There's a thing that happens when we're in crisis that feels like the world is collapsing around us, and all hope for the future feels lost.
Whether you worked for FTX, were relying on grant money from it, had savings held there that are now in question, or are just observing from the sidelines as friends and colleagues struggle with their new shattered reality, picking up the pieces can feel not just monumental, but impossible.
This mantra came to me after I was in very bad situation over a decade ago. In that situation, not all parts of this mantra were true, and it legitimately seemed like my life might be over, or utterly derailed for the perpetual worse even if not.
So the next time I faced crisis, I couldn't help but compare it to that one, and generalized to the other ways in which things weren't as bleak as they could have been. It has since helped me keep perspective and hope in lesser crises, and a number of my clients have reported being helped by it as well. So I thought I'd share it, in the hopes it helps you too:
"I'm going to be okay. I'm not dead, in the hospital, or in jail. I've still got my health, my family, and my friends. I'm going to be okay."
This isn't done to diminish the losses and pain many of you are feeling. There's no one general platitude that will cover what everyone has lost or how they've been affected by any crisis. For some, maybe parts of that mantra aren't true, for complex reasons. Maybe not everyone has the same social support networks, which can definitely make crises much worse. Or perhaps someone is going through a medical crisis, and they've lost the income or savings or insurance they were relying on for treatment. And maybe some have lost friends over this, or will.
The point of the mantra is not to insist that you've lost nothing, or that life will be unchanged. Many have lost something, large or small, present or in the future, and it makes sense that it hurts. Many were hoping to do good with the opportunities and funding FTX provided, and those problems are still there in the world, and in need of solving.
But the core of who you are is still here, still capable of enjoying life and doing good, and in time what feels like the end of everything will, with some hope for a regression to the mean, mostly just be a sad memory.
Take an extra deep breath, now and then. Spend a bit more time in the sunlight, or with friends. Give yourself time to nurse the hurt and heal. It's an ongoing process, even as you start to pick up the pieces and reforge something new.