Twenty important lessons I learned as a mental health worker

Elisa A Escalante / LMSW / 2-2-2021

1- Every action, behavior, emotion and thought has a story behind it. No matter how much someone doesn’t make sense, they will always make sense after you hear their story in its entirety

2- we are all entitled to as much pain as we want to handle.

3- motivation to change is the greatest predictor that there will be a change, not the severity of the diagnosis or symptoms.

4- not everyone needs an answer, some just need to be heard with zero judgement, which is a huge rarity in life.

5- High expectations are one of the greatest leading causes of both: failed relationships, and internal distress.

6- no one is entitled to hear another persons truth. A person telling you their truth is always an unearned privilege.

7- we are pleasure seekers in a society that often pressures us to cease in seeking pleasure, resulting in a lot of missed opportunities and despair.

8- The people that suffer the greatest emotional disadvantages in life, are those that did not have at least one consistent loving caregiver in childhood.

9- People will always compare themselves to others, and it will be for one of 4 reasons: a- to justify their actions. B- to self pity because they do not have what another person does. C- to magnify their pain above other people’s pain. D- to minimize their pain due to another’s pain being perceived as greater.

10- There are many different types of relationships in “gray” areas that may forever remain hidden and unexplored. Why? Because they are societally forbidden.

11- The majority of pain will stem from either trauma or grief. And grief comes in many forms to include: loss due to death, loss by abandonment, loss of opportunity, lost time, and a lost sense of purpose.

12- nothing is universal. Not social or cultural norms. Not family, not love, not grieving processes, nor how we display our wide variety of emotions.

13- Our values and morals are never truly set in stone. They can change very drastically, especially when confronted with new environments and situations.

14- Our personal experiences and growth often create our perception of the world, which is why it is so hard for one mind to change another.

15- It is actually very easy for people to Lie, even to themselves… especially to themselves!

16- the reason love is so impossible to define is because we all learn to feel it and show it differently. In most cases, we can’t even describe it or make sense of it.

17- consequences can often motivate change, but not always. because there is deep comfort in the familiar, even if the familiar is chaotic.

18- we can argue logic and judgment, but we cannot argue feelings. Feelings go beyond all rationale. People have a right to their own feelings, whether or not they are accepted by others. Also, feelings cannot always be expressed verbally, because they are so deeply complex that they extend far beyond the capacity of language.

19- There truly are no limits over the choices you make. Only potential consequences, which are enforced by laws and rules, which are man made…never definitive.

20- Happiness is never a guarantee and we do not deserve it. It is not a basic human right. It is simply one of many types of emotions, and when we do feel it, we are lucky to have.

Published by functionallymentall

Social Worker, Writer, USAF Veteran

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