I should be dead. Well, I probably should be dead a few times over, but in one particular case it was confirmed by medical professionals. Looking back there were many times in my life when something or someone seemed to be looking out for me, probably more than I really know, and until I started on this path I never really believed that I deserved to have anything look out for me, I wasn’t worthy in my eyes, but it’s interesting that, even believing that, when I knew I was in real trouble, and had stopped caring about myself, and what that meant, I reached out and asked for help, to what or whom I did not know, I just screamed out through a stream of tears in my living room, “I can’t do this anymore, I need help, help me!” When I woke up the next morning I literally heard a voice say, “you’re done,” and something just clicked in my head and I thought, “OK,” what that meant to me was I was done living my life the way I had been, lying to everyone and stuffing everything down inside was a big part of it, so I picked up the phone and asked a friend I trusted for help. That started my journey to self-love and healing.
I wouldn’t say I’m a religious person, but I would say I’m spiritual. Over the last 11 years plus years I have formed a relationship of my own understanding that connects me with my spiritually. Sounds pretty elusive I know, when people reach out to me to ask me how I know something out there has my back, I say to them, I have many reasons, there are many times I was saved from something, or myself, but this one in particular is pretty hard to ignore. This is a true story of what happened to me a few years ago, what happened changed me forever, and because of what happened, I am writing State Of Slay.
It was President’s Day, a long weekend. I was in Los Angeles and feeling lost, feeling out of sorts, disconnected. I had been to a wedding at the beach a few days before and had thought to myself, I live in LA and I never to go the beach, when I was a teenager I went often, it settled my nerves, and quieted my mind, I never do that here, I wonder why. So, on this holiday Monday when my nerves needed settling, I decided to set out for the beach, in Malibu. I drove down the winding roads and found a spot to park along the Pacific Coast Highway. I left my cell phone in the car thinking, I don’t need it, I just want to be one with the ocean. I took my car keys and a bottle of water and headed down to the beach, found a quiet spot away from the crowds and took in the waves and sand. I finally found some peace. So much so I hadn’t noticed how long I had been sitting there and that everyone else had gone home.
I got up to start walking back to the car and the beach, the one I had walked on a few hours before, was gone. The tide had come in. I looked up the beach the other way and it was a long way before there was another set of stairs going back to the highway and the sun was rapidly going down. I thought, well, how deep could the water be, I had walked on the sand hours only a few hours before, I’ll just walk through it. All I remember next is thinking two things as I stepped into the water, a) wow, the water is really cold, and b) the current is really strong. The next few things I remember are only quick flashes of memory, some were very clearly hallucinations, but I remember being cold, wet, in pain, and scared.
My next very clear memory is sitting on the beach in the dark, soaking wet, shaking uncontrollably, and not being able to stand up, my limbs had stopped working, my body was shutting down from hypothermia. I sat there looking far down the beach to see the lights of the Santa Monica Pier and the Ferris wheel going around thinking, there are people on that pier having a great night, laughing, having fun, and I’m sitting here dying, alone, in the dark. There was nothing I could do to help myself, I did have flashes of being in the ocean, and of crawling out, my shins each having huge welts from knee to ankle from my skin sliding along the wet sand. I sat there angry, angry at “God,” the universe, whom or whatever! How dare you have me go through everything I have, fight to overcome it just to kill me on a beach alone, F**k you, I thought. I sat in my anger for a while, but I was beat. I looked up at the stars and said, “I surrender, you got me, there’s nothing I can do, I can’t even stand up, I surrender.” At that moment I heard that same voice and it said, “it’s going to be OK,” I didn’t know what that meant exactly, but I felt this wave of calm and peace come over me, and I sat there looking at up the stars thinking I was going to die there alone.
I woke up to bright white lights and suddenly a woman’s face that said “she’s awake!” I thought I was dead. I truly did. There was a lot of activity around me suddenly and a barrage of questions. Who was I? What happened to me? Did I know where I was? I didn’t know any of the answers, including who I was. It was terrifying. I looked down to see I was wearing a wrist band that said “Jane Doe,” I knew that was wrong but I didn’t know what my name was. I was told I was in emergency in Santa Monica, that a man had found me unconscious on the beach in the morning, I had been out in the elements all night, and that he called 911, insisted on travelling in the ambulance with me, had stayed in emergency, but had since left. I was asked who he was, and in that moment I saw a picture, not a memory of him, but a picture of a man and I heard that voice again, it said “angel.” I didn’t know who I was but I knew enough not to blurt that out loud. I said, I didn’t know.
Later when my doctor arrived she had said, well, this is exactly what she said, “well Carrie, if you were a cat you just blew eight lives, I don’t know how you’re alive and here right now.” I had a major concussion, head trauma and severe hypothermia, I was dehydrated, and, had amnesia, I had only remembered my name by the afternoon, I still couldn’t tell them where I was or what year it was, I just didn’t know, and I certainly didn’t know the details of what had happened, I still don’t.
It was determined, by the neurologist, that I must have fallen when I stepped into the water and hit my head on a rock, that I got pulled into the ocean in a state of unconsciousness or semi-unconsciousness, fought my way back to the beach, or just got spit out by the ocean, and had battled the elements all night and into the morning before I was found.
I was told I should have drowned or succumbed to hypothermia, or both, but for some reason I didn’t.
I struggled with that. Why did I survive? It took me a long time to find an answer to that, it took a lot of counselling, journaling, and a lot of meditation.
But the point of this story today is that, when someone asks me why I believe in a power greater than myself I say, I should be dead, but somehow, after being thrown around in the ocean all night, spit out onto the sand, and someone I don’t know, and will ever know, found me and made sure I was safe, how can I not believe that something or someone is looking out for me? When I had no power to take care of myself, something or someone else did.
Back to my answer of why I survived. I believe it is to be of service, to share a message of strength and hope to those who may need it, to tell my story and share with others, and what came out of that realization is this blog, which is just a start, but a step to say thank you for my life, a life that something or someone thought was worth saving. Each word I type in each blog is my gratitude, my way of saying thank you, to that force that watches over me.
I too think your life is worth saving, in fact I know it is, and I am happy to have you come and sit with me on this beach anytime, if you haven’t found that force, or voice yet you will, if you try, and until then I want you to know, it’s going to be OK.
SLAY OF THE DAY: How’s your spirituality SLAYER? Do you feel connected to something you feel wants the best for you or guides you? If not, why? Try to look for the times in your life that you feel a power greater than yourself may have stepped in and helped or guided you. Keep looking for those times SLAYER, what signs do you see? If you’re having trouble finding that force in your life, use us, us SLAYERS, because together we are far more powerful than you alone, let this group of warriors, survivors, be your power, until you find one of your own. SLAY on.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you