No Longer in Survival Mode. It's Time to Live!

Melony Headed to a meeting

Every Tuesday, for nearly 15 months, I’ve met with a group of survivors from all walks of life. These people come from Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland alike, to embrace the safe space I’ve created for them.

I was always told that if you couldn’t find something, create it. Create it is exactly what I did when I launched Writing for My Sanity Therapeutic Writing and Meditation Workshop. Little did I know how much creating this safe space for others, would help Me.

Just this week, we had what I would consider one of our most intense sessions in quite some time. We had a small group, just 4 participants and Myself, which is rare, however, it turned out to be one of our best sessions. By the end of it, each person had acknowledged making a breakthrough in the 2 hours we met. Three full days have passed, and I now realize that I too, had a breakthrough in that session.

My life has changed so significantly in the last year, even more in the last three months. I have a hard time with change, good or bad, so finding balance in My new life and constantly adapting to the changes, has not been easy on Me.

In this week’s session, one of the women who participated pointed out that she realized she had been so busy living in survival mode, that she forgot to figure out how she’d live if life wasn’t a struggle. Her decisions weren’t her own, they were based on her circumstances and what she needed to do to sustain.

I didn’t relate to what she said at the moment, on the surface, it seems I’m living free and abundantly. Yet, I’ve been so emotionally and physically drained lately, especially this past week. In My exhaustion, I’ve done something that I’ve needed to do for some time, sat still. I’ve been moving non-stop for weeks running around like a chicken with My head cut off, trying to show others how happy and successful I am.

These past 3.5 days, as I’ve sat home, instead of out shopping, dining out and looking for ways to be important, I’ve had time to come to terms with the reality that she and I shared a common problem. I too, have gotten so consumed with surviving that I forgot to live. Living didn’t seem good enough because it didn’t feel like I’d be doing what was expected of Me.

The truth is, I don’t want to always do what’s expected of Me, I don’t even always want to do the things I’m capable of. Sometimes, I just want to do what I want to do. I often feel guilty about that. When I’m high-functioning, I have a tendency to tell Myself I’m healed and I’m okay and can be “normal” then I do too much and crash. The reality is that I can’t do it all, even when I think I can and I can’t do what others want or expect from Me.

I don’t think I realized the situation I was in until I was trying to plan My Christmas trip for the second time. I was looking to duck Christmas, unwilling to put up with feeling alone and isolated during family time so I tried to book a cruise for Christmas. I went through what felt like hell trying to schedule and pay for the trip. When I couldn’t get things worked out, I decided to go to Punta Canta, expedia wouldn’t let Me pay for My trip in 2 parts and I couldn’t go over My daily spending limit on My card. In utter frustration I broke down.

I had a pocket full of money, someone willing to pay for Me to go anywhere, and I didn’t have another alternatve. It was only then that I realized I never wanted to go to any of the places I’d been trying to go. I initially wanted to go to Jamaica but was settling on a cruise that didn’t go there just to get out of the country I have no clue what’s in Punta Canta and was again going because it was suggested as a destination. When these two fell through, I was lost. No one was telling Me what I should be doing or where I should be going, and I was utterly lost.

It was only then that I realized how much I and the woman in My workshop had in common. My life has changed and I’ve been out of survival mode for a few month, finally secure enough to breathe, stand still and ask Myself, “now what?”

I’m no longer forced to do what it takes to get by day to day. I’ve moved out of survive mode and into thrive mode, but never made a plan for thriving. I’m not sure I ever thought I’d be in a position to do more than get by day to day.

Once I realized that I was utterly lost because I was still just surviving while waiting for the next obstacle for Me to overcome and the floor to fall out from beneath Me, leaving Me at rock bottom once more, I came alive.

Within hours, I stopped thinking about what was expected of Me and started thinking of what matters to Me. I no longer need to live in survival mode, at least not this moment. I also no longer need to do what others think I should because of what I’ve accomplished.

The truth is, I want to write, travel and help others heal and I don’t want to be told how to do that. I want to explore making videos, blogging, writing My books, speaking live and whatever else I feel like. I want to help women break past their barriers and create the life they desire and deserve but I’m not looking to put myself in a box while doing it.

I feel the need to embrace My diversity, My inner and outer Goddess, My sexuality and ingenuity all in one. I feel the need to LIVE. Now I must figure out what that looks like for Me when I’m not struggling to get by or flossing to show people I made it. Seeking balance in the worst way but so proud of Myself for understanding what’s going on with Me.

There was a time when I thought life would be better if I had more money. Hell, there was a time I thought life would be better if I had more time. Faced with time and money, I realized what was really missing, a plan to create the life I wanted, the life I personally desire and deserve.

Out of survival mode, I can finally live. Look out universe, here I come!

Our Writing for My Sanity Therapeutic Writing & Meditation Workshop meets every Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. for FREE at the Impact Hub in Baltimore. RSVP for free to keep up with news, schedule changes etc. Join our Writing for My Sanity group on Facebook.

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