By Debbie Hughes, NESTTD President-Elect
I am not a blogger. Truth be told, the first time I used the term, I called it” Blotting” for which I was quickly corrected by my nearly 30 year old daughter, (with a kind but stern voice that sounded so much like my own!). “Mom, it is called “BloGGing and it is a great way to connect with people.”
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, our lives have changed dramatically. We all have had to alter our way of connecting in hopes to stop the spread of this terrible virus and to literally save lives.
To that end, it was no easy task for me, a “C-“ at best tech savvy person, to find new and creative ways to stay connected to my family, friends, patients, colleagues, etc. I have had to literally push myself to that edge of “The Window of Tolerance” in hopes that through Zoom, doxy.me or some other form of ethernet or cloud based system, I would be able to lessen my fears and anxieties.
And sure enough, through these pressured-filled weeks of confinement and restrictions but with much support from my “A+” tech savvy daughter, I have been able to not only “imagine” the welcome of a handshake and the comfort of a hug but to actually "feel" the connection with people. This felt connection was especially true for me yesterday after I attended NESTTD’s "drop-in" Coffee Times.
This being NESTTD’s very first virtual Coffee Times, my intent was to literally “drop-in” for a minute or two, say hello to only the few people I thought would be attending on a beautiful Saturday morning and leave myself enough time to “rush off” to another scheduled NESTTD Zoom meeting.
Well, that didn’t happen! Within minutes the number of participants located at the bottom of the Zoom screen went from 2-3 to over 20! Faces, some I knew, but most I had only “known” as I was checking their name off on a sign-in sheet at an "in person" NESTTD program, were neatly popping up on the side of my screen. Colleagues from agencies, private practices, newly “minted” and“seasoned” veterans came from near and far to Connect. And sure enough, we did!
In the time I was “there” (nearly an hour and from which I hated to leave) we shared resources, frustrations, personal fears and clinical uncertainties and triumphs. There was much laughter and yes, some tears.
I don’t know if/when I will BloT, oops, I mean BloG again but I do know, for me, yesterday's Coffee Times was a time of meaningful Connection. I will cherish the warm and comforting feelings it has given me at a time of so much distress. For this (and so much more) I am so appreciative of my colleagues on the Membership Committee of NESTTD to have made possible this means of Connecting .
Debbie Hughes, LICSW