epiphany

something med school did not cover
someone’s daughter, someone’s mother
holds your hand through plastic now
“Doc, I think she’s crashing out”
and some things you just can’t speak about

only twenty minutes to sleep
but you dream of some epiphany
just one single glimpse of relief
to make some sense of what you’ve seen

with you I serve, with you I fall down, down
watch you breathe in, watch you breathing out, out
with you I serve, with you I fall down, down

watch you breathe in, watch you breathing out (Out), out (Out)

Lyrics – Taylor Swift, Folklore 2020

I watched the 10 o’clock news tonight. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 frontline NHS workers will suffer from anxiety, depression or PTSD as COVID-19 continues to take its toll. A tidal wave of distress is preparing to hit mental health services, chronically underfunded and unable to meet even the current needs of our society.

And I’ve left.

I’ve left my job, struggling to catch my own breath. When I told little one “mummy’s not going be to be working in the NHS for a bit” – a smile of relief on her face – “Oh, so you can look after me mummy!”

Yes, baby girl. So I can breathe in, breathe out. So I can be the mother you and your big sister need me to be. So I can grieve. So I can fall down.

Forward fold on my yoga mat. I feel every vertebra of my lower spine crackle. The slow release of clenched trauma, impossible hope, tight despair.

I’m so sorry dearest frontline-weary souls. May I return to you a more spacious soul. Keep breathing in, breathing out. You deserve better. May we serve you, serve with you.

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