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The Long Road to Okay: Navigating Life in Survival Mode

Updated: May 20

Survival Mode
Survival Mode

The Long Road to Okay: Navigating Life in Survival Mode

“I wasn't okay, I wasn't okay for a very long time, and honestly, I'm still not okay. I feel parts of me still in survival mode, still in fear.” These words are difficult to say out loud and even harder to live with. But acknowledging this is the first step on the road to healing. In this blog, I delve into the complexities of not being okay, the relentless persistence of survival mode, and the ongoing journey towards finding peace.

Survival Mode

It's often said that admitting you're not okay is a sign of strength, not weakness. For me, this admission was both liberating and daunting. Liberating, because it meant I no longer had to pretend everything was fine. Daunting, because it opened up a chasm of uncertainty—what does it mean to acknowledge that you're not okay, and where do you go from here?

Survival mode is a response to prolonged stress or trauma. It's like your mind and body have teamed up to protect you from perceived threats, even when those threats aren't immediately present. This heightened state of alert can be exhausting. You're always braced for impact, which makes it incredibly hard to relax or feel safe.

The Lingering Shadow of Fear

Fear is a powerful emotion—primal, raw, and often uncontrollable. It shapes our actions and reactions, often without us even realizing it. Living in fear means parts of your life are paused, stuck in a moment of anxiety that feels endless. This fear can manifest in various ways: fear of the future, fear of repeating past mistakes, or even fear of never fully recovering.

I've experienced this firsthand. There were days when the fear was so palpable that stepping outside felt like an insurmountable task. The world felt overwhelming, and trust—both in myself and others—seemed like a foreign concept.

Small Steps Forward

Healing is not linear. There are good days and bad days, steps forward and setbacks. On the tough days, it might feel like all progress has been lost, but it’s important to recognize that every day you continue to face your struggles is a testament to your resilience.

One of the ways I've managed to cope is by embracing small, manageable goals. It could be something as simple as going for a walk, calling a friend, or practicing mindfulness. Each small victory helps build a foundation of strength and stability, gradually moving away from constant survival mode.

Sharing the Struggle

Sharing my story has been a crucial part of my healing process. It’s not just about unloading the burden but about connecting with others who might be feeling the same way. This connection can be incredibly reassuring. Knowing you're not alone in your struggles can be a powerful catalyst for healing.

The blogosphere and social media have provided platforms where I can share openly and maybe with judgement at times, but I am starting to accept that. The responses and stories shared by others who resonate with my experiences have helped me understand that while my feelings are personal, they are not unique.

Still Not Okay, But That’s Okay

Today, I'm still not okay, and that’s okay. I’m learning to accept that being okay all the time isn’t realistic. Life is a complex array of emotions and experiences, and feeling them deeply is what makes us human. I am a work in progress, and every day brings new challenges and opportunities for growth.

To anyone out there who feels they're not okay, know that you are not alone. It's okay to not be okay. Our journeys are fraught with challenges, but they're also filled with potential for growth and healing. Let's take those steps together, one day at a time.


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