I have come to terms with the fact that what we experienced wasn’t worse or better it was just different. We can argue about which bits have gotten easier and which have gotten harder but it sometimes feels like arguing over whether you would rather be shot or stabbed…neither option is great so let’s concentrate on ways of not having either happen!
Following the Maurice Ellis lecture given by Professor Rick Body at the 2017 Spring CPD conference of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, I decide to write this post. Apologies to Rick for presenting him as some sort of Messiah (clearly he’s not, he’s just a very naughty boy) and to Luke for twisting his writing to make my own point. However, given Luke is traditionally believed to have been a doctor, I’m hoping he’ll be generous towards a colleague!
Following my previous blog post, I had a number of people ask questions about how to approach someone who appeared to be struggling and also feedback from readers about the quality of help and support they had received when in a similar position. Here are some thoughts and challenges around these issues those trying to help might consider, using the question, ‘How do you save a Drowning Man?’
A lot of what you are about to read is pretty unpleasant, far from inspiring and at times quite shameful, I will not attempt to justify any of it, but please hang in there until the end. What I am hoping is that you don’t relate to any of this and that you and your colleagues are nothing like the person I describe below: sadly I suspect this will not be the case for many. If you do recognise yourself in my story, I hope you realise that you need help. The reality is you probably already know but maybe reading this will give you permission to ask for that help.
Should you know someone who is broken, help them, support them, invest time and effort in them because they almost certainly still have a lot to offer. Who you get back may not be who you lost but surely it has to be worth trying... you’d want someone to do the same for you, wouldn’t you?
This is the first of three posts I’m writing about my breakdown (an original, a prequel and a sequel, if you like) and whilst some of this story is obviously quite dark I hope it will ultimately be a positive message. I’m writing in the hope that it may help those in similar circumstances to realise they are not alone, to maybe help those around them understand what they are going through and to help others avoid the mistakes I made.