What are Your Bad Days Trying to Tell You?

What are Your Bad Days Trying to Tell You?

Ok, buckle up people. This is one of those posts that I start writing, never knowing if Im going to hit publish on it, but feel the need to get my thoughts out. Im not sure myself where its going to take us, but all I can tell you is that Im writing it in full flow. The words are tumbling out and my fat little fingers are tapping away on the keys, themselves almost independent of me, anxious to try to get my thoughts out of my head and written down. When I have the feeling like this in a post, I know its because I am going to be revealing a little of my soul here, and I am never sure that I want to. But, I know I need to. But, I know Im scared to.

This post was the result of a really, really bad time that I recently had. My mind was my enemy and I really had to rally my mental army to fight off the feelings that were crashing around me. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a little of where my head was at around August/September, I did touch upon it at the time, but as is typical with me, I am not one to put it all out there until I have worked through it myself. Only then will I put it out there if I feel its useful to discuss. Im not one for gratuitous sound boarding. I have my friends and family for that task! Anyway, when the fog began to clear, I began to see that I had some work to do on me. It made me realise that bad days can actually be a gift. Its your soul telling you to figure it out. The rubbish days are telling you to ask yourself the question, What are Your Bad Days Trying to Tell You?

what are your bad days trying to tell you

So, without boring you all to tears, but to help you understand me a little, Im going to tell you a little about me. Not my bra size or anything, just a little how my mind works. Im tough, because Iv had to be. Im strong, because that is my nature. Im incredibly perceptive of myself, situations and my own mind, because I have learnt to be. Im positive in life because I choose to be. All of this does not mean however, that I don’t have bad days. Im not just talking about having an emotional day, or a shitty day at work. Im talking about those days that stretch into weeks, that arrive unannounced, and make you feel like you are going through the motions of life, but not living it. Like your watching other people live through a crack in the door.  Im talking about those days where you feel so deeply, desperately, heart heavy sad, but don’t know why. Those days where your heart is constantly running at a million miles an hour, and you feel breathless, sick. The days you have to go through coping rituals that you have developed over the years, just to get out of the door. The days where you are in full fight or flight mode, just hanging on to the edge. The days where you feel that all of your achievements in your life have been worthless. These are the days that I am talking about.

what are your bad days trying to tell you

Well back in August, I felt the crash of these days start to tumble down around me. Im not going to go into the details of the triggers and what led to it, but I will tell you it was the worst bout of it I have had for about 3 years. Anxiety, worthlessness and self doubt were tearing at my confidence. Comparison was kicking me repeatedly in the head. I felt scared. I know thats a strange word to use, but when I get these awful times, I feel fearful. I fear that I am not going to recover this time. I fear I will unravel completely and be too tangled to go back together.  I fear that my kids will think less of me as I’m not the lioness Mum that they thought they had. I fear that my husband, who lets face it has enough shit of his own to deal with, will realise that I am not as strong as he thinks, come to his senses and do a bunk. Now, let me be clear here, when I am rational I have NONE of these thoughts. We are a tight knit family, all got each others backs a million percent, but this is where my mind leads me when my anxiety gets the better of me. Its terrifying. I am the one who sorts shit out in my family, both immediate and extended family. Im the one that has the rational mind. Im the one that always finds a way to sort things. The do-er. The make-stuff-happen girl. But not at those times and it scares me……

What are your bad days trying to tell you

After about 6 weeks the rational Kerry started to claw her way back in. My mental soldiers come out of the trenches and start to regroup. They were able to be my front line again. Its in this recovery time that I start trying to work out what it was all about. I knew that working out why I had been able to be triggered had to be worked through. Due to a few things in my past, I have done many, many years of soul work on myself, so I know myself. I know in order to move forward fully, I have to figure out what happened. I also know that there is a lesson in this episode somewhere. A very wise friend once told me, “If you keep getting the same thing happen, then you haven’t learnt the lesson. The lesson will keep being presented to you until you fully learn it”  She is so right! Let me elaborate.

