Choose A Redo

Yesterday.

A defeat in the beginning but a victory already written in the end.

I could have easily accepted my fate for the day when I woke up. The world most likely would have conspired to make it happen the way the first five minutes awake unfolded. I opened my eyes already exhausted. Very little sleep and vicious disorder centered dreams made for a rough night. I can usually tell when those nights will come so I was expecting its arrival. But the preparation does not make their appearance any less draining. You have to wake up and try to seamlessly slip yourself back into reality to not trigger the memories into real time, painstakingly replace every thought that was just planted with one of truth and your present moment, let the tears fall as your brain works to erase all that you just saw. I was put to work from my first second awake even though I was even clocked in yet. My mind needed the help.

And then I realized so did my body.

It was doing absolutely everything to work against me (or actually more for me but the disordered part of me still struggles to see it that way). I walked into my bathroom and mentally snapped. Something in my brain that I spent the past three weeks intensely welding and gluing and piecing back together broke in two. I do not know if I was more upset by what I saw or by the damage caused by what I saw. I was angry. I was hurt. I was disheartened. I did not want to do it all. I wanted to call it quits right then and there.

I wanted to hide.   

I wanted to hide my mind. I wanted to hide my body. And more than anything I wanted to hide my heart to protect it from the daggers of hate I was about to have my mouth throw at my body. It was going to get ugly and cruel and I could not let the part of me so valiantly fighting be exposed to such rage. I needed it to keep beating for me, keep believing for me, keep hoping for me and I knew these words would have defeated it.

My body has come to expect the words it heard. It now knows them as truth. This heart though has still somehow maintained its purity enough to know the faint whispers it hears at times of such unkind remarks are lies. I need to keep it that way. I need to keep that heart naïve, innocent, unashamed.

The words came out of me effortlessly. I hate that they do. But that is just where I am temporarily and I refuse to punish myself over it. I fully know one day soon it will be a mere memory. I have no intention of lingering in that land of hate forever. I must show myself grace in the meantime during it but actively choose to walk out of it when the opportunity presents itself.

Ten minutes of that inner dialogue went by. A difficult shower followed summoning one hundred more battles within. A war getting dressed ensued. I contemplated every second just getting back in bed, forgetting the day, not showing up for life for 24 hours, taking a day off of recovery. And while so tempting, I knew I could not take the offer life often hands me. Because that one day will never be enough. My mind will always want another. The relief and the escape will be too great of a pull to only linger there for a brief moment. The taste would not be enough to satisfy the craving. I have to cut it out of my diet completely.

So I consciously chose to live the day but it was not going to be on the note with which it began. I greeted the morning again and started fresh once more and then when things started to shift I did it twice more. And in some little fantasy I could say it ended there but it did not. By the end of the day, June 1st was lived by me about 200 times. Again and again and again I restarted my day. I refused to let the circumstances of my morning determine the outcome of my day. So if that meant I had to keep starting it over until it began on a positive note, I was going to do it. I was going to drain every last second of the day, take advantage of all the time I was given to make it a day that was worthwhile. My mind was begging for a breather halfway through but taking it would have cost me the breath of my tomorrow and that was not something I could afford to give.

I am being completely transparent here. This is life sometimes. This is reality. This is what happens before you see my smiling face or read my words. Before I speak life, sometimes I speak hate. There is a darkness that comes before the light shines. This is imperfection exposed and that is okay. There is nothing that needs hiding, no truth that needs to stay covered, no struggle that needs to be sugarcoated. Authenticity is my activism and change is happening in this vulnerability.

Whatever you are going through, whatever day your mind is trying to create, whatever attitude with which you awoke, it is not permanent. You are not bound to it. You are not committed to it. You can choose different. There is no limit to how many times you need to redo a day. But there is a limit to our days so make them worth it. Do not settle for mediocre or ordinary or second best. Fight for the impossible. Aim for the memorable. Live for the miraculous.

It is all your choice.

J.L.