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Do You Have a Plan?


Anyone who has ever been back-up-against-the-wall in crisis has had to answer the question “do you have a plan?

It’s a question that doctors, nurses and therapists are taught to answer as they triage a desperate situation.

Do you have a plan” enables them to determine how far along a person might be in their desperation.

Because in the world of breakdowns and crises, there are critical differences between ideation, imagery, impulses, urges, and actions.

There are critical differences in how those doctors, nurses and therapists respond and what next steps are taken.

For the person in mental and emotional pain, it can feel like a threshold test of “will you be okay for now?”

That can be soothing, if the support team provides comfort and safety and assurances of protection.

That can also be isolating, if the support team seems to just breathe a sigh of relief that they have escaped yet another crisis and can move on with the regular old process of restocking the empty pantry cabinets before the next big storm.

For the person in pain, it can feel like another ‘whatever’ where nothing will change.

But really, there’s no other option, right?

If an individual presents with dark, destructive or dangerous ideation, imagery, impulses, urges or actions, support personnel and caretakers have to establish whether there is a plan.

How far along is that person?

Can that person be “saved” from the risk of danger and can the person be settled into a protective cocoon of safety for now?

Yes, there’s really no other option but to focus on whether there is a plan.

BUT….there’s always a but.

Or, even better, a “Yes, and…”

Yes, and there needs to be a separate and even more important focus on another type of plan.


That is my sole mission right now.

To get every person in pain to have a plan.

For today. For now. For right this minute.

Because if there is even the teensiest tiniest possibility that you may experience darkness again, you MUST be prepared.

Unless you want the movie to replay the same shitty ending it’s been playing your entire life to date.

And aren’t you sick of that movie?

This blog is for anyone who is sick of that movie.

If you like your movie, read another blog.

If you like another type of humor, read another comic.

But if you are sick of the movie that keeps playing out in your life, then change your plan for the next time you may, might or will experience whatever type of darkness your condition favors.

Make a plan.

I have a daily plan.

I check my plan daily.

I know my plan inside out.

Because I personally and intentionally and carefully and deliberately made my plan.

Nobody gave me my plan. Nobody told me my plan.

I made my plan.

And it’s a good plan.

And my ground crew is good.

Is that what they call the team around the race car at the track?

That’s what I want to call my support team.

Or may it’s the pit crew?

Someone help me here. I want new language. I want new semantics.

I want to REALLY PERFORM MY BEST in whatever event comes next.

Because my darkness won too many times in the past and I hate the movies that played in the past.

I now have a really good daily plan and a really good pit crew.

And you need that too.

Today is a GREAT DAY to make a new plan. And confirm your crew.

What will you do today to make sure you are ready in case today is a day your mind decides to go rogue?


Let’s change the dialogue.

Let’s change the dialogue from “Do You Have a Plan” to “What Is Your Plan?

And let’s OWN our plan.

So we can change our plan as it needs to be changed, edited, updated and refreshed.

Because life requires that you do that. Just like you change you undies.

You wouldn’t wear the same undies everyday, so don’t expect the same plan to work everyday.

You have to check that plan everyday and see if it’s good for what you need.

Because some days are easier than others.  And some days are harder.

Next up are the basics for making your plan.

For now, start with the four pillars of recovery: HALT – Hungry Angry Lonely Tired

Make a plan that keeps you from being too much of those things and you should be able to make it through the day without too much risk of danger.

And tell someone in your pit crew your plan.

So that they can help you get the food, relief, companionship and rest you need to stay out of harm’s way.

And have a wonderful, rejuvenating Sunday.

Lots of X’s and O’s from me, dee, and from Bella too.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. More good stuff here! Having a plan (in a good way) is a lesson that is really hitting home lately. I tend to think that I can just get through tough situations until things improve, but it’s much better to have strategies ahead of time. (Even figuring them out as you go is better than “toughing it out”.) And in keeping with your previous post, a saying from my work life: “Hope is not a strategy.”

    1. Oh wow, John! THAT is really helpful! “Hope is not a strategy!”

      I may need to write about that! It is SO true.

      It’s like gas and a car. You can’t drive a car on hope. You need actual fuel.

      WOW. LOVE IT.

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