You know those friends we all have, that have times where they are upset over something. They tell anyone that will listen how they are feeling. Then they “see the light” and claim they are over it, that they have a brand new mindset, never to feel that way again. They are off and running again. However,  a month later, they are back banging the same drum. You know someone like that yes? Well, they are the ones that don’t fully and completely work through the issue that caused them the pain. They say they do. They shout from the rooftops that they have a new way of looking at it etc. But they don’t fully. They just paper the crack. So, the lesson comes back again to hopefully make them learn the next time. Does that make sense?  I refuse to be on that hamster wheel. I have to learn from these bad times.

what are your bad days trying to tell you

So, I started to work through it all, unpicking myself thread by thread. Laying every thread down and looking at how it got frayed. This takes me days, sometimes weeks. But, I always, without exception, figure it out. What I realised this time though, and maybe because it was such a vicious battle, is that these episodes are actually a gift that Im given. Its my mind telling me that I have to make some changes. Its working out what my bad days are trying to say. That some behaviour that I was entertaining was perhaps not healthy for me. I was being made to look at why I had reached such a low point, and learn the bloody lesson, remove the cause, so I don’t sink again!

One of the big things that I realised, was that I had fallen victim to Imposter Syndrome. You know that feeling when you feel like people think your a certain way, and you are so afraid that you are going to disappoint them. I had been invited to a couple of events that I felt were out of my league, as well as been offered a couple of wonderful opportunities, and I was over the moon. However, elation was replaced by the self doubt, telling me that I was going to be so disappointing to them. That they were expecting ABC, I was going to give them XYZ . I started to feel panic. I started to feel like a fraud. I was scared that they had put faith in the wrong person. That I wasn’t up to the job. All of these negative thoughts just barged there way in to my mind and took up residency. It was awful and debilitating.

what are your bad days trying to tell you

Then came the fall into the comparison vortex. This is not something that I usually do, so I was surprised by this. Iv wrote about comparison before, (Comparison – The stealer of Joy) and usually, I have my ducks in a row on this subject, so why had it raised its ugly head? During these low weeks my mind had been taunting me. Whispering in my ear that I was not a good Mum. Hinting that my husband would be better off without me as I was a wild one. Thoughts were asking me why I even bothered writing, I was shit at it. It was telling me that I will never be worthy. I was re-reading recent blog posts I had published and thinking how rubbish they were. Even my stats, there in black and white, were not quenching this self-flagellation.

I suddenly felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere, that I wasn’t sure what my goal or purpose was. I didn’t have my “online squad” and everyone else did. The cliques etc on social media suddenly felt huge, daunting, impenetrable. I felt like I was adrift. My anchors had gone and I was drifting away, getting further lost. I was questioning myself constantly, and I mean constantly. I felt like a stranger in my home and in my mind. It was the worst few weeks. Exhausting in all senses. I found I was comparing myself to people on social media. We have all seen those that are constantly stressing about numbers and followers, which I usually ignore. However, I started thinking that maybe this meant that I didn’t care enough about my writing and blog as I wasn’t stressing about numbers. I wasn’t focused enough or involved enough. I was getting anxious over their anxiety over numbers. I mean, WTF! It was a truly awful 6 weeks.

what are your bad days trying to tell you

So. I have made some changes. I have to make these changes as I never want to feel that low again. I have muted a few people on social media that make me feel anxious. I don’t want to unfollow them as it is not their fault that they trigger me. Its my issue. I have also limited my time on social media. I have gone back to not going on for one full day a week. I have set my “screen time” on my phone to limit my sessions and time on there. I have reminded myself that these things do not validate me. I have also learnt that I have to recognise what I was envious of in other people, and make changes to achieve that goal if its important to me. Sometimes you realise that actually, its not important! Instead of thinking how far I have to go, I needed to look at how far Id come and what I had acheived so far in my life.

