I’ve written about thesamedifferent all my life, dancing around the concept by using Words like Change and Stagnation and Light and Dark. A superhero and cherished friend of mine calls it “showing up differently” and “rising up” and using one’s authentic Voice. Another superherofriend calls it using skills and Living Your Truth, based on an amazing book we both read. Yet another superhero I’ve been lucky enough to know calls it “living my Sarahness.”
Today, in this moment, thesamedifferent means I am living in my Sarahness. I’m also starting to recognize the smallest of ways I’ve been the true Sarah all along, shine the light a little through that darkness. That’s where the different comes in. I’m the same as I’ve always been, and entirely different all at once-thesamedifferent.
It’s thesamedifferent that I’m using my own Word to explain my current internal experience, not the words of anyone else. It’s thesamedifferent that I’m using my own wild, trembling Voice to share this Word. It’s thesamedifferent that last night, the night before my final Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills group, I chose not to use skills, and instead used old behaviors to cope with overwhelm and panicjoy. It’s thesamedifferent because, instead of wallowing in the shame of my choice, I’m holding my choice up to the light, and telling myself it makes sense, that it’s okay, and that I can make the choice to never do it again. And it’s thesamedifferent that now I’m able to speak those dialectics to myself.
Yet another superherofriend of mine was fabulous at shining the light on my natural ability to understand dialectics at a time when I wasn’t able to. He gave me many gifts, in the form of True Words, as have all the superherofriends I’ve mentioned. What unites those superherofriends, in my mind, in this moment, is that they live thesamedifferently in their various ways every. single. day. They use the very skills they teach, though not all of them would call them skills or DBT, and they show up as their authentic selves even when it fills them with panicjoy. It’s thesamedifferent that I can thank them, and the various providers and group members I’ve been lucky enough to share a little of this journey with, without giving up any of my Sarahness. Because, in this moment, I am thesamedifferent.