"Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today."

~Thich Nhat Hanh

I know I've talked about working in the mental health field.  I've been doing this in one form or other for all of my working life.  I started out working in group homes for runaway girls and worked my way through a high school for "students with behavior problems" and ended up here at a community mental health/mental retardation center.

I always imagined myself doing this.  When I was younger, I knew I wanted to be in one of the helping professions even though my father told me I would never be rich.  I knew in my heart that "rich" is a relative term and there are many kinds of  "riches".  No, I will never have a lot of money but I have a lot of contentment and satisfaction in my life.  And love and support and caring and laughter and lots of other good things.

But, hope.  The buzzword in mental health circles is "recovery".  We've borrowed the concept from the drug and alcohol people and have adopted it for our own.  I am working to convince individuals (who have been convinced by the system that they are dependent on the system to live,) that they can have full, interesting and fulfilling lives. 

It's very difficult.  If you've been told that you have an illness and are sick, you tend to believe it after a while and lose all confidence that you can do anything.  It's trying to undo years of indoctrination and it's hard.  So, I look for resources that I can use to help educate and uplift my clients to make them see that even though they may not have the life they had "before", they can still have a good life even if it's different. 

We are successful sometimes and it makes my heart glow to hear someone call and share something good.  I encourage my clients to call me between appointments and share what's going on.  It gives them a place to say what they feel/think that is safe from judgement.  And I can answer questions and help them make decisions. 

But without hope, there is no progress.  There is no happiness or contentment.  So, today's inspirational quote is for all those people who need reminding that 'this too shall pass'. 

And now we'll all stand and sing "The sun will come out tomorrow......." (from Annie).

just kidding.

Have a wonderful day. 


Rose Red said…
I'm glad your life is full of the real riches - and that you have pursued the career path you did - I'm sure you give hope to all your clients
Olivia said…
you are an inspiration, Donna Lee.
KnitTech said…
My eldest daughter didn't finish school because her special education teacher kept telling her You're never going to be able to read past a fourth grade level, it's your *full* potential. I wanted to strangle the teacher.
Roxie said…
You give me so much to think about. Hugs and blessings to you!
Jeanne said…
Beautiful post - you are so lucky to have a job that makes a difference in people's lives.
bells said…
this is a beautiful post, Donna Lee. I do think hope is very very important. And necessary. And not always easy to maintain, but thanks for your reflections.
Amy Lane said…
Thank you for the hope, sweetheart. I need to remember to visit here when school begins and teh crazy starts.

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