I remember times in my life when good days were a thing of legend. I think a lot of us equate good days with feeling joy and perhaps elation. In the past, I definitely felt those feelings on particular days or during particular events. However, those moments were fleeting and often left me feeling empty after the fact. Good days feel like something different now.
Managing my days in the past meant reliance on substances, people, places and things to keep me afloat. I needed either one of those things to maintain my interest in even being alive. The constant pressure of the chaos around me left me with no choice but to let off steam through some vice or other. You might read that and think what a copout. For me it wasn’t. It was a means to keep me on the Earth. I was somewhat functional, and working my way towards independence and wellness. Some days though, I skirted on the edge of aliveness, almost tipping over to the side of un-aliveness. A drink, a drug or an inappropriate relationship helped me to maintain life until my pain was less painful.
On the other hand, it was really difficult for me to maintain my self-destruction because I loved other people so much. Other people needed me, even in my most broken state they relied on me for all their basic needs. I felt like such a failure but I couldn’t hold the world up by myself. And I was alone then. I read something recently, though for the life of me I cannot remember where, that being a successful single mother without support is not possible. A fathers job is to support the mother and without that the mother starves and so do her children.
Boy do I feel that deeply. There is a famous line from an African proverb which says “It takes a village to raise a child.” Yet in the Western world we are shamed and punished because we struggle to raise children by ourselves. These realisations have helped with the guilt of my past when trying to raise my children alone. It helps with the guilt and shame to know that the expectations of modern society are complete illogical crap.
Good days now look like today. When I can write about my past with understanding and compassion towards myself. When I don’t need any vice except for a cup of coffee to support my functionality. I can feel a little bored with my life on one hand but also feel the simple joy of being safe from my self-destruction. I can provide for others while taking care of myself and feel gratitude instead of constant fear. Good days feel like all of that. No grand gestures, no thrill seeking, no highs or lows.
What do good days feel like for you?