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Friday, June 24, 2011

Making a Difference

I almost called in sick today. I didn't feel good and the main reason I didn't was because it would have been more of a hassle to reschedule everything than to just drag myself in. By 1:45, I had decided to quit and pursue some other job, any other job where I didn't have to deal with crippling anxiety everyday because complaining people are coming into my personal space. Besides, when was the last time I remember my work making any difference? People don't seem to even do what I suggest, much less seem helped by it. I would probably be doing the world a favor by moving on.

Then at 3:00pm, I had a client come in in crisis. Right then, it didn't matter if I picked the right intervention...she was on the verge of doing something dangerous and needed help, right then, to keep herself safe. All my years of crisis training kicked in, and I calmly followed the steps I needed to in order to protect her. Today, I stood in the gap for a person in need. What would have happened if I had called in sick? Maybe nothing, or maybe something tragic. Today, I made a difference. That's worth a little pathos.


  1. I found your blog today (from Shrink Rap). I'm a therapist on a child/adolescent psychiatric inpatient unit. I often feel like nothing I do helps because the same patients keep coming back in the hospital. But I think that we do make a difference, even if we don't get to see the change that we, and our clients, are hoping for. Maybe caring and listening, expressing compassion, letting our clients experience a bit of Christ's love, through us, maybe that's what really makes a difference.

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, Michelle, and for reading my blog. Thank you for being willing to work with such a difficult population!!! You guys truly are unsung heroes. Folks like me are more likely to see the fruits of your labor 6-9 months down the road than you are! You have no idea the relief it is to have folks like you to rely on when our regular outpatient treatments just aren't enough to protect our kids from themselves.

    Its funny, we study all these behavioral theories that talk about positive, intermittent reinforcement as the most helpful encouragement of good behaviors, but we work in fields where we rarely receive these kinds of reinforcements. Its not easy for us to switch from being creatures of immediate, external gratification to intrinsic measures. There is a verse I have been reminded of often lately in Galatians:
    "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
    Galatians 6:9

    Finding satisfaction in being in God's will, instead of the outward shows of success, is a lifelong prayerful journey. I think it takes a great deal of faith, and I believe such faith can only benefit a believer in the long run, even though it hurts in the short term.

    Thank you for the work you do, Michelle, and for your encouragement. Being a light in the darkness is no easy task, but its a necessary one:), and one that God will honor.