A Write An Essay About... Entry.
|Okay, first of all, if you’re reading this and someone is bleeding, stop reading this and call 911. Second, if you are having such a tough go of it you are thinking of harming yourself, this essay isn’t going to help. Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255, because they can get you what you need. This is just a little recounting of a life crisis I just experienced, what I learned, and how it could help someone that might be experiencing a drastic life change they didn’t see coming.
I’ll tell you this about me. About thirty years ago, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder that was tied to providing for my family. It’s hard to describe, but when my job disappeared six months ago, it hit me very hard. It’s safe to say I did not follow the steps I’m going to outline here very well, but I hope I’ve learned a little from the experience. So, for what it’s worth, these are my thoughts and suggestions. First...
Stay calm. Yeah, I know, I had trouble with this one as well. You will want to scream and hit things, maybe have a drink or two, and curse the world. Well, go ahead. I did all of that, but I didn’t broadcast it to everyone. If you put away your phone, shut down the computer, and don’t put it out there for all the world to see… you’ll be okay. Oh, and don’t tee off on people who are part of your support groups like family and friends, either. You really want to keep those folks on your side, not alienate them.
Assess the situation. Since mine was a job loss issue, it had to do with finances and people. I think the people part of the equation will be in play for most occasions, and the financial to some degree, but other life events come with their own set of parameters. The list isn’t endless, but what you have and the people who will help with your situation is a great start. Some issues might require a lawyer, for example, and maybe someone can give you the right number to call. All crises are not the same, so each assessment will be different.
Create a plan. Now that you have assessed both what you have and what you need, you can begin to figure out a way forward. I have no idea what you, the reader, had happen in your life, and no two plans will be alike. For me, it was updating my resume, posting it in the right places, and dealing with unemployment by applying to various job sites in my field. Financially, I used some saving to get out from under some bills. Your plan will be different, even if it’s the same kind of event. Your assessment will guide you in making the right choices. Remember, the people close to you that are also affected can be a big help.
So, here’s the thing. Each one of these items depends on all of them. Getting over the initial shock is important to making the assessment, of both the positives and negatives, because a good plan depends on some accuracy. You also have to remember, Steinbeck said our plans would often go astray, and he was right. Prepare for the worst, really, even if you hope for the best.
This is where I could spout some platitudes about how it will all pass, or that it won’t matter in a hundred years. But, for those who have faced a serious life crisis, those only ring hollow. I know, because I just went through it. I was prepared, to some degree, and so far lucky in another. There is merit in getting things together before bad times strike, but that doesn’t always make it possible. I wish you the best in whatever issues you are facing.