Survival Mode

If you've been here long enough, then you'll know I struggle with depression and have been in and out of therapy for years. I stopped seeing my therapist a few months ago because my free subscription to my services came to an end and I couldn't afford the fees to continue on.

In my last session I asked my therapist "What can I do when everything feels like it's crumbling in on me?"

"Write it out." she said.

So that's what I'm doing today, I'm writing it out. Since March 2020 I've been in survival mode. Everything I worked so hard for suddenly came to an end. I felt paralyzed during the year of 2020 and in those few moments where dopamine filled my brain, I quickly realized they were just little Band-Aids soon to be ripped off. Back to paralysis. Back to survival mode.

During 2020 I longed for the life I had before it all went to shit, even knowing I wasn't fully happy with it. I could only think "at least I had security". When my job in hospitality was permanently eliminated because of COVID-19, I dreaded the world opening up. I lived the same struggle that millions of people living off stimulus checks and unemployment went through. I witnessed a government that was learning to navigate something brand new to them and kind of failing, a pandemic. I couldn't trust that the state or government would provide me with the support I needed after the world started to open up.

At one point, unemployment stopped paying me for 6 weeks and by sheer luck, my bank accounts were hacked and my money was drained. I woke up to $0 dollars. When I tried to call unemployment, the only thing they seemed to update from their outdated system was their automated robot. So when I called and went through the obnoxious 10 robot prompts to speak to a representative, the robot would hang up because "all representatives are currently busy, please try again later."

One day I called 50+ times and never got through to anyone. Each day I grew angrier because I was so broken in every area of my life and this was my tipping point. I can't even imagine how many people are still trying to get money that they are rightfully owed. The only reason I got mine six months later is because I never gave up trying to contact unemployment because of the survival mode state of mind I've been living in.

Survival mode feels like I have no choice but to fight to exist. It feels like life or death. It feels like I have the pressure of a 500lb boulder on my back 24/7 and am still expected to be happy and healthy. Just thriving! Survival mode feels like a constant anxiety attack. I have to remind myself to breathe and take one step at a time. Literally one step at a time. "right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, Meagan."

Survival mode sounds like every billing department calling me to remind me that I owe "x amount of dollars" whether it be my utilities, my student loans, my rent, my credit card debt, my Wi-Fi, the calls never end. Survival model tastes like gagging on my oatmeal or cereal because I'm so sick of the textures of eating the same meals because I have to choose between cheap/easy foods or certain essentials like toilet paper.

In my world, survival mode is blind. I despise the word privilege, but I find it fitting here. My privilege blinds people from knowing I'm in survival mode. My privilege makes people minimize my struggles no matter what I'm going through. My privilege makes people assume and judge they know every single thing about me. What a privilege.

The smell of survival mode is actually pretty damn good. It's the constant notion of drowning myself in my favorite perfume to mask everything else about my living hell. Smelling something great gives me hope.

I always like to keep it real and be vulnerable with you, so I wanted to shed light on the reality of what I've been going through. The crazy thing about this survival mode is I don't know when it's going to end. The end is not in my foreseeable future unless a miracle happens. I don't know how I'm going to get out of this, but I do know self-love is getting me through it. I do know surviving is getting me through it. I do know never giving up is getting me through it. I do know doing the best that I can everyday is getting me through it. Self-Love is a GREAT love.

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