By Becky Murray, CVT, MA, LCPC —
Becky Murray is Veterinary Specialty Center’s full-time Licensed Professional Counselor.
Hello from Veterinary Specialty Center’s Counselor’s Corner! This is Becky, hoping that you are all staying safe and healthy. I’m going to be sharing some thoughts with you about coping with the stress of COVID-19. I’ll also be providing some helpful links to resources you can use, and I will continue posting those as I find them.
I wrote a couple of blogs about managing anxiety and other things in my 2 weeks of quarantining at home, but it’s been some time since I’ve sent anything out. It’s not for lack of trying; I’ve had 3 Word documents open on my laptops at work and at home for a couple of weeks, each dealing with a different topic. I sit down in front of them a few times a day and start typing sentences and deleting sentences. I just get nowhere. It seems that there are no adequate words to talk about what’s happening in the world right now. It feels like my words are not enough.
Last week, I was talking with a technician about a patient she had who was not responding to treatment. This patient had received a lot of care, was younger, and had a disease that, when not so extensive, we sometimes can control. I think she was feeling helpless and I told her, “You might not feel like it, but you are making a difference.”
In the days that followed, I found myself returning to those words over and over. I realized that part of the reason I was struggling with the words is that deep down I couldn’t see that they really mattered. Moment to moment things were changing so much that what I wanted to say in the morning didn’t seem to resonate in the afternoon! But as I thought more about those words, “You are making a difference” it occurred to me that probably something I am doing is making a difference.
What I want to tell you all is just that: you are making a difference. It’s so very important to remember that during times when we feel powerless. Even if the results are not what you wanted, you are making a difference. Even if you feel that staffing, resources, or social distancing are preventing you from performing ideally, you are. Whether you are working from home and dealing with complete isolation or going into work and risking exposure, you are all still making a difference.
So there are my thoughts for this week. I can’t say that I will have an easier time getting more thoughts out to you, but I’ll keep trying!
Becky Murray is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) that counsels clients of VSC and our referral community on pet loss, quality of life decisions for pets and grief. She also lectures extensively in the veterinary community on Compassion Fatigue. You may reach Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-499-5700. More information about our services may be found here.