Today I was forced to test my own “advice” for coping in a crisis.

This morning I posted an essay on handling a crisis.
But somehow, the “advice” I proposed felt hollow— too contrived.
And even before the ink was dry, I deleted the post.
But little did I know that a crisis was looming, and I would be at its epicenter within an hour!

Today a textbook case of “misunderstanding” exploded in such a nasty manner that I considered tendering my resignation at the company where I’m currently employed.
Yes, it was that bad.
While public conflict between employer and employee is in the process of unfolding, it seldom makes sense to add to the noise of all those who are screaming to defend themselves.
The Stoic inside me won this round, and I decided to schedule a one-on-one with my boss.
I want to look him in the eyes.
I don’t fear him, but the altercation has left a sour taste in the mouth— so much so that I’m in the process of dusting off my CV.

But let’s rewind to the events from this morning.
I realized later I found myself in the perfect spot from where I could test the effectiveness of the advice I wanted to pander to the world.

1.Breathe.
2.Stay calm.
3.Step back from the incident.
4.Go for a walk.
5.Remember to take care of yourself.
6.Don’t lash out at loved-ones who are attempting to help.
7.Make an internal pact with yourself— they will steal my joy today, but that’s where it stops. My job doesn’t define my happiness.
8.Accept the cliche— Tomorrow is another day.
9.Remember to breathe.

If I look at the checklist, I can feel proud of myself.
I’ve matured since my last office-blowout— especially considering there was no blowout from my side! Stoic me: 1 – Office: 0.

Yes, I took care of myself.
I drove to the shops to buy a sandwich. I had no appetite, but I knew I required a little more fuel.
I chatted with my wife, phoned a few friends, and started placing the pieces of “what now” and “what next” into context.

Not for a minute did I think I would live through the blog I wrote the previous night.
But such is the uncertainty of life.
At least I believe I’m moving towards a new stage of growth within my life-experience.
I’m still hurt— that’s par for the course, I suppose.
And I feel sorry for my wife, who is still stranded abroad because of COVID.
Few things are more frustrating than not being able to be with those loved ones who require comfort.
I know she prayed for me.
And despite this turning out to be a most unpleasant day, I realized how fortunate I am for having people in my corner.

Oh, and yes— I do believe the “advice” worked for me.
It’s by no means an exhaustive list for managing a crisis— but it helped me through this day.
My initial post contained detailed-descriptions fo each of the points in bold. But I reckon they are self-explanatory. I didn’t have the strength to think about the details today when I experienced the full brunt of my crisis. Sometimes less is more, especially when you are struggling for air due to the onset of panic — literally!

It helps me to write about my trials and tribulations, although I couldn’t muster up enough courage to write within the first few hours after the bomb had burst. But I still felt I had to record the events of the day and with good reason:
My sincere wish is that something in this post might be able to help you when your next crisis looms on the horizon and threatens to engulf your world.

Matt LR

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