Waking up at 5am is something I’ve done before. Sometimes it was was so I could get to work on time, sometimes it was for a road trip or a convention, and other times it was because I wanted to get an early start to the day.
Honestly, there’s nothing materially different about this morning than some other morning when I got up at 5am. I’ve done it before. Yet, inexplicably, this morning was scary. I felt a certain unease about this morning that I hadn’t felt for a long time. It took me a while to nail it down, and when I did it gave me reason to pause, and think that maybe I was making a mistake.
I might have dismissed my feelings as being a result of the pancakes I ate last night and the ensuing heartburn I was dealing with through the night, or that strange dream I had about buying fish from a shady pet shop. But, this was something I’d felt from the moment I decided that I wanted to wake up at 5am and it strikes to the heart of the reason why I decided to awaken so early: I want to change my life.
That, too, is something that I’ve tried to do before. Most recently, that’s to say, about a year or two, my wife convinced me to try that Miracle Morning (Amazon affiliate link) life solution. I really enjoyed this approach, surprisingly enough, and really recommend you read the book if only for the insights it provides. I started the Miracle Morning approach with excitement, but I wasn’t able to stick with it for a variety of reasons. My wife was able to, though, and it’s enabled her to do some great things with her life and business.
But, the Miracle Morning still isn’t the reason for my misgivings about this morning, although my failure to stick with it was a contributor. Failure, you see, is something I became well acquainted with during the my visit to the deepest depths of my depression back around 2008, and that’s where I knew this feeling from. Waking up at 5am this morning, it had the same feel as those various & desperate acts I took to attempt to change my life and snap myself out of my depression: I worked out (then stopped), started Tai Chi (paid for a year of lessons in advance and stopped), took up acting (could never make it a regular thing), got a casting agent (paid into the program, never followed through on the headshots), started a vending machine company (closed after a couple years with no real success), and wrote a book (… actually, that one was OK).
I experienced so much failure in such big ways and in such a short period of time, all as an attempt to pull myself out of a depression that was only getting worse because of those failures. So when I woke up at 5am this morning and felt the same things that I felt back then… it was scary. I was terrified that my depression was coming back and this morning was just another doomed attempt to fend off a monster that’s destined to win. I’m still not convinced that there isn’t an element of truth in that.
But I got out of bed anyway.
And I decided to write this blog entry.
Because, even though it was scary, and I feel like I might fail at doing this whole 5am business every day, I did it anyway; and I want to encourage you to do the scary thing that you need to do, too. Maybe you’ve failed before, or maybe you struggle with depression. That’s okay, don’t be afraid. There are lots of us, and most of us make it. You can too. For me, it started with getting professional help with my depression and it continues with a willingness to try new things & things I may have already failed at before.
Waking up at 5am today was scary, but I did it anyway. You can do it too, whatever “it” needs to be.