A lot of people are fascinated by the job that I do – for many people it makes for great dinner conversations: “tell us about your crazy patients!” or “tell us about how you got threatened your bipolar patient…”
It is like I have some kind of brilliant and exciting job like a performer who gets shot out of a cannon every night at a circus (now that is a job that I wouldn’t mind having).
It just shows how so many people are ignorant about what mental illness really is.
What makes it worse is that most of you are constantly dealing with family, friends and colleagues who think that you are:
– attention seeking
– overly dramatic
(pick one or all)
I swing between the idea of standing up for yourself and educating others or just being quiet and ignoring their ignorance. You need to be honest with the people that you trust though and make it clear that you need their support more than you need their advice, their criticism or their need to be able to “fix” you.
I found this beautiful piece by one of my favourite poets, Tyler Knott Gregson:
I cannot promise
I will never become restless,
that I won’t ache
in ways you don’t know
how to help.
There are clouds in me
and they roll in
from time to time,
I hope you learn to love
the dark mornings,
instead of always
for your umbrella.
In an ideal world, you would be surrounded by people who will love or respect you even on your cloudy days. Unfortunately it will not always be that way but if you can find one or two people who really respect you for being you, who will see beyond the depression and the stress, then those are the people who you should be with.
It may even be worth sharing this poem with the people in your life.
Be proudly you! Demand respect by starting with being respectful to yourself.
You know that you are worth it!