Day 2676: People are resilient until they’re not

One thing I’m thinking about this morning is the suicide of Dr. Lorna Breen, an emergency room director  in New York City.

In this article by Rhea Mahbubani and Dave Mosher about the recent suicides of Dr. Breen and John Mondello, an EMT in NYC, I noticed these quotes:

“Of my four children — well I guess now I’ve only got three — no one would’ve predicted that Lorna was having a hard time,” Dr. Philip C. Breen, her father, told Business Insider. “She would not even be on that list.”

As the pandemic has left millions under lockdown and triggered deep loss and widespread grief, medical workers and emergency responders like Mondello and Lorna Breen have faced the brunt of the crisis with grueling workloads, unprecedented stress, deep uncertainty, and a steep death count.

Medical workers are drawn to the profession to alleviate suffering and protect their patients. During the pandemic, however, the virus has in many cases robbed them of the ability to achieve either goal.

Laurie Nadel, a psychotherapist and author, characterized the coronavirus as an “equal-opportunity destroyer” that’s forcing frontline medical workers to go “mano-a-mano with mortality on a larger scale” than ever before.

There are ways to support workers in such high-pressure roles, but Dr. Shauna Springer advocates not calling them heroes. “There’s an invisible pressure that comes with that.”

“People are resilient until they’re not. And so people who are called out as resilient are often more reluctant to acknowledge human struggles and to reach out when they need help.”

For people who are resilient until they’re not (which can include all of us),  that article advocates the healing powers of listening without offering advice and also doing things to lighten each other’s loads.

Do you see evidence of people who are resilient until they’re not in the images I captured yesterday?














I posted that last picture of that resilient tiger on my Facebook page last night with this caption: “She’s taking crisis calls.”   I’m noticing, here and now, that it’s easier to be resilient when somebody has your back.

People are resilient until they’re not, so let’s watch the fifth installment of “Some Good News” with John Krasinski:

Resilient thanks to all who do their best helping themselves and others, including YOU.

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “Day 2676: People are resilient until they’re not

  1. so utterly heartbreaking. backup and compassion are so important, especially to the ones who give so much, sometimes people forget that they need the same thing they give to others.

  2. You insight is so very valuable to me, Ann.

  3. So sorry to hear about Dr. Lorna Breen. I guess there’s a limit to how much someone can handle, mind and body. May we all stay resilient! (•‾⌣‾•)و ̑̑♡

  4. I read that news about Dr. Breen with great sadness. I really feel for her and her family. And I am so grateful to medical care providers like her who give so much of themselves to help other people. It’s tragic that for her, this was the toll. And I know that there have been many others who lost their lives or their family members got sick or died, including some children.

    This is on my mind because last night my brother had to go to hospital very suddenly with a life-threatening illness (not COVID). He had to go alone, none of us were allowed to go with him. And now he will continue to be there alone. But he is being cared for by some wonderful people who are as kind as Dr. Breen.

  5. Laurie Nadel’s words are so sound

  6. We all can hunker down when the need calls for it. But, man by nature is a goal seeker and not a mole. When the sun again rises he must be out, about and among it.

  7. I’m very sorry to hear about Dr. Breen. One of the biggest things this current crisis is highlighting it’s our need to depend on each other. Those whom we depend on also need someone to turn to.

  8. Such sad news, some people have a lower breaking point then others which is sad.

  9. I felt heartsick when I read about the ER doc. Everyone needs an outlet, a safe place where they can go, admit they are tapped out, and recharge. Not allowing yourself that is so risky. I suspect there will be a lot of PTSD among healthcare workers when this crisis has passed. In many ways, they are absorbing the body blows for all of us, bearing witness day after day….

  10. puella33

    I’m so sorry to hear about Dr. Breen..

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