1 title: How To Survive In A Crisis 2 author: Daniel Moch 3 copyright: 2020, Daniel Moch 4 date: 2020-09-03 15:56:17 UTC-04:00 5 category: personal 6 description: Growth comes amidst hardship 7 8 In one respect, the past few years could be reduced to a series of 9 personal and family crises. In another, I can say they've been the 10 most productive years of my life in terms of personal growth. It's 11 an unfortunate reality that personal growth often comes in the midst 12 of hardship. 13 14 Many of the details of the most recent crisis—of which I am still 15 in the midst—are not my story to tell. Suffice to say it has tested 16 me to a degree I don't think I have ever been tested before. And 17 yet the on-the-ground details—or rather my experience of them—has 18 been better than in past crises. So rather than take this space to 19 tell a story (which is important), I want to tell you what's been 20 different for me. Here we go! 21 22 Medicine 23 -------- 24 25 This is table stakes. If you think you're not emotionally able to 26 handle a crisis, then you need to take the initiative to get help 27 so you can be ready. Medicine is the first step. (I'm being intentional 28 in my wording. There are other, potentially more important steps 29 as well ... see below.) I see a psychiatrist every three months and 30 take a small dose of antidepressent in part because I've seen form 31 previous experience how miserable I can be under stress without it. 32 I think the clinical term for what I have is dysthymia, which 33 basically ammounts to a chronic, low-grade depression. Point being, 34 if you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, there are 35 things you can do to help yourself. You don't need to wait until 36 you want to kill yourself. 37 38 Counseling 39 ---------- 40 41 Therapy (which I use interchageably with counseling) is more of a 42 medium-to-long term thing, but over that time horizon I believe 43 it's equally as important as medicinal help. Talk therapy is worth 44 the money. I took several counseling-related electives in seminary. 45 There are a lot of different schools of thought in the psychotherapy 46 community, and I think they all of something to offer, but in general 47 I would recommend folks err on the side of cognitive-behavioral 48 therapy and steer clear of classical (read: Freudian) psychoanalysis. 49 Your working relationship with your therapist is critically important, 50 and shouldn't be reduced to laying on a couch talkng to someone 51 trained not to respond to you. I don't even know if anyone still 52 does classical psychoanalysis, but I can't imagine it would be 53 terribly helpful, even granting his insights. 54 55 Community 56 --------- 57 58 I'm almost ashamed that this comes in third on my list, but here 59 we are. We—and I'm speaking to men in particular here—like to think 60 that we can get by without too much in the way of relationship, but 61 there's a growing body of evidence to suggest that isn't true. We 62 all need close friends that we can reach out to in a crisis, friends 63 who will sit with us and let us tell them what's going on, who will 64 empathize with us, and validate what we're feeling, but who will 65 also challenge us when we're tempted to despair.