I am not what I once was.
Fourteen years ago on this day, I chose sanity over the chaos that was my life. This day has come to symbolize much more than it did in the first few years I celebrated it. In hindsight, I know now on that day so long ago, what I really chose was life.
The years since that first choice have been a struggle, and sometimes it’s a full out battle to retain and protect that sanity. Daily I must choose life. Daily I must choose to make choices that keep me sane. On the days I make poor choices or fill my head with what ifs, I have to work that much harder to maintain that which has only come by being willing to be ripped open, broken, reordered, and sewn back together again.
Today is my Independence Day, and because I made that first baby step all those years ago, I am alive and sane… I’m free. So I woke up today and chose life and sanity, and because I thrive in my sane life, I shall choose them again tomorrow.
In those first few years, I wasn’t sure I’d make it this far. Day to day, I clung to the bits of sanity I’d gathered in my crazy life. As time passed, each bit became a piece, then each piece the foundation, and fourteen years later, those broken pieces are beginning to look like the me I want to be.
I’ve often wrestled with the importance of this day, and it has always lent itself to being a very solo thing for me… and 14 seems like a small number when compared to the 39 years I’ve been on the planet. Then today, for some reason, I did some math, and I found that I’ve chosen life and sanity at least 5,000 times since the first time. When I think of it all in those terms and in the distance of time, I feel like anything is possible.
And it is.