9 Things To Do When Everything Falls Apart

9 Things To Do When Everything Falls Apart
Carly Jacobs

ull disclosure: I don’t feel like my life is falling is apart right now. Quite the opposite actually. This year has been very ace so far. But I certainly have felt like this in the past and it’s pretty horrific.

everything falls apart

Last year wasn’t a great year for me (or most of the world) but I had a shocker of year a while ago too.

I lost a few regular writing gigs which was a huge blow to me both financially and emotionally. I had to go back to work teaching at a really awful school. Mr Smaggle’s business was in a bit of a lull so I was supporting both of us, on part-time teacher pay, coming home every day and crying because the environment of this school was so toxic and horrible. I’ve loved every school I’ve taught at except this one, so it was an enormous shock to the system. A friend of mine and I were having a pretty hefty misunderstanding at this time too and my best mate had just gone and moved away on me, so I was feeling very useless, very alone and very broke.

everything falls apart

Here are a few things I did to get through that time and it really, really helped.

1. Focus on what you do have

I mean yeah, I was broke and quite unhappy but I still had my health, a roof over my head, my wonderful and supportive partner and my very excellent parents who always have a bed and copious amounts of wine available whenever I need it. It’s more than a lot of other people have and these things are extraordinarily helpful when life is giving me a kick in the balls. Focus on the things you do have – a decent job, a lovely bestie, a warm house, a decent savings account to keep you going for a while, an amazing pet that thinks you are better than the moon. It seems kind of simple and a little saccharine but it honestly does help.

2. Do the least amount of stuff possible

Coping is really hard work so don’t add anything unnecessary. If your job is killing you, don’t try to do anything else for a while. Come home, have a bath and lie on the couch. Every night for a week if you need to. Don’t try to make other big life changes when you’re experiencing something so awful. Everyone has times in their life when they need to tread water and when your life is falling apart, that’s the time to do it.

everything falls apart

3. Give yourself a deadline

A mate of mine had a really big, painful break up and she gave her two weeks to indulge in it. She drank wine every night, wrote herself off on the weekends and cried a lot. It didn’t mean that she didn’t feel sad after the two weeks but she put an end to her self destructive behaviour and gave herself some time to just partying out her misery, which sometimes you just need to do.

4. Survey the damage

How bad is it really? Is it worse than the last time everything fell to shit? Maybe not? Write down all the things that are making you feel totally shit right now and figure out if they’re worth your time. Losing your job is obviously a really big problem so definitely treat that one seriously but being dumped by that, quite frankly average, person you’ve been shagging on and off for a few months isn’t worth your brain space right now.

everything falls apart

5. Find solutions

You can’t think, drink or sleep your way out of a problem. Super disappointing, I know but you can only action your way of a problem. Apply for another job, see a counsellor to help with your grief, get out of your house and socialise with people or at least go for walks. Even just spending some time writing down your solutions. A plan is a solution waiting to happen so get writing.

6. Give yourself time

You won’t feel better straight away so make sure you keep that in mind. If you’ve been coming up with solutions and actioning them every day and nothing is happening, just keep going. If you stop applying for jobs, you won’t get one. If you stop working on whatever issues are plaguing you, you’ll never get past them. I like things to be really quick all the time so I struggle a lot with this but just trust the journey. Give it time.

everything falls apart

7. Things are usually the worst, right before they get better

Last October, I was ready to pack in my life and go and live on island. Off the grid, where I’d make my bread from ground up island grain and learn how to weave huts from palm fronds. Almost the very second I hit rock bottom, I started digging my way up and by Christmas, all of my problems had been solved. All of them. In my experience, if you’re feeling totally shit, things are usually about to get better.

