When life hits you hard & the most amazing human instincts kick in

Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, or doctor in any way, I am just sharing my perspective. If you are going through a tough moment in life, my #1 recommendation is seek out for a specialist help, it will always be the best investment of your life.

If you are an adult, most likely you have experienced several tragic or difficult moments in life. You might feel your story is tougher than “the average” but when you start opening up to other people and these people start sharing their own experiences you quickly get to realize that most people have had traumatic, tragic, sad & tough life experiences, and here they are, being able to share about it and having a “normal” life where they are able to laugh, celebrate, cry, work, love and so on. This is what I call our human “superpower” ; the human instinct for survival is so strong I haven’t been able to fully understand it, but I appreciate it so much I stay in awe before it every time I get to experience it myself or see other people close to me experiencing it.

Every time we (humans) go through a tragic moment in life, we crumble, question everything, and experience all the 5 grief stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

stages of grief

And while we are at this process before arriving to acceptance, we experience DEEP anger, DEEP suffering and sadness and sometimes it might feel like “there is no way out” or there is nothing to look forward anymore, but then like magic (if you are lucky enough to have a healthy body functioning) you just… move forward… your mind and soul gets to the lovely tough stage of acceptance that opens the door for “something else” for “new beginnings” and moving forward, since you have accepted that what happened cannot be changed and you will have to learn to live with it… there is nothing else to do but moving forward. It is sooo damn beautiful to see (and experience) this process I literally feel like it is almost “magical”.

Every time I have experienced difficult times or traumas: (which I am willing to accept might be average) like having experienced my parents getting kidnapped for 48 hrs when I was 9 years old (they survived and even when we got stolen most of our wealth, we survived as a family) , or after 17 years of my life fainting on a weekly basis and experiencing seizures, having experienced “dead” a couple times after my heart stopped for 1-2 mins, and coming back to consciousness with the most horrible hallucinations memories, having doctors run so many tests on me until I finally got “diagnosed” by 2 weird conditions that “limits” my life quality…

(It is so funny how the brain works, while I’m writing this, I’m thinking “What other traumas do I have? I really haven’t gone through that much shit”. haha Isn’t it amazing how our instincts makes us kind of “forget” o fade the memories of bad experiences, this is also the magic of survival I think.)

…seeing my brother and sister in law loosing one of their children during labor was also a very tough moment for me to face life reality and expectations (how good people also get shit from life, and even when it seems impossible to handle they have to survive), two cousins deaths on tragic separated contexts, love disappointments, the first loss of my first pregnancy (was the toughest since I was not ready or expecting it in any way), then the second and third loss.
That would be it, so far… πŸ˜‰ That’s the thing… the day we came out of the doctor’s office with the confirmation of our last pregnancy loss my husband and I were comforting each other but in a very peaceful state of mind (I think he was more disappointed than I was, I was kind of ready for it) but we both were able to “to get out of our own experience” and see things with a wider perspective a bit more objectively, and so, I said:
“I guess this is just life, we get to enjoy, love, celebrate, and also face sadness, disappointment and tragedy, and we are not even half way!! (we are in our early 30’s)”
The realization that it was normal life situations what we were experiencing and that “this is not it”, more challenges will come because that’s just life; a balance between happiness and sadness because they cannot exist without the contrast of each-other, this realization made us smile (even laugh a little) while being in the middle of a deeply sad moment.

I remember being very young at 6 years old questioning if all the other humans were real, because when I saw them laughing or crying I didn’t think they were actually feeling at the same level I felt all those human feelings, I was literally questioning if all the other 7 billion humans in the world were just fake human like creatures “created” for me, I would literally observe people crying or laughing and question the reality of their existence, I would even talk to my father about it thinking he was not real either haha (I know, I know, facepalm, thankfully later I learnt that this age is the most self-centered age in a child’s development haha so it was not such a weird thought to have at that moment) .
But the point is that, from a very young age I noticed our human reactions to life, and how we could go through very deep pain and simply survive and thrive short afterwards. It has always amazed me, even before having experienced any trauma myself.
Now, as an adult who has experienced different kinds of tragedies, sadness and happiness through life, I’m still amazed (and grateful) by how we are designed to survive and (I would like to extend this phrase to) also to thrive. It is just soo incredibly strong (and amazing) how our survival instincts work.

I have shared tons from my own perspective and experiences but if you search, read all the tragic stories that are happening today in the world of constant war we live in, go on “humans of NY” and read some of the stories there, or simply ask around, you will find so many much more difficult and traumatic stories where people live through it and find a way to survive and thrive. It makes me feel so hopeful, to know that I am equipped with a mind and body that has been designed to survive through tons of shit life brings along with so much happiness and beauty.

So even now, when I am going through my own grieving process, I am aware that more “shit” will come my way and the way of the people I love the most and would like to always protect from any pain.
And it is a fact that we will experience more tragedies and sadness throughout life (since hopefully we are not even half way through life) BUT, we will SURVIVE and TRHIVE through it all, it is funny to say that the acceptance of “more shit will come our way” makes me hopeful, but what really makes me hopeful & peaceful is the awareness that even when more shit will come our way, we will have to survive and thrive just because it is ingrained in our deepest instincts as humans.
It is like having a warranty that we will survive through it all until we die.

I am not sure I am making much sense to you right now, and again, remember I am not a psychologist with any knowledge in any of these subjects. I am only a woman sharing her experience, so if you are going through a tough moment in life (and even if you are not) the best advice I can give anyone is to GO TO A PSYCHOLGIST, get therapy even if you think you don’t need it, It is good to simply go as a “checkup” for some months, just to try to improve and become a better human in society and for yourself.

I felt like sharing this thoughts for 2 reasons:

  1. Again, I found this writing & sharing process to by part of my therapy πŸ˜€
  2. It truly gave me hope and happiness to feel so aware of how well equipped we are to deal with life challenges, and come out from them stronger, wiser and alive. πŸ˜€ So I wanted to share in case it might make you also feel hopeful and happy about life.

Thank you so much for reading, Cheers to life and humans design!
Alex

p.s. I realized one EXTREMELY important KEY FACTOR I forgot to mention for this “survival instinct” to succeed, (it came out during a conversation with my husband): Being loved and supported by your partner, family, friends & community is KEY for your humanity to want to survive and to thrive throughout tragedy.
This is actually backed by anthropologic and psychologic studies, we need our loved ones and community to want to survive, so reach out to as many loved ones as you can, this is what will make the difference (along with profesional help).
Even when I have known many stories of humans surviving completely alone just with their own drive to survive, It is always easier to do it with the support of loved ones. Community is key for us humans.

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