So as many of you know, I work in a mental health hospital and sometimes it get’s kind of rough. I don’t deal directly with the patients, but I have the luxury (which can really not be so luxurious) of knowing exactly why most patients were admitted. We have patients that are depressed, anxious, suicidal, homicidal, psychotic, etc. Children from broken homes, in foster care, children that have been abused physically, emotionally, and sexually that will never quite “get over” their pain. Just people from a array of different background and lifestyles that sometimes break your heart.
I have been working in the mental health field for about 2 years now and even though I hear a lot of stories…I try to make sure they don’t affect me personally. And even though, I can empathize with the patient’s I make sure that I don’t internalize with each situation. Until a few days ago……
I cried while reading a group therapy note from one of the therapists. Like real deal tears. I don’t know why the story of this kid affected me so much but it did. What was even more wonderful was the comfort and peace that was given to him by the other patient’s in the room. This adolescent boy had experienced a great amount of trauma for years, with his perpetrator being a family member. He had been holding in so much, for so long and it was affecting him and his entire life. The therapist told him, that when he was ready, he should open up and let out his emotions regarding his abuse. When he felt that he was comfortable and was in a safe place. He asked if he could express it now. Wow. His safe place was right there in that room amongst strangers…That is saying so much about the therapist as well as the hospital. His tears flowed through his eyes like an ocean as he told his story. Uncontrollably. And after he was done, he began to repeat a couple of mantras to himself….
“I am enough.”…”This is not my fault”…”This does not define me.”
And at that very moment, I realized why we are here. Why this profession is so important. At that moment, in a place where darkness surrounds us most days, I saw a ray of light. And my soul felt at peace. No his story isn’t over. No, he is not done healing from his past. But he has, in a sense accepted and started to understand that he was not at fault and that he will grow from this and get past it. I am so blessed to be in a place that offers help to so many people. Dealing with mental health issues, abuse, trauma, etc is not at all easy. So having people help others to get through that is amazing and a blessing. That patient and his story will forever be in my heart.
So anyone working in the field of mental health, I love and appreciate you and I thank you for everything that you do.