The Bad Days Don’t Define You

SSG Robert Stewart
SSG Robert Stewart

There will be days when it’s hard.

There will be days when it seems impossible.

There will be days when it is.

There will be days when you’re stressed, or you’re tired, or you didn’t sleep well the night before, or you got into a fight with your best friend, or with your boyfriend, or with your parents, or you saw your bank account statement, or your boss yelled at you, or your client canceled the account, or you didn’t meet numbers, or you locked yourself out of your apartment, or your roommate used the last of the toilet paper, or your cat peed on your coat, or you missed the express train that pulled out of the station right as you got there, or you tripped and fell on the street, or you spilled hot coffee down your shirt, or you lost your debit card, or you got a really bad tangle in your hair, or you lost a contact lens, or you got a blister, or you found out your ex was dating somebody new, or plans fell through. There will be days when everything happened. There will be days when nothing happened. There will be days when it’s because it’s Wednesday. There will be days when it’s because it’s not.

There will be days when everything and nothing is the straw that breaks your back, and you want to cave. Sometimes, you begin to. Sometimes, you do even though you don’t want to, not really. There will be days when giving in, when relenting, when giving up seems so easy and so obvious, and it will be so painful when you do it. There will be days when you feel weaker by the second, and more useless, and more hopeless, and lost and alone and confused and scared.

There will always be these days. There will be a lot of them. There will be more than you will be able to count.

But there will always be tomorrow, too.

And there will always be right now.

And you can always forgive yourself, right now, and take a deep breath, right now, and move on. Right now. Right in this moment. It’s not easy, but worthwhile things often aren’t. And you will have to learn to forgive yourself, even when you slip up—especially when you do—because the extra shame incurred in starting from scratch will only tie you down. After all, you are only human, and humans sometimes falter. And really, that’s okay. If you thought you were anything more, if you still thought you were superhuman, you’d still be chasing invincibility to rock bottom.

You are not useless. You are not hopeless. And no matter how scared you are, you will never be alone. And deep down, somewhere, in the part of you that decided the good days and your happiness and your health were all worth fighting for, you know that, too. Hold onto that knowledge. It will see you through the worst.

Because those bad days will always happen, but it’s in this moment, right here and now, that you can realize that no matter how many days you have, they do not mean you’ve lost the days you’ve won. And there will be more days to win, whatever winning means to you. Being clean, being sober, being recovered. Just not being depressed and overwhelmed and overwhelmingly sad. Whatever it is. If it’s all of the above, if it’s none.

This too shall pass, and you will not be less of a person for it. Bad days cannot take away who you are.

There as many days to win as there are tomorrows. Days that you can win. Days that you will win.

Because these days—the bad ones—do not define you. Not unless you let them. You are defined by the days that you decide define you.

And you can be defined by the days you win. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Writer. Editor. Twitter-er. Instagrammer. Coffee drinker. (Okay, mostly that last one.)

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