My CPN (community psychiatric nurse) has phoned me at home yesterday and today because she’s concerned about me. I can’t find the words for the blog just now to explain why I’m in a bad place. There will have to be time for that down the line. But writing’s powerful stuff, so I was wondering if I could skirt the story completely for now, but find something useful to say about it all anyway.
So here’s what I’ve got. Sometimes there’s no other option but to settle for survival mode to get you through the shitty stuff. This is a concept I read about in another blog, and I’m afraid I can’t remember where it was to link to it. Anyhow, it’s a place I’ve visited often down the years. In survival mode there’s no space or energy for growth. No space for energy expenditure on anything other than getting through the days. That can mean closing off from friends. Dental appointments are out. Straying far from home is out. Shopping has to be whatever you can find closest to home. Sleep may be a prominent feature – or there may be none. Survival mode is about allowing time to pass – nothing more. Time is necessary sometimes….
In a way, survival mode comes with some great blessings. There is no energy available for thinking any more. You just have to lay that stuff down. Trying to think your way through a situation is pointless now – you’re in survival mode because you’ve exhausted all attempts at figuring it out. Time has to pass until new paths reveal themselves. Neither is there any energy available for beating yourself up over it all. In survival mode if you need to rest you forgo everything else and rest. There’s nothing else for it – no blame for taking the steps you need to take.
This time around I’ve pulled down the shutters, but have decided to keep my web ‘self’ active. My best friend understands the strength I get from writing, and reached in from the outside today to encourage me to write a blog post!
Survival mode can be very concerning from the outside looking in, but here (looking from the inside out) I’m making a case for it. After all, once we’re done with working on our stability, and challenging our negative thoughts, and overcoming our fears, and negotiating the flash backs and panic attacks; once we’re through with dealing with our anxieties but doing it anyway, and reaching forward to the future, and staying positive, and negotiating the world even though it defeats us – once we’ve done all that, day in day out for years, there is – absolutely – a place for withdrawal, retreat, loss of forward momentum. A kind of hibernation for the soul.