When you're having a bad day…

You know those days where everything seems like hard work? When life is getting you down and everything is against you?

I’m sure you do because we all have those days. The ones where you need to crawl into a duvet cocoon and hide from the world, eat a whole tub of Ben and Jerrys and watch weepy films.

When you have a chronic illness these days can occur more often and it can be really hard not to let it all get on top of you and for it to be just too much.

I’ve had a few days like that recently. I’m still recovering from the jpouch surgery, though it was over a year ago, I was told it’s a 2 year recovery period and I’m still learning about my new body. I get days when it’s perfect! And then days where I am on the loo A LOT.

I’ve also been struggling emotionally and I think it’s because I am writing my book. Trawling through the memory banks and writing about my life, the illness, surgeries and my past is bringing up all kind of emotions. I often write with tears streaming down my face as I relive these events in order to share them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m over the moon at writing the book and I’m so excited but it’s really stirring up feelings.

When I’m down in the dumps, everything is tougher, life is heavier and the simplest of tasks seem overwhelming. I begin to doubt myself. That horrid little voice in my head starts to whisper mean things about me and it’s harder and harder to shoo it away.

And then I came across this image. It’s from a letter from Charles Darwin in 1861 to to his friend Charles Lyel. It comes from the American Philosophical Society and I found it on this blog


“But I am very poorly today and very stupid and hate everybody and everything”

This letter was written two years AFTER he’d published ‘On the Origin of Species’. Two years after writing one of the most important books of our time, inspirational genius and all round game changer Darwin felt as stupid and pissed off as we all do on bad days!

If he were alive now I’m sure he would be in a duvet on the sofa watching Netflix too, watching marathons of Orange is the new black and cry singing to Les Mis.

It was just a great reminder for me that we all have bad days and that its ok to feel rubbish sometimes. That I need to have the bad day and then get back on the metaphorical horse and carry on.

There’s a great quote by Winston Churchill that says “If you’re going through hell, keep going!” I love that and tell myself it on those bad days. Because after a good old sulk, we need to buck up, put on our big girl pants and carry on.

The other option is to stay static in that hell which isn’t going to help anyone, especially yourself.

And so on my bad days, though I’ve learnt to accept them a little more, I will think of Darwin and his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and if nothing else it will make me smile to know I am in good company.

Sam xx

6 replies
  1. Sue Wheeler
    Sue Wheeler says:

    Hi Sam

    Thank you for those words of encouragement it really helps even though you know you are not alone it damn well feels like it. I’ve just been out and it took so much as I shut myself away a lot from the world and I live alone. I know I’m going to need the loo soon but I never know when and its painful. I had a stoma but it was reversed and I was lucky but even though it was neay 3 years ago my body changed and doesn’t function the same and I’m always anxious. I don’t want to be alone and when I got home I just collapsed on the bed and cried. I had breast cancer the year after the rectal cancer and terrified one will come back. I didn’t have chemo but I’m having a CT scan next week so fingers crossed it will be a good result. People are so nasty to me and don’t talk to me and I have a boyfriend who is completely unreliable and causes me more stress. So reading how you feel has helped especially Sir Winstons Churchills quote ‘When you are going through hell keep going’. I’m going to paint that on my wall I think. Take care Sam xxx

  2. Dorothee Lang
    Dorothee Lang says:

    Thanks for sharing about your not-so-good days, and for your honesty. I guess going through the memories again and finding the words for them is both an emotional time, but also helping to process it. I’m going through a longer therapy myself these days (chemo + radiation), and find that writing and sharing does help to gain perspective and see the larger horizon, especially on days that make you feel trapped in the treatment process. All the best for you~~
    Looking forward to your book. yes, keep going!

  3. dpawson
    dpawson says:

    Something that worked for me, when ‘things’ weren’t working. Rather than write, just scribble odd one line notes (memories in your case), as prompts that you can pick up later. An odd line from perused memory can trigger a few pages worth when you’re feeling better, you can then write as ‘editor in chief’, given the initial prompt.


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