It has been a wonderful day. Some might think I’m a little crazy to say that when I spent a good part of it talking about suicide prevention but what I liked about my day was I spent it talking to people who are like minded.
We have not all had the same sorts of life experience. In fact the opposite is true. The nine of in that classroom today come from very different backgrounds. We have very different educational backgrounds and life experience but, if I dare say, we all share a deep caring for people who, like us, have experienced struggles with mental health issues. We all understand trauma and emotional pain and want to support other people with the same sorts of issues.
Often our hearts are much larger than our strength so always we have to be catching ourselves so we don’t overextend our emotional responses and end up back in our own mental health holes. It is not an easy lesson. In fact teaching people they have to develop and maintain strong and healthy boundaries is one of the hardest lessons for mental health peer supporters.
After the third day with them I went to spend dinner with a friend who also understands the mental health issues and has a huge heart. He and I have been taking a course together in spiritual direction, so we also had that to talk about and discovered we had very similar experience in our spiritual walk.
What a blessing it is to spend time with, and have deep discussion with people who think and feel their way through life the same way I do. Sort of makes we want to be cloistered with them forever but then what good we be to the rest of the world. It is good we come together sometimes though to be recharged and dip our cups into each others wells of strength so we go back into the world refreshed and recharged to do the work we do.