By Stephanie Benson
Neuroscience Associate, Yellowbrick
The Virus is here and it’s changing the world. We are in uncharted territory. Fear spreads like wildfire. Trust me I know fear very well. It is easy to say, be calm. It’s easy to tell someone that things are going to be OK. Words mean nothing when you are living in the fear of unknown. When emotional overload meets fear of breakdown and persistent illness the overall feeling in the air is panic. Reading this may seem somewhat annoying as you feel the world’s safety net collapsing. How could any words or anyone understand the fear of walking in the unknown. Many of us are scared. Many of us are anxious.
I however am not, even though many people believe I should be. I have a son with cerebral palsy and seizures he is two and a half years old. He almost died at 4 days old, he was mediflighted to the leading hospital in my area. The doctors informed me to prepare for the worst… that scared me. Yet somehow, he survived. At 7 weeks old the same son contracted the influenza virus, he was mediflighted to the same hospital and again he almost died. Yet, somehow, he survived. And now here I am working in the medical field with patients. While the world goes on lock down, I go to work. I drive home every night, I will hug my son, feed him, bathe him and tuck him in.
Knowing that the Virus is here, however, I choose not to live in fear. I choose the unknown, I choose the uncharted, I choose the uncertainty. I do all of this without choosing the fear. How can I?? Many ask. The truth is I lived in the fear many times in my life and the reality is…Fear does not serve you, not on a Monday, not on a Friday, not in a pandemic, not anytime. The world is changing, rapidly. Humanity is on call. This is a time to be thankful. I am thankful I have a job to go to. I am thankful I am serving my community. I am thankful my coworkers are healthy, they are here and serving along with me. I am thankful to see my patients and witness their growth even in times of scarcity. Amidst the chaos, I am thankful that life is slowing down, that home cooked meals will become a regular part of life, that calls to loved ones are happening every day. I am thankful for support from friends and family and the moments of laughter that break the intensity of life.
As we are asked to go within our homes we should also go within ourselves. As we rest from our jobs we should also rest from our minds. Change is occurring and will continue to occur, rapidly. With change comes chance, with the unknown come possibility, with uncharted territory comes discovery, innovation and creation. Be open to this, feel the unknown without the fear. It is the peace, the stability of creation. We all have ability to be there, to live in the wonder of creativity and growth. To accept the way things are and be a lamp in the dark, the lifeboat in the flood of fear.
This is where we are in our community as Yellowbrick. We are strong and stable, even into the unknown. We are the refuge from the outer world. We are all connected to each other in such a unique way that being here gives all of us the stability the rest of the world is searching for. Amidst the chaos we are surviving. It’s time to show the world how to thrive. Together we can change in a way that is not feared. This is how growth happens. We are all growing patients and practitioners alike.
So I invite you to step back take a breath and instead of seeing the chaos, see innovation, see opportunity and be in wonder of what will come. Because somehow, humanity will survive and become new again in a way none of us could ever imagine. We get to be a part of this, don’t miss the beauty of change amidst the face of chaos.
Neuroscience Associate, Yellowbrick
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.