Early in my social work career, I worked in a locked inpatient psychiatric unit. My patients were suffering from debilitating depression, crippling anxiety, psychosis, and a variety of debilitating mental illnesses.

I loved the work.

I loved getting to know my patients — the people they were when they weren’t struggling with overwhelming thoughts and confusing feelings — and finding ways to connect with and support them. I found great meaning in helping their families make sense of their loved ones’ diseases and get through the crisis.

In the years I spent working in the unit, I learned a number of powerful lessons that would serve me well once I became a mother.

Sleep is a powerful remedy.

We don’t have to believe everything we think.

There’s no shame in taking medication for a mental illness.

We all need support in challenging times.

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