Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

What If Your Parachute Didn’t Open?

I’ve been flying in a lot of planes and I’m one of those people who still listen to the safety announcements, simply as a precaution.  I don’t believe that the odds are good that I’ll survive in the chance of a crash, but the idea of a parachute is a great idea.  I also have a lot of friends who skydive and I always wonder, even though they do it in tandem, what if your parachute didn’t open.

In the airplane, the flight attendant on my most recent flight was discussing the life jackets.  He said, “To inflate the jackets pull on the tab, if that doesn’t inflate the jacket blow into the red tube, if that doesn’t work…pray”.  Why am I asking you about your parachute?  If you’re not skydiving then I guess I’m really asking you if you have any contingency plans.

What would you need a contingency plan for?  It’s like when you make escape routes out of your house in case of fire, if you only have one way out you’re going to be in trouble.  The same is true for any of when we face any sort of crisis.  If we only have one solution that we use for everything then we’re taking a huge chance that we’ll crash and burn (physically, emotionally, and spiritually).

Technology has helped when it comes to contingency plans.  Having a cell phone with speed dial numbers can save you time and trouble in case of an emergency.  Having the phone number of a neighbor who can help you if you get stuck, giving someone the key to your home in case someone needs to get in and check on you; these are all contingency plans.

I could go on and on about why and what contingency plans you may need, but it’s better if you sit down with those in your household and come up with a list and then come up with solutions.  I believe you’ll sleep better at night knowing you’ve got things covered in all directions.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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