“Life is hard and unfair for all of us.” Sometimes we get caught up in that sentiment and forget to enjoy life. Yes, having dissociative identity disorder is no fun, but it would be a shame to spend all our lives with our heads firmly seated in a pity pot and missing out on the good things in life.
This article is more of a pep rally than a serious article. Sometimes we need to hear positive things, and after the rough articles lately on incest, both you and I deserve this.
Seize the Day
Facing the reality that we are only on planet earth for, if we are fortunate, 80-90 years, the motto first coined by the Roman poet Horace 2,000 years ago resonates in our hearts. The complete saying is, “Seize the day, trusting little in the future.”
None of us know the exact date or moment when we shall die. In that way, life is a big Crapshoot. We keep rolling the dice until we get a number we did not bet on and lose. No one can change the odds of winning in craps; you will lose in the end.
Similarly, none of us can control the others we keep around us. You cannot control their behavior no matter how hard you try. Don’t try it; it won’t work. However, we can improve ourselves and seize the day to make it better than the day before.
Living in the Future is Futile
We cannot live in the future. Tomorrow hasn’t come yet, and although we may have plans for tomorrow, that does not mean things will go the way you have planned. Perhaps you are planning to spend the day with your favorite person, but worry they cannot come. All your worries are for naught if that person decides they cannot join you for lunch.
Perhaps you are worried about money. Does it help to ponder and fret about where the money will come from? Or is it better to make plans to address the problem and enjoy the rest of your day?
Keeping your feet firmly planted in the here and now while allowing time today to plan out the future with no expectations helps balance us and keeps us happy.
Not to say planning for problems isn’t good, but that spending an excessive amount of time is not only unhealthy but absolutely futile.
What Does It Mean to Seize the Day?
Acting on and entirely embracing the concept of carpe diem means getting clear about what thoughts and actions will fulfill your life today instead of waiting for tomorrow. It is vital to focus on tasks now instead of waiting for later. For instance, it is critical to call a good friend and express how much they mean to you now because they might not be around tomorrow.
Because the future is so uncertain and there is a lot of navigating in the future, we need to focus on the good things we have around us and not concentrate on the bad. This is challenging for those who survived childhood abuse and live with dissociative identity disorder as we tend only to see the world through a dark lens.
It is necessary for our health that we commit to finding space in our busy lives to enjoy the smell of coffee and enjoy quiet moments with your family of choice. Make a list of the things you are grateful for, and if you come up blank, add to your list that you can comprehend what I’m writing that you can read your screen or stand up and walk. Many, many people in the world cannot.
Seize the goodness in every day and relegate your worries and negative emotions to living in the past. You have already survived 100% of your worst days.
Five Methods to Carpe diem
There are many methods to help us seize the day, centered on the concept that we will not worry today about something that may or may not happen tomorrow.
Below I will list five such solutions and how they can be applied to your life.
Try Something New. Stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new is a great way to seize the day. Take a risk and do something you’ve always talked about but never done.
Learn to Live in This Moment. Leave the past in the past and do not plan more than necessary for the future. Practice mindfulness and enjoy the moment you are in. Even dealing with people who irritate you right now is better than if they had died. Enjoy yourself with others and alone.
Face Your Fear and Yourself. It has been my personal experience that I have spent much of my life hiding away or running from my fears and myself. The day I decided to turn and fight instead of stuffing away hurt and then denying it, I began to heal. With the help of a therapist or counselor, you can conquer your fear, and suddenly you will realize they weren’t as big and mean as they seemed at first. Facing your fear is not for the faint of heart, as facing your fears and yourself is somewhat traumatic in and of itself, but the rewards are astonishing.
Do Something Every Day for Others. If you want to feel really good about who you are, do something nice for someone every day. It doesn’t need to be a big thing, perhaps you pay for the meal of the person behind you in drive-up, or you volunteer a few hours at an animal shelter. Every good deed you do will build up your self-confidence and self-esteem.
Remember, You Are a Work In Progress. Always keep in mind that you are not perfect, and neither will you ever be. Be good to yourself and treat yourself to something you enjoy. Get your hair cut, go out for dinner alone, or watch your favorite movies in a marathon. You are worthy and wonderful just the way you are.
Ending Our Time Together
Carpe diem! Seize the day while you still can because tomorrow is not here yet, and yesterday is gone!
Yes, living with DID can be very trying and full of negative emotions and memories. However, why allow what someone did to you years to decades ago to ruin your life today?
You must work on DID’s issues, but don’t forget to enjoy life, okay?
“Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.” – Stephen Vincent Benét.
“Let today be the day you stop being a victim of your circumstances and start taking action towards the life you want.” – Steve Maraboli