Friday, November 20, 2009

Creating a Crisis Plan

We all know that life is easiest when things are going our way, but it's a different story when things turn upside down in a snap and become difficult. Unfortunately, we can't keep the inevitable downs from happening or plummeting further downward, however we can be prepared.

In the book,The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need to Know the author talks about creating a crisis plan.

Whether your family suffers from bipolar disorder, depression, or not, it's always a good idea for families to create a crisis plan to help bring order to a otherwise chaotic time in your life. Like each fall when you and your children practice and learn about fire drills at the start of the school year, this same type of plan applies.

Start out by asking yourself, "If I were ever in trouble, who would I call?"

We teach our children from young ages to dial 911 in an emergency. However, there are crisis groups, and other people you may need to call or depend on given the type of situation.

It is hard for us sometimes to think that our significant others may not always be there for us when we need them, or visa versa. Sometimes there are those in our lives that are unable or unwilling to provide the support we need, and thus we must turn to other people in our lives when crisis occurs.

The first stage of creating a crisis plan is to take out a sheet of paper and list all those who answer the question above, "Who would you call?"

Make a list of family members closest to you (driving distance) and their phone numbers. Be sure to ask these family members about putting them on your list that you can rely on them when a crisis occurs.

Next go to your friends. Ask them the same thing.

These are people who will step up and provide childcare at anytime during the day or night if you have children who are too young to be left unattended, that can drive you to a hospital, or other places you may need to go, that can provide meals when you are unable to provide for yourself, and even those who are willing to listen and give you emotional support when you don't feel you're getting it anywhere else.

These people will become your core circle, and you may become part of theirs.

Once you have your crisis plan in order, post in a place where it can easily be found, a central place in the house and also keep a copy in your daily planner where you have it on you always. Go over this plan and share it with all the members of your household, make sure everyone is on track and understands what to do when a crisis occurs.

Remember, you can't prevent a crisis from happening in your life, but you can plan ahead for the day it does.

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