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I’m Better Prepared This Time

I didn’t hear this one from God. I heard it from myself. I said it to myself, so that maybe, just maybe, I’d actually believe it.

I’m better prepared this time.

We were out on the playground when Heather called me over and asked if I had heard. Heard what? She was telling me that she was watching a live stream with Shannon where the mayor was announcing a two-week lockdown to go into effect later this week. Lockdown, again. Everything closed. Stay at home.

My mind instantly started racing.

I can’t. That’s what ruined me the first time. The isolation, the social distancing, the staying at home. All of it was what threw me into a wave of depression. I was so lonely. I had felt so empty. Absolutely nothing made sense during those months of staying at home, and I was immediately terrified that soon I would have to do it all over again.

Because “alone” is not my strong suit. It wasn’t until the age of 20- when I moved to Hawaii- that I had my own room all to myself. And while I love it now and couldn’t imagine sharing a room with anyone else, it just furthers the fact that my whole life- or most of it anyways- was spent in the presence of someone else. I’ve always had someone else.

So to be forced to stay at home. To be forced not to come into work. To be forced to not go to church. To have everything stripped away from me, ruined me. That’s why my heart dropped at the thought of having to endure that all over again. It was bad enough the first time, but to have to do it a second time would reopen a wound that I’m not sure is fully healed.

I was falling down a rabbit hole. Worrying about my life being pulled out from under me a second time. Until I realized that I really am better prepared this time.

One more time. Just for myself.

I am better prepared this time.

Because the first time I was always living on edge- waiting day by day to see what change would happen next. I couldn’t anticipate what was going to come next, because it was all unknown. But this time around, it’s just two weeks. And even if it goes beyond two weeks, I know that it won’t go on forever.

The first time around I also lost everything that was important and familiar to me. My daily routine, my friends, and my social interactions- all gone. But now I’ve built new foundations. Foundations that don’t require anything or anyone else besides myself, my body, and my own mind. These are the daily habits that have led me to become the best version of myself. The version I truly believe God wanted for me all along, but I was too busy being everything for anyone else.

Now I know what I need. Whereas before I only knew what was right or felt good in that moment. The things I need to be doing are the things that will keep me firmly on the ground even though everything seems like its crumbling and spiraling all around me. The things I need will prepare me to fight this battle and come out on the other side unscathed.

I can do it this time.

I’m better prepared this time.

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