For some reason, I haven’t been able to fully recharge my internal ‘battery’ in the lasts two weeks. As a result, I feel continuously tired and have trouble staying concentrated and getting motivated. It feels like gravity is pulling more strongly, making everything much harder. And I (still) have no idea why. Last week I resigned myself, that this too comes from having a brain injury. For whatever reason, some days are good and some are bad.
Though it’s a pity when the bad days turn into a bad week. The only thing left to do, is to allow my brain some peace and quiet and wait for things to get better. To pass the time I started re-watching television shows. That way I already know what’s going to happen and won’t have to process as much, while still passing the time.
This time I was re-watching House. In a certain episode the five stages of grief were mentioned and suddenly I had a brainwave. Unknowingly I had been going through the different stages in the past week.
Now I wasn’t feeling a sense of grief or loss, but during the third consecutive bad day I did became increasingly fed up. Not feeling like myself became a source of irritation. I really was feeling better beforehand, I had more energy and was much more enthusiastic. Why then was it going this bad? What made everything so much more difficult? Was I fooling myself?
Apparently my way of dealing with this, was going through the five stages. Looking back on my week, I could neatly sort my actions.
I started off with denial. I had slept more than enough and was tired of having to postpone doing something fun. I wanted to go to the beach and therefore I would go to the beach. I even swam! However, denial only goes well for a brief period of time. Not even ten minutes later, I was feeling so miserable that I couldn’t get to my bed fast enough. Denial, in combination with a brain injury, turned out to be a very bad idea.
The next stage was anger, which I felt quite quickly. I was angry with myself, for being so stubborn. Angry with my brain, for still being injured. And angry with the people in the streets, as they could go out and also were making a lot of noise. Still, anger doesn’t solve anything. It only costs energy.
Which in turn only made me more tired. But it got me thinking, if I would take better care of my body, maybe I would feel better as well? Yes ladies and gentlemen, it was onto the next stage: bargaining. The previous week I had watched a Netflix documentary on eating healthy. It sounded very logical and so I decided to eat better. I reduced my sugars, fats and processed foods, in hopes of feeling more like myself again. Although my tight-fitting jeans now fit much more comfortably, it didn’t made me feel better.
And thus began the depression stage. Every time someone asked sincerely how I was doing or when someone helped me, I started to cry. Really annoying, as I like to avoid crying at work. A silver lining is that the crying forced me to be more open about my brain injury. As people tend to get scared when you suddenly start to cry, though I’d rather raise awareness without the actual crying. 🙂
The next stage is acceptance. However, I really dislike that word for I still acquaint it with giving up. The Oxford dictionary describes acceptance as “willingness to tolerate a difficult situation”. Which is slightly better. Since I’m still having a bad week, despite all my efforts to change it, all that’s left to do is to tolerate it. Will I do that willingly? Well no. But it seems like it’s the only course of action that’s left. And I firmly believe that eventually thing will get better.
Nonetheless, I expect that I will be going through all these different stages again when I’m having another stretch of bad days. 🙂
How about you? Can you accept or tolerate bad days more easily? Is this something that you’ve learned over time and have gotten better in, or do you still struggle?