Healing from trauma is not a linear process, and it’s common and completely normal to have days that feel a lot worse than others. Having a bad day does not mean you are not improving. It does not mean that you are getting worse.
If you take a step back and think about where you were when you first began your healing process, it can help you see the larger picture and find the improvements you have made and the growth you’ve experienced.
Throughout recovery, it’s important to be kind to yourself. Some days will be easier than others and some days will be harder. You do not have to hold yourself to the same standards and expectations as your best day. It is okay to be gentle with yourself, to prioritize your mental well-being, and to take it easy—if you are able.
Try to engage in an activity that you enjoy or that has helped you feel better in the past when you’ve had a difficult day. This could be a calm or relaxing activity like reading a book or watching a tv show, it could also be an opportunity to express how you are feeling through art or writing.
If talking to other people is your preferred way to relax and feel better, reach out to a friend, partner, or someone who you trust. It is okay to reach out for help on a difficult day.
Even years into recovery, it’s normal to have a bad day pop up unexpectedly now and again. Sometimes a triggering experience can set off a bad day, but other times they just appear out of the blue.
However, the further you get into your recovery journey, the stronger you become at recognizing the signs that a difficult day is happening. You become more resilient and able to cope with the feelings and challenges that accompany a bad trauma day.