Thursday, November 8, 2012

It Was The Best Of Me.

It was the worst of me.  That's the way it is in a crisis and that's the way it is in a disaster.  Both bring out the best of who we are and the worst of who we are.  Sometimes the best and the worst come out at the same time.  In the middle of or right after a crisis or a disaster are definitely not optimal times to start self improvement programs.  The best example of this I can think of is from the movie 'Airplane' in which the character played by Lloyd Bridges keeps announcing, "I guess I chose the wrong time to quit...smoking...sniffing glue...etc."  If we were trying to exercise more or cut down on calories those positive life changes probably won't stick during or right after the crisis or the disaster.  The solution?  Cut yourself some slack.  Sometimes realizing that what we are feeling is normal helps.  So here's what's normal during or after a crisis or a disaster:  Fatigue.  Fear.  Grief.  Anxiety.  Bad dreams when sleep is possible but generally problems sleeping.  Depression.  Self medication with many of the substances the Lloyd Bridges character had tried to give up.  Here's what helps:  Talking.  Telling our stories over and over again helps to normalize our experiences.  Normalize a disaster?  No.  Nothing can make the experience normal.  But working the experience into our personal narratives?  Yes.  Talking will help do that.  Talking to others also helps us remember that even when it may seem like it, we are not alone.

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