This morning, around 5am, I fell asleep behind the wheel of my husband's Prius. I was driving 55mph along the highway when I lost consciousness, and the car veered suddenly to the right. It was the THUNK! of losing my side mirror to a metal post that jolted me from my unintentional slumber. Yes, I fell asleep while driving and hit a metal post while going 55mph. C and I were both okay, although the car sustained some fairly heavy body damage, and that side mirror is resting somewhere along 395S. Frankly, I'm lucky to be alive, and I'm lucky that C was in the middle seat and didn't take any of the force of the impact.
So here I was, last week talking about dreams reborn, this week moping about life getting me down, and today? Well, today, I could easily have died. I could have lost my daughter. By no fault of my own, in that instant that I lost consciousness, everything could have ended. Instead, I have to come up with $1000 to fix the car and hope that our insurance premiums don't go up. (Also, I have to switch medications, because I've been having some trouble staying awake at the wheel ever since beginning this particular pharmaceutical. Pity, because it was really working very well for my moods...) All in all, a VERY small price to pay. Catastrophe narrowly averted. Life goes on...
But it got me thinking. Life is fragile, and it's a gift, not a guarantee. My father-in-law told me just yesterday to quit worrying so much or I was going to find myself in the hospital, and that his own brushes with mortality have taught him to think of each day as a bonus. If every day is a bonus day, you don't want to waste your bonus time on something as silly as worrying about things you can't control. What I am now learning is that every day IS a bonus, and I don't want to waste it on depression.
Now, now... I know what you're all thinking. "But you're bipolar. Of course you're going to experience periodic depression." Yes, I realize this... But something snapped in me today. Just because I'm feeling depressed, it doesn't mean I have to give myself over to those feelings. I can fight them! I used this morning's accident as an excuse to spend the day preparing for a theatrical audition this weekend. I'm not expecting to be cast, but I guarantee I won't be cast if I don't audition! If I want to regain control of my life--if I want to recapture my dreams--then I've got to put myself out there! I've got to TRY. I can't fear rejection or failure; I have to embrace the opportunities that are presented to me. I have to stay positive, and project that positive attitude into the universe. I have to believe that I can see my dreams come true, that I WILL see my dreams come true, and only then can they stand a fighting chance.
I'm still feeling depressed. I still have no self-confidence and can't eat (although I had some noodles last night, which is more than I've had since breakfast Wednesday, and more than I've had today), and I still hate what I see in the mirror... But I have the opportunity to change all that. If I go out and PURSUE LIFE, I can regain that vitality and brilliance that I thought I had lost long ago. If I CHERISH what I have, I'll learn to focus on that instead of worrying about what may be lacking. If I live fully and love freely, then life and love will envelop me.
That collision was a wake-up call. Not only to literally wake up and drive, but to wake up to what life has to offer, right here and right now. The Universe may very well be speaking to me now, and it's screaming its bloody head off to tell me to get off my rear and put wonderful things in motion. Life is, after all, what we make of it.