Hello my friends,
It’s been a while since I checked in. I’ve been swamped with writing, edits and battling severe burnout and depression from my day job as a veterinarian. The darkness and despair became too much for me and I turned to my poetry to express everything swirling in my mind. Before I knew it, I had over a dozen poems and I could see light at the end of the tunnel as the saying goes. It’s still far off but getting closer and brighter. I put fifteen of the collection I’d written together in a journal in hopes that my journey would be a guide to others. I want this journal to be a safe haven for those suffering as I do. I don’t want them to feel lost and alone. I did and I have my husband to lean on and colleagues who are supportive. Even with that, I still was overwhelmed with it all.
Veterinarians have the highest suicide rates of any of the medical professions now. If we don’t stand up and help each other, who will?
This is my journey back into the light. Our paths through this may not be the same, but we have a common goal to get back into the love and light again. I hope this journal is a way for others to map out their steps back and let their voices be heard. I want to hear them all ROAR!
Here is one of the poems in the journal. When my coworkers read it, they all cried. This is what we go through each and every day.
Suffer in Silence
The Noblest of Professions
Calls to those with caring hearts.
No one tells you about the secret
That will tear your soul apart.
Bit by bit it eats away at your humanity.
To survive you must shut off your emotions
Or your mind gives up
And crosses over into insanity.
Happy, joyous occasions
Become fewer and farther between.
As our patients grow older,
Their bodies become frail and lean.
Still we’re expected to soldier on,
With a smile on our face.
Never mind the price we must pay
With each and every case.
By our hands one more life is ended.
Their pain they suffer no more.
But who grieves for us
When yet another is carried through the door?
The Noblest of Professions…
That much is true.
Would anyone want to still be a part of it
If they knew what they’d be asked to do?
Ending another’s suffering comes at a price
That in the end is far too steep.
Could you stand by as the end draws near
And not allow yourself to weep?
Someone must take up the mantle.
Someone must know what to say
To those whose pets suffer so,
Whose broken lives must end today.
The members of the Noblest of Professions
Die a little every day.
We remember each life we’ve held in our hands
The loss of our hearts is the price we must pay.
The Noblest of Professions must carry on
And Suffer in Silence.
To do anything else would make them appear
Self-absorbed, uncaring, and defiant.
Truth of the matter is
We suffer every day.
We carry the burden.
Our compassion is the other price we must pay.
Will you take up the mantle?
Could you die a little every day?
Will you heed the call of the Noblest of Professions
Even knowing the price you must pay?
©Tammy Dennings Maggy 2016