressed person, or even a semi-depressed, melancholic person, to be getting everything done.
There are days when I’m able to speed through reading, writing, and work. There are days when I’m bursting with so much energy I am ready to take on the world.
And there are days like today.
I am tired and my energy is low. I slept until 10. I’m groggy because the medication I am taking has side effects. Do I wish I didn’t have to take medication? No. I don’t wish for this anymore than I wish I didn’t have bipolar disorder.
At a certain point, we have to accept ourselves. We have to accept the warts, the freckles, the disorders, the struggles, the failure, the medications—all of it.
Today, for me, this means being kind to myself and keeping my to-do list short.
It’s a simple Sunday, ruled by a six-item to do list, two of which include showering and getting to bed on time.
Right now, I’m off to dinner with my sister and then, later, I’m going to bed at 9 so I can fall asleep by 10 p.m. Before bed, I may listen to some Tara Brach because her talks are calming, enlightening, perfect.
Give yourself permission to have a simple day, to do less, to be fine with it.
OK, fine: I give you permission.