Coming out of Survival Mode: How I Healed and Found Peace
“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” ~Audre Lorde
I can’t pinpoint the word-for-word moment when I realized that I no longer needed to fight for my survival, but I do know that it came without several years of prayer, healing, and intensive work. It wasn’t an event, but rather the feeling of peace and wifely that comes without a storm.
For me, the storm prodigal slowly. It was the kind of storm that kept swirling and re-emerging until I finally realized that it would take well-matured effort and work on my part to eliminate the threat.
By threat, I midpoint anything in my inner and outer world that was wreaking havoc on my nervous system. This included things on the inside (such as trauma, subconscious beliefs, diaper wounds, and energetic and nervous system damage) as well as things on the outside (people and things in my environment that were having a negative impact).
When your mind, body, and spirit are under wade for a prolonged period of time, there’s no one solution that will bring you out of the dark. Rather, you must practice a variety of healing methods and make the conscious nomination to self-ruling yourself from the villenage that tighten you.
For me, the self-rule did not just come from leaving my unhealthy, toxic, and codependent marriage of nineteen years. It didn’t come solely from the fact that my oldest son finally stabilized and was no longer in danger of losing his life. Nor did it come solely from separating myself from the people, places, and situations that held my nervous system in a unvarying state of turmoil.
It was a combination of many things.
The reprieve came gradually over time, as I learned to listen to my body, understand my nervous system and its relationship to my emotions, and what people and situations threatened my inner peace.
Each time I would notice that I did not finger unscratched in my body, that someone’s words or deportment were causing harm, or that a relationship or situation was subtracting stress or creating an imbalance in my life, I would make adjustments as needed.
This meant setting firm boundaries virtually who and what I was permitting into my headspace and heart space. This meant releasing people, places, and situations that were no longer healthy for me or serving me in a positive way. This meant working in therapy to heal diaper traumas that were still living in my body.
For starters, I left a long-term relationship that, on the surface, seemed to provide stability but, in reality, kept me in a unvarying state of anxiety, resentment, and emotional chaos.
The relationship was a textbook example of two unhealed people recreating their diaper wounds with one another, with no sensation of what they were doing. The impact trickled lanugo to our children, who unfortunately suffered the negative consequences of their parents’ wounding.
It wasn’t until months without our divorce, when my oldest son was diagnosed with PTSD, that I realized the environment I had been living in was not only toxic but moreover abusive. Sadly, the relationship with my former partner so closely resembled the patterns and behaviors I had witnessed as a child that I had somehow normalized them. I hadn’t put the puzzle pieces together soon enough.
In fact, the moment that I read my son’s psych evaluation results, I was hit with the reality that I had lived in that kind of environment (chaotic, unhealthy, toxic) for most of my life. In my diaper and then later in my sultana life.
I was shocked.
Why hadn’t I unfluctuating the dots before? The reason I felt anxious, the reason I was psoriasis in my skin, feeling on whet and unable to relax or find stillness, was considering my nervous system had been under wade by the very people who were supposed to make me finger safe.
I had been existing in survival mode for as long as I could remember.
From that point forward, I made a pact with myself to never go when to people, situations, or environments that created unconnectedness inside. I promised myself I would do whatever it took to protect myself from remoter harm, regain my stability, and unravel the cycles of toxicity and vituperate that had been passed lanugo through my lineage.
These are the methods I used to self-ruling myself:
- Subconscious reprogramming
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
- EFT (Emotional Self-rule Technique) Tapping
- Somatic healing
- Energy healing
- Cutting Relationship Cords
To some, my methods seemed extreme, selfish even. And in some ways, they were. But not in the typical way one would think.
The fight to find my peace was only selfish in that I cared well-nigh myself and my well-being so much that I was not willing to stay stuck in cycles of suffering any longer. Nor was I willing to pass my wounding withal to my children.
I had a choice, and I chose myself. I chose my peace.
And I would do it then if the time overly came.
To anyone who is struggling with the suffocating feeling of living in survival mode, please let this be your reminder: you must segregate yourself. You must do something, considering doing nothing will only alimony you in the eye of the storm.
Even if it ways letting go of tropical relationships, or removing yourself from unrepealable environments, the nonflexible decisions you make will sooner create the peace and self-rule you seek in your life.
Of course, leaving people and places overdue is going to hurt. It’s going to rationalization some discomfort. But remember, you cannot heal in the same environment that is harming you.
You have to be willing to get radically uncomfortable for a period of time until your nervous system stabilizes and you are worldly-wise to invite healthier, increasingly supportive relationships into your life. Once you are worldly-wise to squint in the rearview mirror at your afar past and see that you have left overdue all the things that were harming you, you will realize it was all worth it.
You will be proud of yourself for having the valiance to take these unflinching steps. You will be proud of yourself for taking your happiness into your own hands. You will be proud of yourself for choosing YOU.
Make peace your priority. Your nervous system will thank you. Your children will thank you.
Sending you love.
About April Ross
April Ross is an author, lightworker, and spiritual mentor who guides others on their risorgimento journey to heal from unhealthy patterns and behaviors, self-ruling themselves from the past, and step into rhadamanthine their most authentic, aligned selves. She is the tragedian of Bravely Becoming© 2021 and the undertow creator of Soul Awakened, a step-by-step guide to navigating the risorgimento process. You can subscribe to her blog and find her on social media here.