What if it didn’t get better?

Finding comfort in disaster-planning.

I hesitate to believe all the people who tell me “don’t despair, it’ll get better.” Maybe it’s my innate cynic, maybe it’s my midwestern roots, maybe my time as a counselor has shifted my perspective.

There’s no danger in asking “what if?”

What if it didn’t get better? What if we are on a precipice looking down, to our much-worse future? I know how despair can be debilitating, but whitewashing the future can keep us from preparing for disasters.

I would rather have a plan for the worst, than merely hope for the best. Here’s my thoughts on what we will need for a future that could be much worse than the present:

  • Normalize disaster planning to create a better sense of self-sufficiency. It’s not weird, it’s prudent.
  • Find your community to rely on. You can’t do this alone.
  • Develop best practices for dealing with bad news. Stay informed while staying engaged, ignorance only hurts in the long run.
  • Determine your area of control to maintain a sense of security.
  • Determine your values, so as to better defend them when they’re trampled on.
  • Check your beliefs of a perfect world and how they might be harming your planning for a worse-future.
  • Mourn the divide between your dreams and present reality. Then move on.
  • Everybody will need to learn the language of therapy, to be able to provide better emotional support in their community.
  • Establish a language of boundaries of care, to prevent all of us burning out from caring from one another.
  • Find your motivator, be it fiery rage, or stubborn resistance, or unassailable hope, and hold on to it for dear life. For life is dear.

What’s your thoughts on planning for a scary future? What does it feel like to fight despair with action? I’d love to hear your thoughts.