The Crash and Burn

March 1, 2021 / By admin / No Comments

By: Rosanne Mondrone, Director of Community Relations at Mary Wade

“We are NOT in the same BOAT. We are in the same STORM. Some have yachts, some have canoes and some are DROWNING.  Just be kind and HELP when you can.”

I read this message on Facebook recently and didn’t know the author but loved the message.  As we look back at 2020 we know that our spirits will strive to recover from all we’ve endured.  Stress is a mechanism designed to cope with short term problems.  None of us are equipped to withstand long term stress without feeling the effects.  Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome or PTSD is a mental disorder that develops after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying or life-threatening event.  The cracks in society are beginning to show and our spirits may need a boost, so “Just be kind and HELP when you can.”

As I speak with my colleagues throughout the day, I hear the same conversation over and over.  “I’m so tired.  I have no energy.  I just want to go home and lay on the couch.”  I think to myself that’s exactly what I’m feeling.  I thought I felt this way because I come to work every day and deal with the constant changes and pressure that occur in healthcare but I’m hearing it from people who are home.  They are struggling as well with a sense of isolation and need to feel connected.  All of us are worried about the permanent damage the pandemic will have on our lives economically and medically.  We’re all very fragile right now.  We are just beginning to allow ourselves to feel all we’ve experienced and we are afraid.

I was speaking to one of the nurses last week.  She began to recount the story of the day she personally wheeled 5 beloved residents out of the building on gurneys.  As she was telling me her story I welled up with emotion and tears began to fill my eyes, as I saw the horror in her face.  She quickly pulled herself together and shuttered as she realized she wasn’t ready to deal with those emotions, but they are rising to the top of her consciousness and as she begins to acknowledge them, she will heal.

I see the wreckage every day of how society is coping as I review the hospital admissions.  Anxiety, depression, isolation, homelessness, alcohol and drug abuse lead the referral pool.  Families call for information but the conversation turns into, “I need advice”; “Do I get the vaccine or not”?  “Do I place my loved one in a facility or keep them home even though I am not managing myself?”  “Will my mom remember me when I finally get to see her?”  “Will this be over soon?”  If only I had a crystal ball.

It is so important right now to be kind and tolerant of each other.  The pandemic was only the beginning of the problem.  The crash and burn is the fallout.  One thing I do understand is that everyone grieves differently and they heal in their own time.  We are very vulnerable.  Our emotions are raw and close to our hearts.  As our healing process begins to unravel, I am reminded of a beautiful quote by Maya Angelou, ”We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”



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