A Poetic Take On The Transmission Of Hope, When Hope Seems To Have Gone – By Mary McGee Jolliffe, Support Group Facilitator
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A fragment from a recent conversation with a frontline worker,

‘…I just feel unable to come out of shielding…. I don’t think I’m ever going to feel like myself again…’

There is a profound sense of hopelessness in her and as we sit quietly I can feel not just her hopelessness but mine as well. A scene from my own memory: silence and desolation, comes into my mind, and I’m momentarily transported back in time to a period of my own despair, decades ago.

Now, she tells me about a recent newspaper story, a new treatment, had I seen it? In fact, I had and I said this to her; and we shared the moment.

In the darkness of her pit of hopelessness, she had found a glimmer of hope in the news story, and shared it with me.

In the darkness of her pit she had a thought, she put it into words and I received it: ‘she sent me a letter, and I opened it’.

As I write now, I’m thinking of a line from a popular song, “We found love in a hopeless place, we found love in a hopeless place…’

I would like to suggest the possibility of a transformational agent in play, in the act of telling someone how it is – how very bad it is – and the helpfulness that can be felt at these moments.

In the ordinary sharing of a Support Group, this process is allowed to happen, in fact we look for it and might comment on it together.

o Turn away from isolation

o Turn towards connection

o You are not a burden

o Turn towards the possibility of hope

I’m calling all those who feel in any way affected by the extraordinary demands of their medical practice – try a Doctors in Distress Support Group

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