I also learnt that by comparing myself to others, I was putting the focus on the wrong person. I was looking at what they had achieved and I hadn’t, instead of looking at what I needed to do to get where I wanted to be. Also, I had to rationalise and start putting a human element on a perceived result. So, for example, lets say Im comparing myself to someone with thousands of social media followers. Instead of feeling envy, I needed to start looking at how they would have got there. I know they would have to spend many hours a week focusing on building their following, posting, engaging, insta-storying their every move, etc. Reminding myself that I had most likely spent the same amount of hours reading a fabulous book, talking with my friends or spending time with my family. The realisation then comes into focus and you see what you would benefit more from. You see? Its breaking it down to see if it really is that important to you, to see if you would want to sacrifice the things you spend your time doing!

Well,  Im pretty sure I have probably waffled on enough now. If your still here, well done to you. I told you I wasn’t sure where this was going! I guess what Im trying to convey, is yes, we all have tough times. We all have times where we feel low. But, trying to turn the negative into a positive, can make those shitty days more useful and not a waste. Working out why we felt a certain way, and what set us off will guide us towards the lessons, and perhaps changes in behaviour, that we are being shown we need to make. That can only be a good thing. Every day is the chance to learn and grow as they say!

I hope that this makes at least a little sense to you! I know it was a bit of a brain vomit. It all just came pouring out.

Id love to know your thoughts on this. Can you see how your bad days can actually be a good thing if you turn it around? Can you relate in any way to the imposter syndrome or comparison trap? Do you understand the points I am trying (really badly) to make haha! As always, I would love to hear you thoughts and feedback. Let me know xxx

 

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17 Comments

  1. October 28, 2018 / 2:08 pm

    Kerry this is so honest, accurate and heartfelt. It really touched me. My life has had more than it’s fair share of traumas and I have felt I should be the one rocking back and forth in the corner, but like you I’m also exactly the person you described to my family. I really like the quote you included – grow through what you go through – it’s such a positive way to overcome adversity, it’s how I’ve tried to live my life. Nobody is immune from dark spells, but once strong enough, use them productively, gain what you can, learn what you can.

    I just wanted to also say, please don’t judge yourself too harshly, to me you are someone I really look up to – I haven’t noticed your ‘numbers’, I just enjoy reading your words, laugh with your humour (and Insta-stories!), and appreciate the encouragement and support you’ve so generously given for my own journey x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      October 28, 2018 / 2:34 pm

      Ohh Alex thank you so much for this comment. Your words have made me emotional. I wasnt sure anyone would get what Im trying to say. Im sorry that you have had trauma too. It can be quite the responsibility being the strong one all the time cant it. Im sure like me, you stress that sometimes you are not up to the job? I worry about that.
      I agree wholeheartedly with you about using tough times productively, its like my life raft. If I know that the dark spells lead to growth, I cope with them better.
      I feel incredibly humbled by your words, I really appreciate you saying such lovely things, and I love reading your words too. Thank you for being here xxxxx

  2. October 28, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this and your story of how you where feeling. When I read this I see a BRAVE woman.
    This post rang so many bells for me personally and I can identify with so much of this. I love how you have put things in play to avoid certain triggers and especially your online presence checker. I think this is something way more of us need to do!
    Again, thank you for your honesty and showing others that its ok to have these things in play but also for showing things can be done to get back on track!
    xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      October 28, 2018 / 5:06 pm

      Ahh bless you, thank you for your lovely comment. Its weird isn’t it, because I don’t feel brave. I have always felt with my blog, that I always wanted it to be like I am chatting with my friends. I always want to be honest in what I write. I hope that you too are finding ways to navigate through this thing we call life! Again, I think we need to be honest with ourselves, and as much as we may feel we need or want something in our lives, if it isn’t serving us positively, then we need to make changes don’t we. I think its being willing to be totally honest with ourselves. Thank you so much for reading, really appreciate your comment xxxx

