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EVERY ONE OF US has a breaking point.  The only difference is some people never reach it.  Maybe The Fates have treated them kindly.  Or perhaps, in order to deal with trauma or disappointment, they have numbed themselves so it’s not recognizable when it arrives.

How to define a breaking point?  It’s a time when life becomes unbearable, even if only for a moment.  It’s a moment that can crush your self, your soul and if you let it, your life.

Image courtesy of colourbox.com

Image courtesy of colourbox.com

Even though we know that these moments can descend, it doesn’t lessen the blow.  For if you reach your breaking point, it knocks you off your feet, rendering you defenseless.  I know this intimately.

For the last six months, I’ve been struggling through the worst breaking point of my life.  One of my author friends recently asked his readers to summarize last year in a simile.  This is what I wrote him:  “2012 was like living in a wood chipper.”

What have I learned when the Banshees are screaming in your head?  You better be well prepared.

Image courtesy of atpm.com

Image courtesy of atpm.com

How can you prepare for the absolute rock bottom moment(s) of your life?  Or, more importantly, is this possible?  Of course it is!

We strategize for all manner of life situations, but we often forget to plan for The Breaking Point.  Why?  is it fear or arrogance?  That’s an answer you’ll have to find for yourself.

Failing to plan is like planning to fail – Winston Churchill

So, how does one prepare for this pivotal moment in time?  Consciously and carefully.  Just like you’d prepare for a hurricane or an earthquake.  Start by gathering whatever tools you’ll need to weather the storm.  These are personal choices, but some examples might be letters that key people have written to you expressing what a difference you’ve made in their lives.  Or, perhaps a photograph that recalls one of life’s shining moments.  Keep these tools in a convenient place.  Just like you would an emergency lantern in case of a tropical storm.

Next, come up with an action plan.  What are you going to do at this critical juncture?  Are you going to call a friend?  Or maybe your therapist or clergy?  How low will you go before reaching out?  Decide now!

Are there supplies that you’ll need?  Here are some suggestions.  Make sure that you’ve got the basics covered.  Is you pantry well stocked?  Check it.  Driving to the store when you’re crying so hard that you can’t see straight is not recommended.  In other words, don’t live so far out on the edge that when life decides to push back hard, you can’t take care of your basic needs.  Instead, live like an Eagle Scout and be prepared!

It’s important to put crisis into perspective and to remember that sometimes we are broken to break through to our stronger selves.  Think of a diamond.  What becomes a precious gem is the direct result of heat and pressure.  Without these intense stressors, it would look like any other rock.  Something like this:

Image: california-gold-rush-miner.us

Image: california-gold-rush-miner.us

It’s because a diamond was forged through a volcanic eruption that it ultimately becomes the clearest, most indestructible stone on earth.  The destructive process that creates the world’s most prized gem makes it possible for it to sparkle and shine like no other mineral.

Image: gia.edu

Image: gia.edu

When you’re in a breaking point, it helps to remember that you’re not alone.  Here are some facts about suicide.  According to the World Health Organization, depression is the Number One disability in the world.  Every year, approximately a million people commit suicide.  Globally, suicide has increased by 60 percent over the past 45 years.  Here in the U.S., twice as many people die from suicide each year than by HIV/AIDS.  If you’re struggling with depression like me, maybe you’ll find the following quote helpful.

Cover your bases

Thank you for taking the time to visit with me here.  I hope that these words have been helpful.  I may not know you, but you’re in my prayers every night.  Because I’m at a breaking point, I’m actively praying for everyone else who’s in the same place.  Here’s why I would choose to write about something so personal:

The best I can say is that it’s better for me to write about despair and darkness than to be incapable of getting off the sofa.  It’s better to write about suicide than to contemplate it too heavily. – Paul Westerberg

If you know someone who’s facing this, don’t walk away, or ignore them.  Let them know you care.  SHOW them in meaningful ways that the world is a better place because they’re here.  Remember, YOU could be facing the same demons one day.  It might be hard to believe, but it’s true.

P.S.:  Writers need feedback.  When I visit fellow writer’s sites, I ALWAYS leave a comment.  Please show me the same respect and pay it forward.  Thank you!

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