Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Don't Hold Yourself Back

I am one of the lucky ones who had the support and the means to get quality mental health care treatment when I became ill. Between all the treatment teams I've had and the teams from hospitals, I have had more than my fair share of help.

When I was at the hospital at UCLA there was a staff member there, D, who is one of the ones who stand out from the crowd. She was one of the patient staff members who stayed with us all day.

I liked D almost right away. She was funny and supportive while also being no nonsense. She knew what I was capable of and wouldn't accept anything less. I respected that and it made me work harder.
Anyways, one of my hospital stays had a particularly difficult ending. When I got discharged I did not feel as if I was ready to leave. I'd received some discouraging news. I wasn't sure how I was going to go home and manage my life. D knew I was upset about it and pulled me aside to talk to me. She gave me the pep talk of the century. This was all the way back in December of 2014. I still bring this pep talk to mind two years later when I need a little boost.

D sat me down in my room and told me basically screw everyone. Everyone who told me I couldn't do something or I wasn't good enough or called me crazy. She told me that the only thing that mattered was what I knew. D told me there would always be people in the world who would tell me I couldn't do things, not even because I have mental health problems, but because that's how the world works. It's impossible to make everyone happy. D told me that if I let what other people thought of me stop me from doing something then I was holding myself back and that wasn't okay. She admitted that life might be hard, but that giving up was not an option. There are ways to manage every difficulty and I need to find out what I had to do to make life work for me.

This was exactly the thing I needed at the moment. I will never forget the lesson I learned that day.
It has helped to fuel my persistent, stubborn attitude. Life is hard. That's not in question. Everyone has difficulties whether they be medical, financial, occupational, or anything else. However, struggles don't have to hold us back. I learned that valuable lesson two years ago and will remind myself of it everyday if I need to.

Thanks, D.

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