With the right help of a good Realtor before, after, and during a short sale or foreclosure, we've seen credit hits be as little as 15 point drops across all 3 scores.
We've also seen several people buy their next home, during their current short sale/foreclosure process, and dozens more within the first 6-12 months.
Recovery comes in all shapes and sizes though, and you'll take the lessons forever. Most of boils down to how quickly you want to get back on the horse. Building/repairing credit is easy, and in most cases offered by realtors and mortgage consultants free of charge.
Dont be afraid, there is life after. Either way, you have options, and you are not alone.
Good luck, I'm happy to help.