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