February 17, 2019

Life is a peculiar thing. You maybe cruising along very nicely, when suddenly crisis strikes. As surgeons, we see it on a regular basis. The sudden diagnosis of cancer. The news of impending death. The dramatic realisation of our own mortality. But apart from health, there’s a whole range of stresses that can occur. Death of a loved one. Divorce. Financial disaster.

None of us are immune to any of these things.

Life is humbling and we have to be grateful each day for good health, a roof over our heads, some food to eat, as well as sound relationships, friendships and sense of purpose.

But if catastrophe strikes, you need to know what to do.

  1. First is acceptance. It’s normal to go through a spectrum of states from shock and disbelief to anger, but finally there needs to be acceptance. If something has happened, it has already happened and it can’t be reversed.
  2. Next, reach out. Who can you speak to? Who can you trust? And who can be part of your support net?
  3. Engage professional help. A good counsellor, psychologist, or life coach can help assist you during very difficult times.
  4. Simplify life. You need to conserve your energy, so now is time to stop any unnecessary activities and focus on yourself.
  5. Eat, sleep and move. These are normal supports during normal times. They are even more important during crisis times. You need them to keep your sanity.
  6. Rebuild. One piece at a time, block by block, strand by strand. Just catch a thread of something that is steady and stable and build yourself back. Time and patience are your constant companions.
  7. Share. Once you come through the other side, find the courage to share your experience with others. You have come to the realisation that you are bigger than your experiences, and though tragedy may strike, the perpetuation of suffering is in your hands.

No one wants to go through pain. But if something happens that is out of our control, we need to know how to bounce back.

Stay Well