  3. Karen Wade
    October 28, 2018 / 6:25 pm

    Thank you Kerry for writing this post, warts and all. I think that at times, we all get caught up in the perfect worlds portrayed on social media. It’s hard to sit there and look at what the person hasn’t done, or the not-so-perfect things that they’ve experienced but don’t post about. I struggle at times with the different platforms, screaming for our attention. I’ve taken breaks at various times, but always return, as for me, they are also a place of learning – yoga, food, health to name but a few. I do find myself speedily scrolling a lot at times, so maybe I should spend some time sorting out who I follow, and like you, mute or loose those that no longer need my precious attention. I love reading your words, and you’re not one of those that need to be quietened in my social media world. Stay strong and true to you xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      October 28, 2018 / 8:27 pm

      Ohhhhh Karen thank you so much, that is so kind of you to say, and so lovely to hear. I agree with you that when used in the way that it was probably intended, social media is fab for finding those little brands that offer something different, or food ideas etc. I agree wholeheartedly. I love it for that sort of thing. I do think sometimes I am maybe to honest on here, but as you say, I have to stay true to myself or writing becomes empty for me. I really appreciate you reading, and thank you for your comment xxx

  4. October 29, 2018 / 8:22 am

    Kerry you are such a brave lady and honestly everytime I read one of your posts my heart swoons a little! I bloody love what you have written here, I have found myself so many times getting caught in the cycle vut sitting myself down and getting rid of the cause can help so much.
    Once you can see u have it all in yourself to break the spell then things get a little better xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      October 29, 2018 / 5:47 pm

      Ahhh Grace, you are so lovely, thank you xx I have a belief that we owe it to ourselves to live our happiest lives, so if something is not bringing you happiness, you get rid. Sometimes it can take a while to see what we need to do cant it. We figure it out in the end xxxx Thank you for your lovely comment x

  5. November 1, 2018 / 8:22 pm

    Well Kerry, I love this post, it’s raw and honest and I’m sorry you had a difficult few weeks but happy that you know of some of the triggers, personally I need to cut down on my phone/social media time too, you have inspired me to try and do that! I also compare myself to others, we’re all guilty of it but let me tell you lady that you are a fabulous writer, you are not shit at it, I wish I could write like you, there you go, I’m comparing myself to you and wishing my content could be half as good as yours BUT we are all fabulous in our own little ways!! Keep on smiling missus 🙂
    Steph
    x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      November 1, 2018 / 10:52 pm

      Steph thank you so much for your kind words, that means so much. I think we have formed bad habits with our phones. The funny thing is, d set boundaries with the kids with their phones, but never myself! I think thats why it got ridiculous. I think with social media, other peoples lives, or the life they want to portray, is shoved in our faces now days as its so easy to see. It leads to that murky old water of comparison. You say about my writing, but I would love to have even half your confidence, so you are right, we all have our areas we are comfortable in I suppose. Thank you so much for popping by and giving your view. I love that it gives me another angle to look at xxx

  6. November 1, 2018 / 9:44 pm

    Girl, this really was food for thought! It’s so true that the mind can be its worst enemy. And the comparison thing.. don’t get me started!
    I’ve reread this post a couple of time but haven’t been able to comment before (I’ve had a problem with your comment form, but I’ve finally found it has to do with my tracker blocking browser). This post had me thinking a lot. I especially was stuck on how you’ve been doing soul work with yourself, and how much you know yourself. This is such a good thing!! I’m not there yet because I didn’t started any serious soul work until last January after a bad stress & burnout crash. But I’m getting there… eventually.
    Regarding social media. I hate it and love it. It’s convenient in so many ways. But all platforms are terrible in so many ways. I was browsing my instagram today and said to my husband that I would happily pay for Instagram if it would give me no ads and no algorithms. And he said something so clever – “I would too. But that would be like paying a bad musician to make him stop playing”.
    I’ve done some reading recently about people who quit Facebook (I always want to leave but then there are my friends in Italy), and someone said that social media is designed to make people miserable. He left Facebook for a couple of months and after a while he felt so much better in many ways. So I decided to at least take it off my phone because it’s there I mostly browse it. I’m thinking of cleaning up my Twitter feed too.
    I can’t believe you think (or thought, during that bad couple of weeks) you’re a bad writer. If you knew how much you have inspired me to write!! As you know I never continued blogging, or started writing more – which has to do with malware on you site that made me have to remove it – but then also because of comparison and that I was caught up with reading blogs about blogging that basically say that my blog is useless. Right now I don’t know if I’ll blog again, but if I do, it will be because you inspired me to write more.

