March was National Social Work Month

Interpersonal relationships and mental health

I am a SW, I am an Intervenor, I am a Social Worker.

I listen with special attention and hear emotions that scratch, bump, carry, capsize, dig, tumble, weigh, scream and sometimes sing. I hear things that go unsaid and things that should never be heard.

I recognize non-verbal signs of suffering and touch the soul’s pain with a simple look and practiced hand. I perceive pain even before it is fully felt. I am hypersensitive and emotions pierce me like a rain of words in a galaxy of poets. My body is sometimes composed of particles of reflected emotions.

There are times when I make my way home with a heavy heart, and despite my best efforts, I am weighed down with administrative rancor, weighed down by hours moving in fast forward, weighed down by sensory overload, weighed down by compassion, weighed down with the weight of an institution.

My heart is filled with love, my heart is warmed by sincere words of  thanks and grateful handshakes at the end of a session that holds promise for the future. My heart is filled with altruistic happiness. My heart is filled with humanist humanity. The feeling of having made even some small difference, the appearance of a glimmer of hope that had long been gone, a flame extinguished for far too long.

I evaluate, I analyze, I orient, I strengthen, I reframe, I plan, I encourage, I sensitize, I do not judge.

Source : Christin Hume on Unsplash

Beyond all else, I understand.

I understand the fear of the behaviour of one’s child, I understand the anxiety of a separation, I understand the sadness of a death, I understand the thoughts of suicide, I understand the anger of a victim, I understand the poverty of some and the wealth of others, yes, I understand.

When your torments are overwhelming, I bring you home with me, albeit involuntarily. I wonder how I can be of more help to you, how I can help you get out of a particular situation, how I can give you the push you need to get out, and I wonder how I can help you feel better in (at least) some small manner.

I remind myself that I cannot save people, not for lack of wanting, but for lack of magical powers.

Saving doesn’t heal; I must show you how to help yourself by providing you with the tools you need rather than present you with a (very temporary) “done deal”.

Sometimes I should follow my own advice because there are times in my personal life when I could have expressed my emotions in a more appropriate manner. My heart takes a blow from time to time, but not too often.

I am like you; I am human too.

I am a Social Worker.

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Alexandra Dallaire

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