You name it – intense stress, a major depressive episode, panic attack symptoms, PTSD flashbacks, a major loss. Desperation and crisis can come knocking at the door. Thoughts of suicide may even accompany. Yikes! What say we chat 10 Do-It-Now’s?

Got an email from a client over the weekend. With her permission, I can tell you it simply stated “I’m drowning to death.” My heart went out to her, ’cause I remember all too well how it feels to be that desperate and crisis-consumed.

Shortly after reading her email I sat in a coffee shop and put together this bit of verse, based upon what I perceived my client was feeling – and what I’d felt in the past…

It’s over
The endless hits have stripped me raw

I have nothing left to give


I’m dying
And I don’t know what to do

There’s a lifeline out there somewhere
I suppose
But hope is fading fast

And I’m not even sure I have the strength
Or desire
To grasp it
And hold on
(Still – help me)

Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
I don’t really want to die

By the way, had a session with her the day after, and she’s stable – and willing to move forward. But how’s by you? Anything connect?

Those 10 Do-It-Now’s

Yep, desperation and crisis happen. And when they come-a-callin’, you need to have a plan and take action. Well, here ya’ go…

  1. If thoughts of suicide are on the scene contact your counselor, psychiatrist, a crisis line – or head to the closest emergency department (E.D.). Don’t mess around – seek immediate help.
  2. Keep in mind how those enduring a mood or anxiety disorder typically think – overgeneralizations, catastrophizing, etc. Your immediate circumstances may not be as desperate or hopeless as you think, so see if you can downgrade the alert a tad. If you’re having thoughts of suicide this doesn’t apply – no second-guessing. Seek help!
  3. Come to the solid understanding there’s nothing brain-structure/chemistry irreparably wrong with you. Everything you’re experiencing is resolvable.
  4. Remember – millions have experienced your very same desperation and crisis. Many are experiencing them at the same time you are. You’re not a “psycho-freak.”
  5. Even if (and that’s a huge “if”) your circumstances intensify to the point where you’re thinking E.D., don’t get spooked. Look, if it happens you’ll likely be given something to take the edge off, which will allow you to gain perspective on your circumstances. And home you’ll go, with a referral. And as icky as you may feel, please remember you can’t be held against your will unless you express some serious suicidal or homicidal thoughts, or are unable to care for yourself.
  6. Bring to mind your last similar episode, ’cause I’m thinking there was one (or more). Sure wasn’t pleasant; however, you survived. Hmmm…
  7. Get with people – or even just one person. Maybe a family member, friend, your counselor or psychiatrist, clergy, a crisis line staffer, and more? Don’t isolate. Oh, and remember, you may not think much of yourself, but others likely don’t share your opinion.
  8. If you meditate, pray, practice yoga, journal, exercise – whatever – get busy. (And if you don’t have a go-to activity, develop at least one.)
  9. Think of bright tomorrows. Now is the time to calmly examine your life and come up with notions of meaning and purpose. They’ll serve you well down the road.
  10. Never, ever lose sight of hope. Just because you can’t imagine it exists, doesn’t mean it isn’t reality – fact. Remember those funky thought patterns?
  11. Okay, a bonus #11. Do you have a favorite comfy go-to? A pet, stuffed animal (yes, I said that), comforter (blankie?), etc.? A nice warm hug, even from yourself? You know what to do.

Let’s Close Now

Desperation and crisis happens. That’s just the way life goes sometimes – nothing more, nothing less. Intense stress, a major depressive episode, panic attack symptoms, a PTSD flashback, a major loss – and more – can generate all sorts of seismic activity.

Not to worry, ’cause now you have a game plan should the earth move beneath your feet. Print it and put it in your back pocket, ’cause ya’ just never know.

Yep, you’re gonna’ be just fine, k?

Oh, almost forgot. Have some Do-It-Now’s? Share ’em in a comment!!!

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