Hey there! Hope everyone is well and enjoying their Saturday night... but, if it's been one of those days, then I hope you are reminding yourself to "keep calm, and carry on".
These words and what they stand for in my life...is much more than a "catch phrase" on a t-shirt... these words have helped me to survive life, and kept me from my own demise more times than I can count.
What do I mean by "my own demise"?
For starters, I managed to not lose my mind. Not completely that is. I know that there have been a couple of times in my life that I knew I could lose my sanity, unless I kept holding onto that tiny thread.
I remember a time when the possibility of insanity was so close that I could feel it trying to take over. I was in a relationship with someone that was more toxic than any drug. I was abused mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, socially...and the list goes on. I felt paralyzed.
I had never been treated like that before in my life, or even close to it. I didn't even know how I got there. I can't put into words what happened to me. I guess you could say that I was numb...and constantly asking the questions WHY? and HOW? over and over, and never getting an answer. I had no emotion. I couldn't function.
I felt more alone and lost than ever before. It hurt so bad, yet I couldn't feel anything. I spoke to no one, and no one knew the depth of what was happening. I truly believed that I was on the verge of completely losing my mind for good.
It was like I was on my tip toes and barely able to keep my balance. All I had left of my true self was a tiny thread above me that I could barely reach, and I held onto with just two fingers to keep myself from falling. Knowing if I were to let go, it would be over and I would no longer exist... at least not on the inside. I knew I would be completely different and no longer recognizable to myself or anyone else. My body would be the same, but mentally I would be gone. Completely crazy.
It was then that I needed myself the most... a time that I told myself over and over and over...that no matter what ....I had to "Keep Calm and Carry On". These weren't the exact words I would say to myself, but you get the idea.
There were times I could have freaked out and become hysterical. Sometimes I would go to the extreme when I got high or drunk, etc. By the time I realized I was beyond messed up and losing my sense of control, it was too late to back out. I was paralyzed by it.
Recently, I did something pretty stupid...and I can't believe I am even admitting it. I smoked synthetic marijuana and here we call it K2. I had never heard of it before and was with a guy that I loved being with. He and I had so much fun and always had some party favor that made it that much better. I trusted him, and he gave me the low-down on how important it was that I take only one hit.
The first time we smoked, it was actually a lot of fun. Nothing weird or scary at all. Then the second time... yeah, out of control... then out of reality, then back in, then out, and I mean I was trippin' like nothing I had ever experienced. It was terrible and I didn't even want to look at him. I felt like I was fighting to come back every time from wherever it was I would go.
This was definitely a time that I couldn't let myself act on anything or do anything freakin' stupid if possible. Like call my family, or run away and down the street and get myself arrested or hurt. I definitely had to talk myself through it... with his help of course... and repeatedly tell myself to "Keep Calm and Carry On".
What about the times I went into a state of panic/shock, where physically my body was shutting down, at a time that could have resulted in major consequences. Consequences that would permanently affect me and possibly the rest of my life.
Back in 2003 through 2009, I had a DHS case...and had been fighting to keep my daughters under my care. This obviously is a very big story in itself, but for now I want to focus on a moment in the courthouse.
Unfortunately, I was too proud to let go of my anger and self-will long enough to get sober and actually do what they asked. My girls had been placed with my parents at the time, and of course my feelings of hate, anger, guilt, etc, kept me using daily...IV nonetheless... and basically, I had only went without using meth for about 2 months of treatment, since I had started using 6 to 7 years prior. So, my body was definitely meth-ridden you could say.
At a court hearing, my parents and I were waiting in the hall for the lawyers to come out of their meeting with the judge. I was dressed cute, and looking quite sober. I was playing the part well, as I always did, (or so I always thought), and my parents were feeling very proud of me.
The doors opened and my lawyer, Aaron, walked over. He then said these words... "well, as odd as this is... and rare to request of an adult, the judge has ordered that you give a "hair stat" yourself, Gina, ....whah whaoe, waiah.....waahh....". I heard him say the first part clearly... smiling at him and listening intently. Then when he said hair stat on me.... I was completely ready to drop and die.
My whole body felt like it was floating away from my actual person.... and I could have just melted to nothing. I couldn't hear anything... and he sounded like the teacher on Charlie Brown. My parents standing and listening as well, right next to me and all the while .... the voice inside my head saying... "Keep Calm and Carry On". It was the only thing I could possibly do without giving myself up, and confessing my continued meth use. I couldn't allow that to happen in that moment, because the only thing I could actually see at that moment were my daughters faces.
In all of these examples and experiences, there is a common denominator, and that is ME. Just ME and no one else. ME and the words I spoke to myself in those given moments. Because in those specific moments, I could feel how easy it would have been to just let go...and give up for good. I felt like I could crumble into nothing and if I did then I would never have to worry about "surviving" again.
But, I have survived and for as long as I am breathing I will continue to survive... because it's a part of me. I can't predict that everything will be smooth and easy for the rest of my life, even though I have learned and changed quite a bit since I went through these things. Life doesn't just stop testing us, and stop throwing things that we question. That's what we are here for... to keep paying attention and keep using what we know. Keep moving forward, and keep pushing through. Just "KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON".