Day Twenty Two
Ted's Thirty Day Awakening
On top of being awakened by Alexa this morning—something he truly missed—Ted was greeted by a living room covered in confetti and a large you have won the lottery check. Ted noticed that someone had crossed out the amount on the check, $472,420.50, and replaced it with $530,848.24. Half a million dollars. What was Ted going to do with that much money?
The past weeks had been the strangest Ted had ever experienced. The coma. Still being in the condo. His parents. The surprise party. The virtual guests. The support from around the world. “Life can be amazing,” Ted thought. “The most thrilling of rollercoaster rides. With times to scream and times to raise your hands high and take it all in.
Ted turned on his iPad and began to type: “No matter what the pundits on TV and the trolls on the internet say or do, the world is a truly wonderful place filled with people who care. People who live their lives helping not hurting. People whose names will never make it into the history books and yet people who are there when you need them.” Ted typed his thoughts, attempting to capture how this sudden jolt from a pit of despair to freedom felt. “How do you share an emotion that is both sweet and sour, uplifting and depressing?”
“It’s just too bad we don’t pay more attention to these amazing individuals. Why is it that we are bombarded with stories about the worst among us?” As Ted typed a notice appeared on the screen, Judith Owen was streaming live from a studio in Germany. Ted checked to make sure the iPad was connected with Alexa, cranked the volume to 11, and was moved to tears.
Judith played a moving interpretation of “Blackbird,” a song she called “one of the most beautiful songs ever written.” It was not just the emotion she put into the song that moved Ted, it was what she said about the song, calling it a song about, “freedom from your own demons. Freedom for all of us who have walked from the dark into the light.” Judith was reaching across the sea and reminding Ted that we are all in this together and that one day, we can all be free.
When the song ended, Ted typed a quick “Thank You” into the comments…. In his mind, he thanked the universe for nudging him yet again.
For Ted, the past two years had been an existence of constant stress. 30 hour a day stress. In an attempt to turn off his brain and escape it all, Ted had turned to sleeping pills. There were times when he was taking ten to twelve sleeping pills a day. Not just when he went to bed, but even when he got up (his personal, nonalcoholic, hair of the dog).
But now, the universe and a group of caring people had given Ted another chance. A second go. A new beginning. But what if he failed? Could he, after two plus years of giving up, find the courage and strength to celebrate life again? How could he ensure a better outcome this time?
Ted decided he was going to do something he had never done before, something that would keep him on course. He was going to live his life in the open. Warts and all. Success or failure. It was all going to be there for the world to see and comment on. Ted was going to invite every single one of those amazing souls who had made it possible (for the first time in ears) for him to believe in a better tomorrow. KISS has their Army, Lady Gaga has her Little Monsters, Ted was going to have Life Monitors.
“Thank You! You have removed the great weight that had been dragging me deeper and deeper into a dark abyss for years. I may never be able to properly repay you for generosity, but I am going to try. I am going to open up my life, my thoughts, my dreams, as I work toward a better tomorrow. I am going to include you in all that I do and ask that you help keep me on track going forward. Just knowing that you are out there…”