Be defined by the days you win

Take a deep breath, right now, and move on. Right now. Right this moment

Published - September 15, 2015 02:00 am IST

There will be days when you’re stressed, or you’re tired, or you didn’t sleep well the night before, or you got into a fight with your best friend, or with your boyfriend, or with your parents, or you saw your bank account statement, or your boss yelled at you, or your client cancelled the account, or you didn’t meet the numbers, or you locked yourself out of your apartment, or your roommate used the last of the toilet paper, or your cat excreted on your coat, or you missed the express train that pulled out of the station just as you got there, or you tripped and fell on the street, or you spilled hot coffee down your shirt, or you lost your debit card, or you got a really bad tangle in your hair, or you lost a contact lens, or you got a blister, or you found out your ex- was dating somebody new, or plans fell through. There will be days when everything happened. There will be days when nothing happened. There will be days when it’s because it’s Wednesday. There will be days when it’s because it’s not.

There will be days when everything and nothing is the straw that breaks your back, and you want to cave in. Sometimes you begin to. Sometimes you do even though you don’t want to, not really. There will be days when giving in, when relenting, when giving up, seems so easy and so obvious, and it will be so painful when you do it. There will be days when you feel weaker by the second, and more useless, and more hopeless, and lost and alone and confused and scared. There will always be these days. There will be a lot of them. There will be more than you will be able to count.

But there will always be tomorrow, too. And there will always be right now. And you can always forgive yourself, right now, and take a deep breath, right now, and move on. Right now. Right this moment. It’s not easy, but worthwhile things often aren’t.

And you’ll have to learn to forgive yourself, even when you slip up — especially when you do — because the extra shame incurred in starting from scratch will only leave you tied down. After all, you are only human, and humans sometimes falter. And really, that’s okay. If you thought you were anything more, if you still thought you were superhuman, you’d still be chasing invincibility to rock bottom level.

You’re not useless. You’re not hopeless. And no matter how scared you are, you’ll never be alone. And deep down, somewhere, in the part of you that decided the good days and your happiness and your health were all worth fighting for, you know that, too. Hold onto that knowledge. It’ll see you through the worst. Because those bad days will always happen, but it’s in this moment, right here and now, that you can realise that no matter how many days you have, they don’t mean that you’ve lost the days you’ve won earlier.

And there will be more days to win, whatever winning means to you. Being clean, being sober, being recovered. Just not being depressed and overwhelmed and overwhelmingly sad. Whatever it is. If it’s all of the above, if it’s none. This too shall pass, and you’ll not be less of a person for it. Bad days cannot take away who you are. There are as many days to win as there are tomorrows. Days that you can win. Days you’ll win. Because these days — the bad ones — don’t define you. Not unless you let them.

You are defined by the days that you decide define you. And you can be defined by the days you win.

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