    Lots of rambling but i really found this post interesting and I hope you’ll never get into that bad mode again.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      November 1, 2018 / 11:04 pm

      Ohhhh I dont know where to start with replying to you. Everything you have said has made me think, feel emotional, and want to give you a hug! I think the first thing I have to say, is if you feel moved to write, then write. Words are beautiful and if they are written from the heart, they can never be useless! i would love to read your words! I think we go into self destruct mode dont we. its like we would tell our best friends/family member etc how wonderful we think they are and how they move us, but we never tell ourselves. We are harsh on us.
      Soul work is a dirty, murky business, but I truly, honestly believe that the rewards are priceless. A couple of things in my life made me hit rock bottom, flat out in the gutter and it was sink or swim. I decided to swim and have never stopped trying to grow. It was an awful 6 weeks, really low times, but I know working through it all will enrich me. I recommend it fully!
      I love your husbands saying, and I think he is right! Great way of putting it.
      Write my lovely. Even if your write just for you as a diary or a journal. Its good for the soul xxxxx

  7. November 1, 2018 / 11:26 pm

    Ah my lovely… And I had no idea what you were going through. It makes me sad to think of you feeling this way. let it be known Kerry that most people go through weeks – sometimes months of feeling the same way. You probably knew that already though – and even knowing that doesn’t lessen the pain does it? You’re a really strong woman and you are now out of the woods, so you know if this happens again – you can control it. Oh and you’ll always have a special place in my squad. Not that I even have a “squad” but you know what I mean! Xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      November 2, 2018 / 2:03 pm

      Ahhh you, Im so glad I have you as my friend. We can be our own little squad haha! Yes it was a weird time for sure. My friend thinks it could have been a delayed reaction to all that happened last year. Who knows! It was weird and I dont wish to return there. Thank you for your continued support my lovely xxxx

  8. November 2, 2018 / 2:13 pm

    Anytime my friend. Yay! I’m in Squad Kerry ha ha! XXXX

  9. November 13, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    “One of the big things that I realised, was that I had fallen victim to Imposter Syndrome. You know that feeling when you feel like people think your a certain way, and you are so afraid that you are going to disappoint them. I had been invited to a couple of events that I felt were out of my league, as well as been offered a couple of wonderful opportunities, and I was over the moon. However, elation was replaced by the self doubt, telling me that I was going to be so disappointing to them. That they were expecting ABC, I was going to give them XYZ . I started to feel panic. I started to feel like a fraud. I was scared that they had put faith in the wrong person. That I wasn’t up to the job. All of these negative thoughts just barged there way in to my mind and took up residency. It was awful and debilitating”

    THIS HERE IS WHAT I HAVE TO DEAL WITH TOO AND IT SUCKS!!!

    You’ve gotta just reject those thoughts and stride on knowing you are good enough and if people don’t think so then they can leave. Byeeee! And good for you for muting people on social media. I do it too. It’s needed. I hate to admit that people on social media make me feel that way too but that’s life now isn’t it? Yikes!!

    Anyway, great post Kerry. Thanks for sharing that with us, beautiful lady!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      November 13, 2018 / 2:07 pm

      It really does suck! Im sorry you get moments of it too, but you are so right, we stride on! Social media is very much part of everyday life now, so if something within it makes us feel bad, get rid of it. We are in charge of our own happiness eh! Thank you for reading, I appreciate it xxx

I love reading your comments x

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