Everyone knows me as a survivor and relies on me for guidance. It's a role I selected naturally and honestly after a two-pronged, near-fatal battle with cancer and Lupus in the late 1990s followed by post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and continuing chronic illness. Add early childhood maltreatment as evidenced by the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 20-year Adverse Childhood Effects Study that links childhood trauma to long-term health and social consequences and it's a miracle I stand upright.
So it's no surprise that this survivor needs help to survive now and then; particularly after her beloved brother commits suicide six months prior and sends her into a tailspin. I know all the right things to do but mind over matter is easier than it sounds, even for a 'survivor' like me who inspires others to keep on keeping on. In fact, a friend recently told me I need to read my own book; but I simply think I need to add a Survivor's Survival Kit to the second edition.
Perhaps I can fashion such a kit out of the the essentials the United States Government says we need in case of an emergency:
WATER: Yup. Stay hydrated to replace all the tears. One gallon of water per day for every day I cry for more than one hour.
FOOD: Proteins are best to keep up my strength and colorful fruits make me smile but carbohydrates, especially cake and cookies, are permitted. They make me feel better, even if only for a short while. All should be non-perishable in case I don't get out of bed.
BATTERY-POWERED OR HAND CRANK RADIO: Ha, ha, ha! Nope. I'll take my chances with my laptop so I can see how all the happy, pretty people are living their care-free lives. I will also get briefly elevated or further saddened by all the sentimental viral posts I must see or watch plus the funny ones that do make me crack a smile here and there.
FLASHLIGHT AND EXTRA BATTERIES: Okay. I'll have that, too, for when I can't sleep and I need to read under the covers.
FIRST AID KIT: Ideally, mine will be filled with a Peach Bellini, a card from a friend, an amethyst crystal that belonged to my brother, and all my medications so I don't have to worry about refills EVER.
WHISTLE TO SIGNAL FOR HELP: My dog knows my whistle and curls up next to me when I am sad or suffering.
DUST MASK: This will help keep visitors away. They will think I have a disease.
DUCT TAPE: This is used to cover the mouths of all those asking for my advice. I'm sorry I can't help you right now. SHUT UP!
MOIST TOWELETTES: The closest I get to a shower some days.
WRENCH OR PLIERS: To throw at things when I'm angry.
MANUAL CAN OPENER: Also good for throwing.
LOCAL MAPS: I'm not going anywhere so I don't think I need these in my survival kit. If I did go somewhere, it would be a place as yet unknown to me or others.
CELL PHONE WITH SOLAR CHARGER: Do they really make those things? And if everyone is in survival mode, will we all have them? I doubt it so who would I be calling? In my opinion, also good for throwing.
OTHER: This is a random category I have added. It holds many boxes of tissues, cream for my sore nose, English breakfast tea, a personal chef, Bananagrams, stupid television, books, and, most importantly, the will to live.
That's my kit! What do you think? Have any things you can add? Right now, though, I'm going to watch Let's Make A Deal. Comedian Wayne Brady as the host can always brighten my day.