I just wanted to share a thank you card that I made and wrote for my care coordinator – highlighting the true value of dedicated and empathetic mental health workers such as her. Lives are not only changed, but saved by people like her every day.
I made this card for you and saw nothing but faults in it – then I thought about what you’d say: that it was an achievement just to get the paints out. Then I agonised over planning what to write, but decided that it was more important just to make sure that you knew the extent of my gratitude. So, in short, your reward for having such an impact on me is to receive a far from perfect card and my unedited, rambling drivel…Sorry!
I guess I just need you to know that I am more grateful than I could ever begin to put into words for your unending care, kindness, dedication and hope. You have truly worked miracles by gaining my trust – and that trust is unwavering. No matter what happens, what goes wrong, or how bad things get, I never for one second doubt that you will stop fighting for me, protecting me or holding my hope – however little I deserve it and however much I tell you to give up on me. Even when you’re not at work, often what keeps me holding on is counting down until you’re next in, having faith that you’ll continue to do everything within your power to help me.
I know that when we speak, you’ll understand me. I know that, whatever I say, there will be no judgement – you are the only person I can speak to without filtering and pre-judging every single thing that I say. It might not sound much, but I know that you’ll understand what a massive deal this is.
When I see nothing but weakness and failures, you try to persuade me of my strengths and successes.
When I’m caught in overwhelming hopelessness and despair, you carry that hope for me and never give up.
When I feel like the barrel has been scraped, you come up with new things to try, you speak to colleagues, you research, you make referrals, and you never suggest that we just stop trying.
When I worry about the pain, worry and sadness that I currently do or may cause in others, you make me pause and wonder about the pain/worry/sadness that I cause to or feel myself – but which I don’t allow myself to acknowledge or give any importance.
When I feel guilt and self-hatred, you try to persuade me that I do deserve help.
No matter how many times I give you permission to give up on me, you don’t. There are so many excuses to see me as hopeless or a nuisance, or a waste of time…but for some reason you don’t. So many times I’ve been made to feel worthless and like this is all my fault, undeserving of help and like a burden; so often people have given up on or abandoned me without help, mistreated me or acted neglectfully- but not once have I ever (even for a second) believed that you might follow in their footsteps.
I am very aware of the pressures that everyone within your sector are under – too many patients and too little time; overworked and underpaid; faced with stresses, worries and strains unimaginable to those of us who aren’t in your profession; left as the ones breaking the news and picking up the pieces when there just aren’t the resources available to give your patients the help that they need; dealing each day with distraught patients and relatives; having tricky talks and negotiations with colleagues and services facing the same problems; often not receiving enough support yourself…the list goes on! Then the media likes to criticise those working in these unimaginably difficult situations when things go wrong.
But you keep going – you keep fighting for us with kindness and hope.
You change and save lives.
No matter what the outcome with me, you’re the reason I’m still here today. Without you in my corner, I would never have been able to hang on until now.
So thank you for everything. You’re a superhero – to me, to my friends and family, and no doubt to everyone else you look after, too.