I hope it never happens, because it's a seriously unpleasant feeling. When everything you worked for melts away, and even the little things go wrong, distracting you from trying to find a way to arrest the drop and start fixing the Big Picture.
Though it may be cold comfort, Shakespeare recognized this, in Richard III - "If you can say it is the worst, the worst is not yet."
So what do you do? As everything breaks around you, can you do anything?
- Yell at God. let him know that it's not fair, and you're not happy. In "Fiddler on the Roof", Tevieh did this, in the opening scene.
- Don't flap. There's a saying at NASA - when there's an emergency in space, when in doubt, do nothing. You need focused action - acting quickly and without sufficient thought can waste time and resources you'll need later.
- Don't blame the people closest to you. If the problem was caused by unavoidable circumstance, accept the fact that there's no one to blame. If it was done by an individual or an entity, hate them all you want, but don't let that spill over onto your family and friends.
- Take time to grieve. You will need this. You're hurting, on the way down, and yhou need to let that happen.
- Try to remember that the hardest thing is the transition, and its speed - from rich to poor, from well to ill, from whole to maimed. Once you understand that this is a passage, and that its speed is really what's dizzying.
- Accept help. There is no time in life for pride, especially now.
- It may be hard to love or trust God, but try not to hate Him. Remember, He had to watch the world go wrong, and watch the world torture and murder His Son. He's getting no pleasure from watching your pain. Why can't He heal it instantly? If you can figure out why He didn't pluck Jesus from the Cross, you'll know the answer.
Above all, accept your own humanity. If you're the victim of an identity theft that stripped your bank accounts, don't pretend to be forgiving if you're not. You're not Mother Teresa. And even she wasn't all that forgiving of people who abused the people she cared for.
This isn't just intellectual gas. I am in free all, and have had to learn to cope, daily. Sometimes I do ok, sometimes not.
But, like the guy who jumped off the skyscraper, before he hit bottom, he said to himself, passing each floor...
"So far so good!"