Pictured: Alicia’s colleague, Mary Evans, meditating in her office.
As a therapist in the Outpatient Behavioral Health setting, I am blessed to teach and practice skills to help manage anxiety and stress on a daily basis. Although these tools are incredibly handy, I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t been shaken by the COVID19 pandemic and its enormous impact on all our lives. As I was sitting at my desk this week over lunch, noticing the tightness in my chest and experiencing an unknown vertigo sensation, I initially denied my anxiety. I had been downplaying and minimizing it for days in an effort to maintain my sense of courage. I spend my days listening to the stressors and anxieties faced by my patients, but I’ve never been in a situation as unique as this; One in which we are both experiencing the same stressor. As much as I wanted to ignore these intense waves of anxiety, my body was communicating it needed a break. I remembered the wise words of Brene Brown: “vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage”. The truth was, I was struggling, and I needed to have the courage to let someone know. So I did, and the coolest thing happened. I was reminded I’m not alone. I was able to let out my struggle without judgment. I was able to hear the struggle of my team. I was able to laugh and be reminded of why I do this work. Together, we were able to hold each other’s pain and lift one another up. Thank you, to my awesome Stormont Behavioral Health team!
Alicia Vincent, LSCSW
Stormont Vail Behavioral Health