The Aftermath (Survival Mode) - Part 1

Survival mode is brought on by trauma (or extreme stress) that is prolonged or an immense amount of it that occurs with-in a short time period. These experiences usually changes the way you view the world around you. In my personal experience while in this mode your focus, purpose and clarity disappear.

My ability to take action that was needed was on lockdown, and I got stuck in inaction. Majority of the scenarios that played around in my head weren’t based in reality. I was driven to alcohol and isolation which only made it worse, so I fell into that obvious trap. I’ll wrap it up with saying surround yourself around trustworthy people, manage your physical health, create a routine and if needed get professional help.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll keep this part basic. The two main areas of the brain that trauma affect are the hippocampus and amygdala. The hippocampus is responsible for storing and retrieving memories it also plays a part in a person’s ability to overcome fear responses. The amygdala is responsible for how we perceive emotions, our survival instincts and memory. It's involved when activated by an emotional response an event induces.

My life after the first time I moved out of home has revolved around survival. After the trauma and stress I’ve experienced and the knowledge I gained throughout those years my perspective on the world has changed. The part of my life that contributed to distorting it lasted a long time. A part of my mind is stuck in it even after all this time. I’ve used alcohol as a coping mechanism something to help me relax and connect with myself and others.

For a while it was what got me through the week knowing that I would get to escape into that world on Saturday. But sometimes Ben and I would also drink during the week; we would get a slab sometimes more and usually split it down the middle. I drank with people but I also did an excessive amount of drinking by myself that’s when I would really knock them back. Before I knew it I would be in that zone playing World of Warcraft and listening to music just thinking about everything. Getting caught up in the (what ifs) and fixated on my past.

I did that because I found a certain security in it and it seemed a lot safer at the time, focusing on my future was something I honestly couldn’t do. Not with the things that pulled on my soul. I couldn’t tell you the amount of nights or mornings I ended up in bed with no memory of how I got there.

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