8. Have a really big cry

I hate crying. A lot. I generally always feel better after a cry, but I hate doing it and I don’t do it often, however I really should do it because it’s such an amazing release of emotions. If crying helps you, go for it. Have a big old sob into your pillow, pour yourself a glass of wine and have a bath like a god damn queen.

everything falls apart

9. Distract yourself

I’m the type of person who likes to bury their emotions… or drink them. Either way is effective but if you just can’t deal with all your stuff right now, make yourself so busy you can’t even think. I’ve had countless people tell me this is a terrible way to deal with things but it’s what works for me. I like to deal with things months after they happen. Which is why I’m writing about this now – when I’m in crisis mode, I can’t deal with that crisis at the time or I’ll lose the plot. So I bury it for 6 months and deal with it when I’m ready. It’s a solid system that totally works for me.

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What do you when you feel like everything is turning to shite? Do you have emergency plans in place?

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P.P.S I’ve also got a beginner bootcamp coming up for anyone who wants to learn to crochet. If you fancy yourself as one of those totally calm and serene yarn crafters you should float on over and join my crochet mail list.


  1. Steph 9 months ago

    I need this right now! I was one of the only people that had a good 2016 and with my husband’s business looking great and our first baby on the way we were ready for an even better 2017. The first week of the new year my husband went on a boys trip, fell off the back of a moving ute, broke both legs and was in hospital for 4 weeks and is still 100% wheelchair bound plus suffering with nerve pain complications from surgery. His business went to shit without him there to closely supervise, I’ve resigned from my job and our baby is due next week! So it’s definitely a hard time right now and it makes it harder because it should be such a happy time for us. It could DEFINITELY be worse though and we are positive things will get better soon.

    • Allie 9 months ago

      I was in such a similar situation to you 4 years ago, except my husband had been made redundant when I was 7 months pregnant, couldn’t find another job and was suffering significant depression.
      Babies have a way of keeping you in the moment and bringing you joy no matter what the circumstances. Take good care of each other and especially your mental health – don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Best of luck xx

      • Author
        Carly Jacobs 8 months ago

        What a lovely response thank you! I agree about babies – I think they bring communities together and people rally around to help. Everything seems to get done!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 months ago

      It’s so comforting to hear at least someone had a great 2016! Unexpected injuries are the WORST simply because you never really through they’d happen. I had a similar thing with Mr Smaggle having nose surgery (standard procedure and most people go back to work within a few days) he was flat on his back for a month. It was awful. I do hope everything goes well for you – it’s sounds like you’ve got your head in the right place!

  2. Jay jay 9 months ago

    Thank you for this. My life is definitely falling apart right now. My husband just told me after 15 years together that he doesn’t love me anymore and it’s over. Just like that, out of the blue. And we have a 6 month old baby and a 3 year old. I’m not working as I’m on parental leave so currently have no income and very little savings. And my parents just moved overseas. I have never had a shittier time than this.
    I loved what you wrote about giving yourself a deadline. I have developed very unhealthy eating habits since this happened and stacking on the weight. I just don’t know what else to do to make it hurt less. I can’t even drink because I’m breastfeeding, not that that is a better option!
    I might need to set myself a stop-wallowing-in-junk-food deadline very soon…

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 months ago

      Oh gosh I’m so, so sorry. What a shit time for you. It is really important to let yourself grieve and indulge a little but the deadline works so well. Wishing you lots of luck and further joy – the best thing is the worst of it is over, you can only go up from here!

  3. D'Arcy 9 months ago

    So perfectly timed, thanks Smaggle! My heart goes out to all those ladies dealt a shit hand xxxxx

  4. theplumbette 9 months ago

    Great post and great tips. I hope this year is much better for you lovely. Last year was a mix of highs and lows. I’m always grateful for what I have. Thoughts go to the ladies above going through very challenging times. xx

  5. Carol 3 months ago

    Thank you for your awesome blog Carly. My life has been a struggle even from childhood. You see I’m a little person. I was called all sorts of names and It was very hard to make friends. But God has helped me through my life! i just recently made a video to help people feeling hopeless. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6on4_kGm8cw
    I hope this will help someone God Bless you!

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