• E.M. Fitch

All Crisis Comes To An End

Many of you don't know this, but in addition to an author, I am also a nurse.

I have worked in home care, in case management, and on inpatient hospital floors, but mostly, I have worked in an inpatient psychiatric hospital serving ages five to adult.

I'm sharing this with you, because I want to share a basic truth that was first shared with me in orientation, many years ago, at the hospital I still work for. Back then, I was a Mental Health Worker, working my way through nursing school. Back then, I walked onto that campus a little scared and very much intimidated by the work I would soon be doing--though of course, I kept that to myself ;)

On one of those first days in orientation, our leader--an absolutely remarkable woman who I still look up to today--told us this simple truth: All crisis comes to an end.

And believe me, when you're in the middle of a crisis on a psychiatric unit, it may feel like the end is never coming. It will feel scary, uncertain, even dangerous at times. Sixty seconds can feel like an hour. You worry about your patients, about your co-workers, about how you're going to piece everything back together. In that moment, it's easy to slip into panic. And so in that moment I repeat what I was once told, 16 years ago, in orientation, when I was a wide-eyed optimist.

All crisis comes to an end.

I repeat it like a mantra, and it has never served me wrong. I repeat it as I manage (now as a supervisor) the chaos and fear and uncertainty--both from staff and patients.

Our country is in the middle of a pandemic the likes of which this generation, and the generation before us, has never seen. This is new. This is scary. It is dangerous. We are in crisis.

But it will pass.

I don't say it lightly. I know that the world is shifting moment to moment. I know there will be losses. I know the world may not look exactly the same as it did before. But it will pass. Life will resume. All crisis comes to an end.

So take a deep breath and hang in there. And, if I may suggest an alternative view, take a look at the world around you--not the chaos and uncertainty, look for the beauty. In large cities, they can hear birdsong. In the Venice canals, dolphins were sighted for the first time in 60 years. Pollution has lessened. As humanity takes a breath and a pause, nature flourishes. There is a beauty in that thought.

Be well, friends. Take care.

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© 2016 E.M. Fitch

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