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Today was the last day in my full-time position at the Community Mental Health Center. As I was cleaning out my incredibly messy office I realized that after three years I managed to accumulate A LOT of crap…from home-made thank you cards from clients to handouts on DBT skills and suicide assessments. After packing everything into boxes, going through all of my files, and saying all of my goodbyes I began to look around. Now that I no longer had professional obligations to the individuals within the building I began to look at the place with an observant, yet judgmental, eye. I realized that the upstairs of the building is crappy; it resembles an unwelcoming jail cell that is doused with the stench of unshowered bodies and individuals who unknowingly defecated themselves. They walk around with a far-off stair while they mumble to themselves about the aliens or secret agents disguised as other humans sitting in the chairs next to them. From downstairs I can hear a female screaming that nothing in her life is getting better and how she just swallowed a bottle of her pills to “make the pain stop”. Within minutes an ambulance swerves up, sirens blaring, and the EMT’s thinking “not this crazy borderline again…” Their faces show all of the signs of frustration and their mannerisms express the apathy that they have developed from responding to call after call to save the lives of individuals who never really wanted to die in the first place.
At that very moment in time, realization hit- I am done. I get to leave this place. I have things to look forward to in my future. Today is the day that I am walking away from these urine and body-odor stenched halls and from the agonizing pain and suffering that torments these people on a daily basis. And they… the people in these jail-cell like waiting rooms… will never be able to leave… and that is what saddens me the most.