the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.
Survival is addictive, for me anyway. For years, it served as my go-to drug. As soon as a situation called for ‘performing well under pressure’, I was the fixer. I even found myself romanticizing situations that required me to ‘save the day’, or ‘think fast on my feet’ simply because I was good at. I was good at making ends meet. I was even better at finding ways to barely get by albeit emotionally or mentally. You know what’s funny? I realized the comfort I felt in watching post-apocalyptic shows/movies such as The 100 was because it fed my thirst for survival.
Ever heard the phrase, “waiting for the other shoe to drop”? It basically means, you live your life waiting for something to go awry. *raises hand* I could be enjoying the hell out of my day, but in the back of my mind, I’d be creating 50-11 scenarios about what could go wrong, how it could go wrong, and what I would need to handle each problem. Like who does that? For years, this is what life was like for me. but existing in a state of survival robs you of life in the present just as equally as it shortens your physical life span.
For so long, my resiliency has been perceived as a positive, but if you looked closely, you would have seen it was the result of a “survival of the fittest” mindset. I learned that it was a trauma response, which was explored in therapy several years ago (with a professional individual who had no problem calling me out on my bullshit). But my work didn’t stop there, (obviously), because it was like my damn default setting. I still had a lot of physical and emotional pain to unpack, which was also evident by the way my muscles would ALWAYS be tense. I set alarms in my phone reminding me to exhale, and take deep breaths. As soon as something went wrong, my adrenaline spiked, causing my serotonin levels to be imbalanced (neurotransmitters found in your gut), and I went into overdrive to ‘fix’ it. Despite understanding this, no matter what good took place in my life, it was still challenging to shift my mindset from ‘survive to thrive’. Who was I outside of this addiction?
So when I began to slip back into a survival mindset last year, I was able to recognize that it was being triggered by a fear of ‘scarcity’ or ‘lack’, whether that be physical, financial, emotional, etc. There were times I couldn’t see a silver lining or ANY light at the end of a tunnel, but I could see how to survive the moment. That leaves little to no room for envisioning your future self.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that “Delayed responses to trauma can include persistent fatigue, sleep disorders, nightmares, fear of recurrence, anxiety focused on flashbacks, depression, and avoidance of emotions, sensations, or activities that are associated with the trauma.”
Can you imagine living in a constant state of tension and uneasiness? Or trying to find a solution for EVERY problem or scenario you could imagine in an effort to be prepared for everything? It. Is. Exhausting.
I continued doing a deepER dive w/my self work, accountability included, and made conscious decisions that allowed me to live in a way that supported my being present. I am intentional in each step I take as I remain adamant about operating out of a spirit of abundance, and moving from hindsight into foresight.
How has having a survival mindset disrupted your life?
#BlackMentalHealth #HealingThruTransparency #31DaysOfTransparency #IntuitiveHealer #IntuitiveHealing #Survival #TraumaAlchemist #TraumaInformed #SelfReflections #selfdiscovery