I see this on social media whenever it’s a nice day out. People feeling guilty about not going outside and doing that seemingly everyone else is doing: having walks and barbecues, sunbathing or sitting at the backyard.
It’s OK not to do any of those things. If you’re having a bad day, it isn’t going to magically change with the fact that it’s sunny. Someone might give you a hard time for not going out because it would be ‘good for you’ but if you really, really don’t want to go out, that’s absolutely fine. The weather police isn’t going to arrest you for not behaving appropriately.
I tend to feel worse on days when it’s sunny. Part of it is just my personality: I get cranky when it’s too hot and rather sit in the shade. I hate getting sweaty and I’m always very careful with my makeup. My mum is the same so I think it just runs in the family. I’m also not comfortable enough within myself to wear things like short shorts or a skirt without tights. I have never worn a bikini in my life and I don’t think I’d be able to. People are often surprised to hear that because I’ve never struggled with my weight. There is no reason for it, it’s just how I am.
Another reason why I don’t like sunny days is when my illness manifested itself. Around this time last year, on days when it’s beautiful just like today, I was so ill and unwell and cut out from the world that I didn’t really know what was happening. I remember the beautiful days underlining how bad I felt because the weather and people enjoying it were in such a stark contrast on how terrible I felt. It also made me feel even worse. Why can’t I be like everyone else, having fun? Why do I have to be like this?
Memories of traumatic also knock at the back of my head and enter without permission, the bastards. For those who don’t know, I had an ex-boyfriend was very good at making me feel guilty about not reacting to things as I was expected to, such as not being excited about a grand romantic gesture which I told him I didn’t like. That’s why I hate any social occasions where I’m expected to behave in a certain way. That includes not wanting to go out on a nice day even when everyone and their mum is telling me to do just that.
It’s sometimes difficult to be yourself if you’re finding your stance to be different from the mainstream. Especially when you’re depressed. Depression loves to make you feel guilty and bad about yourself in the first place. When you find yourself unable or unwilling to do what others seem to be enjoying, how horrible is that going to feel?
It’s awful. It’s so awful. But the only way to make yourself feel even worse is to give yourself hard time about something that isn’t your fault in the first place. I know it’s not as easy as ‘don’t feel that way’ but hopefully by seeing the situation as a whole makes it at least a tiny bit easier to cut yourself some slack.
The unfortunate reality is that you’re unwell. It’s really unfair because you didn’t ask nor do you deserve to be unwell. But hopefully by knowing that this isn’t something that is in any way shape or form your own doing will make it easier for you to be kind to yourself. You don’t have to do anything just because it’s sunny, just like nobody is stopping you from having a nice walk in the rain.
At the end of the day, it’s just the weather and tomorrow can feel totally different, both in terms of how you feel about the weather and how you feel within yourself. Every day needs to be taken as it comes.
Give me an overcast day and I’m golden. When it’s not sunny or raining but a lovely cool breeze. I can dress in a way which I find comfortable and can do activities that I enjoy doing without finding it straining. It takes all kinds to make the world, same with the weather preference.
You do you. Everybody else is already taken.