, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photo on 7-5-13 at 11_Fotor2I hate that saying “tomorrow’s a new day.” I know the significance and what it means, but my mind always says: “well yeah, but today still happened.” I don’t really believe in fresh starts and blank slates, honestly in my experience those ideas have always set me up for future failure. Let me give you some examples:

1) Every new school year I convinced myself I would have a new life, be a new person and all my problems would be gone. I probably don’t need to tell you, but that never happened. And each time it didn’t happen; each time I realized that I am still me in a different space a time I felt defeated, like I had failed, and even more lost than before the new school year had begun.

2) I have a good friend who dropped out of college and went to work in Africa partly in an attempt have a “new day” and escape some of the realities of her “today” or current situation. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for her to realize that her past followed her there.

3) In my eating disorder it seemed like every time I did a behavior was the “last time” because tomorrow was a new day and I would start fresh, be different and healthy, and finally put it all behind me. Then the next behavior would come more intensely because not only was I fighting the eating disorder, but now the guilt and shame accompanied with failing my own expectation of my “new day” or my clean slate what I was “supposed” to be doing.

4) In my bipolar disorder, each time I came out of a depressive episode, I “knew” it would be my last. I would tell myself “this is it, I am happy forever now.” until  I became depressed again and felt even more hopeless than before.

Technically everyday is new because we have not had it before.

But placing the expectation on ourselves that when we wake up, move, finish a behavior, start a new chapter in our lives everything will be better, fixed, perfect is 100% setting ourselves up for failure.

Every experience we go though we learn something and in our haste to put it behind us we lose what we could have learned. In my repeated attempts to “be new” each year for school, I lost sight of who I was and what I liked, the only thing I cared about was what I “should like”. My friend moved to another continent only to realize that her thoughts, emotions and wounds are carried through time and space. It was not until I accepted the fact that my eating disorder was not going to go away over night was I able to begin to learn from each behavior and my attempt to avoid it. Similarly with depressive episodes being able to say “this might happen again” allowed to be prepare and work preventatively.

It’s true everyday has new opportunities.
But those opportunities can only best be used when viewed a lens of understanding ourselves and our past.

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand