It is typical to say that you survived a day. It is just a method of passive bitching, an indicator that your day was not what you had hoped. It is something else when you get through a day and become retrospective, breathe a sigh of relief and say, "I'm alive". It works as tear jerking fodder for country music but I do not recommend it as a life style.
Mac did survive his first day back and part of that day was folks coming by with well wishes and stories. Lots of stories. One in particular I believe helped him. That story came from another teacher and was about her husband. Apparently heart attacks are a hobby for this guy. He has had stints for so long that he has worn them out and gotten new stints. Then this teacher gave Mac a piece of wisdom. She said, "You know, it really does boil down to 'take your medicine'. Take your pills and take care of yourself and you'll be fine." I think it sunk in because this morning he said that he needed to take his pills and there were no surly comments. He didn't say that I was trying to choke him to death with giant pills. He didn't bitch about the quantity. He didn't accuse me of "making up stuff" about what the pills do. He just took them.
I still want him to retire. He looks worn thin. Reminds me of the line from "Lord of the Rings" where Bilbo said he felt stretched, like butter spread too thin over bread. Weariness hangs on him like a shroud. We take it one day at a time.
He survived the day.