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What to do When You Have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (and it’s not what you think..)

what to do when you have a bad daySo what do you do when you have a bad day?

Do you fly off the handle?

Break things?

Are you a person who sobs uncontrollably?

Perhaps, you drink or smoke your frustrations and fears away.

Netflix binge? Of course, there is none better on a bad day. Deal with the feelings, the heartache, and the uncontrollable frustrations by throwing yourself into another’s story. An escape, perhaps?

Maybe that’s why you’re reading this. Maybe, just maybe, you are looking to escape from those deep, guttural feelings that are churning inside of you right now.

Or maybe, if you would really admit that you can be a shitty human being on a bad day, you will admit that you’re not so kind to people. It could just be me, though. Read on to see if you can relate.

On a bad day, maybe you snap at people, put them down, or bring out the laundry list (You didn’t do this…, you said you’d do this…, why do you always…) you get the picture.

I can be a total asshole when I don’t feel good. On the bad days of life, I am a bear to be around. And not the cute bear with a hat, tie, and picnic basket, more like the bear who would maul your face off just to steal your food and climb a tree to declare to all of my bear friends, “I’m the baddest bear EVER!”

Yeah. That kind of bear (err—I mean guy).

So how about you?

What do you do on the bad days? How do you cope?

For me, lately, I’ve found that quiet, classical music, dimming the light in the room with curtains or soft light have all really helped. I find that a time out, for myself, is very helpful. It allows me to control the urges, frustrations, and to just calm down and realize that I’m using my Bipolar fits as an excuse to be an asshole.

Don’t do that. You’re better than that. I’m better than that. Find another way.

When I was a teenager, the best protection against myself was, honestly, my dad. He scared me. He would knock the shit out of me in a minute (or so I thought), so I knew better than to freak out at him. So what did I do as a hormonal and angry teen? Shot basketball, for hours. I lost 80lbs in one summer. No, seriously.

Almost 14 years later, I struggle with flying off the handle. I struggle with almost being borderline abusive to my mom who’s memory is not the best. She struggles with memory, but so do I (to an extent). She can’t remember and I can’t forget. For years, her rages were monstrous. The yelling, the mean almost sniper-like precision with which she cut with her words. Venomous.  My dad was the same, but he would just yell until I thought he’d stroke out.

Abuse is abuse.

Call it like you see it. It’s not “being a parent”, it’s not “a bad day”, it’s not “words only”— it’s abusive. It’s exerting power over another.

I like control and I like power. No secret there. But, what I will not do is become my dad or my mom at THAT age. What I would be more than honored to become is my dad and my mom, NOW. I’m not talking financially, physically, or even 100% emotionally, but over the past 2 years my dad and mom have stepped up to show me more love than I’ve felt from them most of my life.

I felt like they’ve taken care of me.  As parents should (and in my case, have). I’ve received their wisdom, their correction, their concern, and their frustrations with me. All of this, to me, is the heart of parenting.

For years, many years, I hated my parents. I resented them and outright hated them.

Not anymore.

I love them with all of my heart.

At the end of the day, we all have to look in the mirror and hope (maybe even pray) that someone, anyone, will show us half the love and grace that those closest to have shown us (family, friends, relationships, etc). But, we must also challenge ourselves to show the love and grace that we want from others—-to others.

This is my biggest challenge right now.

Love. Grace. Two things that have been extended to me and two things I suck as showing to those closest to me. Maybe because those closest to me have caused me the greatest wounds in the past, but isn’t that the bitch of closeness? With closeness comes intimacy and with intimacy we become vulnerable.

It sucks to be vulnerable, unless it pays off.

So, for me, it’s started with a “Mom, I’m having a bad day.” Instead of living in this world in my head of incessant dialogue and drama, I decided to bring to light what I’m thinking in that moment. It’s hard. It’s excruciating and it’s painful. It’s never fucking easy. I wrote a speech to a girl on a date to show her how much I cared and how invested I was. Lame, right? Of course, but some things are easier written than said. Well, nobody ever promised me an easy life or way so I’ve started speaking honestly. “Just please stay away from me, I don’t want to yell at you anymore. It’s not you.”

These were my words today and as hurtful as they were to say, it felt good. I knew I wasn’t fully in control, but I could control the situation and protect those who loved me most from my craziness.

It’s a big victory for me.

If your way is not working for you then I plead with you to try a new way. You’re better than this illness. I’m better than this illness. We’re better than this!

The best thing about my bad days is they’re not as long as they used to be. They used to be 24 hours of a full shit storm and, now, I hardly have 8 full hours. They pass. But much like residents of coastal areas have to prepare for hurricanes and their damage, I have to prepare for the storms of my mind, life, and heart. Nobody can prepare me for these moments, but me. However, they will feel the damage if I fail to prepare.

This is what has worked for me and my journey.

How do you weather the storms of your mind and life?

Remember, “Love is kind” even when we’re feeling everything but love and kindness.

Be well my friends,



“For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.”
― Viktor E. FranklMan’s Search for Meaning

Listening to music photo available from Shutterstock

What to do When You Have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (and it’s not what you think..)


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APA Reference
, . (2016). What to do When You Have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (and it’s not what you think..). Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2019, from


Last updated: 12 Apr 2016
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