I work with adults with mental illnesses and I swear they touch my life more every day than I think I might ever touch theirs. So here’s a little glimpse and a little reflection. (PS: I know my grammar but I’m going to use “they” in place of a singular pronoun because I think using he/she through the whole thing will kill it!)
This person that I work with is probably the person who you tense up around when you meet them in public. This person could easily be that one that your stare lingers on a little longer than normal because they often look unkempt or unruly or are hard to understand because of the mumbling or rambling way they speak. This person is probably even the person that strikes a little fear inside of you because they are talking to themselves or yelling at the voices that are tormenting them. Yup, that all accurately describes many of the kind souls that I work with.
Because you see, if you were me, you’d also get to see that this is the same person who has a sharper wit and funnier sense of humor than anyone I know. This is the same person who cracks me up every time I turn around. This is the same person who is more musically talented than I could ever dream of being. This is the same person that asks how my unborn baby and me are doing every day and refers to me as “you two”. This is the same person who encourages me to take it easy and looks out for my wellbeing. This is the same person who, when they learned I was having a little girl and that babies can hear people outside the womb, started talking to Ella in the most tender voice you’ve ever hear, using her name and calling her “little one”.
So that’s a glimpse in what I get to see, and what I get to experience. I think I am so fortunate and I think I have an awesome job! So next time you see that person out in public... I beg you, try to see, or at least imagine more than just the obvious that everyone else is staring at.