I was having a conversation with my favorite person the other night and something occurred to me. I had been living in survival mode for as long as I can remember. Living in survival mode is not all that dissimilar from experiencing hypothermia. In hypothermia, when body temp drops enough, the brain slowly begins to cut circulation to the extremeties in order to try to maintain heat in the core. The body is focusing on maintaining only what’s absolutely necessary for life.
When it comes to living in survival mode, one can reach a point where the ability to do anything more than the absolute, most essential tasks, no longer exists. For me, living in survival mode meant that I only focused on what was most important because I had limited physical and emotional resources. Survival mode isn’t thriving, or really even living, it’s existing. It’s exhausting, stressful, demoralizing, and oftentimes feels hopeless.
For the first time in a very long time, I’m no longer just existing. I’m actually living my life and looking forward to waking up each morning.
In conversation with my favorite person, I began to recognize just how long I had been stuck in survival mode and how profoundly I had been impacted by that. There is such a stark contrast between where I am and where I’ve been. Sometimes I get down on myself for not doing better in life but I’m failing to realize that coming out of survival mode is a process that takes time. The reality is that I’m doing amazing in so many ways. I didn’t enter into survival mode overnight and recovering from it doesn’t happen overnight either.
These conversations have caused me to take a step back and look at how far I’ve come. This time last year, I was completely isolated with my kids because of COVID. I was adjusting to being a single parent once again and struggling emotionally. When I look at where I am today, it seems surreal. I’m happy, healthy (both emotionally and physically), stronger, hopeful, more relaxed, and actually enjoying life. I’m in a very healthy relationship, setting goals, growing my business, and I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. My kids are happy, getting along great with their mom, back at school, spending time with their friends, and enjoying life once again as well.
Of course there are things I’m still working on but I’m also continuing to remind myself how far I’ve come. If you told me this time last year that I would be where I am today, I wouldn’t have believed it.
I’ve been through some dark days while living in survival mode but I’ve closed that chapter of my life and newest chapter is well underway.
I went from barely surviving each day to loving and appreciating my life more than I ever have before. There are many reasons for that including my amazing kids, having my favorite person in my life, as well as the most supportive friends and family in the world.
The whole point is this. I know how hard life can be. I know how dark the darker days can be and how hard it is to keep pushing forward. I just want you to know that it does get better. Never give up. Keep moving forward. You totally got this.