Ted's Thirty Day Awakening
“Go back. Remember. Trust in your—” Ted’s iPad dinged, interrupting his dream.Ted picked up the iPad and through half closed eyes, read, “Guatemala announces relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem.”
“I really need to remember to leave my iPad downstairs at night,” Ted thought to himself as he placed the iPad back on the nightstand. Only to pick it back up a few seconds later to check the time. 4:22.
“I really need to get some sleep!” Ted thought as he rolled over and drifted back to sleep…
“You need to answer the question, did your life start falling apart because you changed how you lived or did you change how you were living because things started falling apart,” a voice asked from within Ted’s dream. “Which came first, the fall or your focusing on the wrong things which led to the fall?”
Ted was not sure what exactly had brought him to his present situation, all he knew was that his life had gone from joyful and amazing to depressing and at times suicidal in less than a year.
“Why not look back at when times were better,” the voice asked, “and start living today like you were back then?” With that question ringing in his mind, Ted opened his eyes.
Dreams have always played an important role in Ted’s life. In fact, his oldest memory was of two different dreams he had when he was four. One involved colored dots dancing on a wall, while the other was of a lion roaring. Even though he was never quite sure the meaning behind these dreams (if there ever was one) he could still recall them in detail.
There are a handful of dreams and dream fragments that Ted recalls. They are so ingrained in his being that he can see them in his mind even while he is wide awake.
Ted began listing things that he had been doing on a regular basis a few years ago that he had either stopped doing altogether or was no longer done with the frequency that he used to.
Things I have stopped doing or now rarely do:
Participating in local organizations
Used to attend at least one meeting a week.
Now only go once or twice a year.
Listening to music
Used to listen to music for three to four hours a day.
Now listen for maybe 10 minutes a day.
Used to read two or three books a week.
Now reading one, maybe two, books a month
Dining with friends at local restaurants
Used to do this at least once a week.
Now have not been to a restaurant in over a year.
Keeping a daily journal
Used to keep a journal of everything I did each day.
Now it is rare to record an entire day, in fact, weeks often go by without a single entry being made.
Used to do this at least twice a day
Now I have so bought into failure that I have stopped trying to see success.
Used to keep the house and lawn immaculate
Now it’s starting to look rather run down
Not only was creating the list depressing, it was starting to make Ted feel anxious. He put down the pen and stopped.
“I have a feeling this is going to become a rather long list,” Ted said aloud, causing his dog to get up and come over to him. “Yes, this is going to be a very long list,” Ted said as he petted his dog. “Think I’m going to have to stop here for now and work some of these activities back into my life before I add to the list.”
Ted’s anxiety had morphed into an all-out panic attack. He opened the side table drawer, found four sleeping pills, took them and went back to sleep.