My wonderful twelve year old son was trying to train our two rambunctious labs earlier in the week. It was entertaining to be a silent observer in his quest to educate these cuties at the same time to "down". He has seen me train them one at a time, indoors, after being fed. However this is his time with them and I am only here to support his efforts and not to criticize. :) The dogs have very different temperaments and both are attention hogs! My son worked with them about five minutes and started getting frustrated. I suggested he stop training and resume after feeding them. My intelligent child blurted, "....You Don't Understand...." huh?
This reminded me of all the times my nuthouse patients have told me I don't understand.
Let me explain something about people who go into the psych field. This includes psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, nurses, psychologists. We go into it because we have experienced it. Personally or with family, we have been there. As in up close and personal. We have seen dysfunction. We have seen drug abuse. We want to study it to heal ourselves first. There are exceptions, few and far between.
Many of us are broken. Maybe most of us are. I may have a badge and a chart but it does not mean I have all the answers. It means at this moment I am functioning at a level where I can help you get out of your funk.
Patients teach me every day. How good I have it. How much better I truly have gotten. How stable I am. I am grateful not to be afflicted with a terminal illness. I am only bipolar. I am a stable bipolar person.
I understand how dark the darkness gets and my heart aches when I see the depressed patient lays in their room and doesn’t even open their curtains to let the sunshine in. I have been there, got the T-shirt to prove it.
Yes, I understand. I won't tell you my story if I'm your nurse someday. Feel confident that when I, any of us are caring for you, you are in good hands.