Ginny, the ballerina sock doll J got for me when she was in USA, because it reminded her of me.
The first time i saw J, it was the first hospital admission, out of the many that were to come, that saw my depression and eating disorder being diagnosed- it was when everything came crashing down (here). She was never supposed to be my social worker, because her interest is in geriatrics. But i was warded in a geriatric ward, and i guess that was in and by itself a blessing in disguise.
In the 1.5 years that i’ve been under her charge, J has spent tens of hours in sessions with me. In these hours that we’ve talked and listened, i’ve learned and grown so much about life and about myself. I’d never know how she does it, listening to me and my incoherence, and sometimes having to listen to me talking through my irrationality . I cannot count the times when i confessed to her my innermost thoughts- these were the thoughts that i would ordinarily never have spoken of. She is my confidante, and she is the only one whom i could go to at any time. We will too, rant to each other about our daily grouses and share about our daily lives. It is what makes her human beyond her ‘superhuman’ and ‘angelic’ qualities, and i actually look forward to doing that everytime we have a session together.
I’ve always found J to be special. She’d talk with me with much tact and sensitivity, but she is never afraid to tell me the honest truth. She doesn’t hesitate to ‘jolt’ me out of my disillusionments, and for that i am thankful. She too, was never afraid to intervene, even though she was fully aware that i’d hate her for it. More than 2/3 of my psychiatric admissions have been initiated by her. I think it must have been painful for her as it is for me.
For all the times that she had to admit me into a psychiatric facility, i didn’t take too well to her interventions. Occasionally, i’d be grateful that she ‘saved’ me from myself, but other times, i’d be very resentful. I had my moments of hating her for ‘putting me away’ and having me ‘locked up’. But through these all, she never gave up on me.
The most heartwarming thing she has done for me, was to wish me happy birthday on my 21st birthday. That was a 3 month long admission, and i was scheduled to do my first electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). It was bad enough having to spend my 21st birthday inpatient, let alone having to do ECT. So when her message came, i felt like someone finally cared enough to care. I mean, how many healthcare professionals actually remember their patient’s birthday? Then when J figured out how much i loved hugs, she made it a point to end every session with a warm and fuzzy hug. It’s these simple gestures she makes, that sets the foundation for such a therapeutic relationship.
She doesn’t know it, but J is such an inspiration to me. Despite rising through the ranks to the top and being a principal medical social worker, she remains grounded and dedicated to her patients. It’s not everyday that you find a healthcare professional who still insists on doing clinical work and having patient contact after rising through the ranks. It’s rare even. She too inspires me in my field of nursing in ways i cannot explain.
Since having J as my social worker, i’ve come a really long way. She has been instrumental in my recovery, and has been an unwavering pillar of support. Sometimes i don’t know what i’d do without her, but i know that one day, i’d have to do without her.
There are no words big enough to express how utterly thankful and grateful i am to her. J’s been such a blessing, really. She’s like an angel to me.
Happy Social Worker’s Day, J. Thank you, for everything.