'There's torture and there's killing and there's all my bad reviews'. Words sung by Leonard Cohen in this song from his latest album, Popular Problems. And there's me trying to convince people that you're not so gloomy after all, Len. Buck up!
It's been a difficult few weeks at work for me and my colleagues and looks set to continue. In my job in a mental health team I'm exposed to levels of human suffering that I could never have envisaged in my previous life as a would-be fat cat tax consultant. No regrets though. I'm much prouder of what I do these days. The gang have developed MASH-like senses of humour to cope. There was a bit of a 'Vic and Bob' thing going on yesterday, for instance. Our gay colleagues are also adept at rooting out male eye candy to cheer us up! The very good looking smiley builder working downstairs at the hospital, initially spotted by Mr Metrosexual, is on our collective radar. I hope he's got someone lovely when he goes homes, and perhaps a brood of little peeps who appreciate him. Our arguably politically incorrect morale boosters don't always work. A colleague was reduced to tears this week over the bureaucratic hoops that she was being made to jump through just to get someone a bit of basic care.
The NHS is stretched to capacity and I'm bringing home paperwork just to keep up. For my sins I'll be doing some of that over the weekend. It's something that really goes against the grain but necessary to maintain client care and also to keep my own headspace in order. I'm behind with my studies as a consequence but I've got a novel way of rectifying that which will be revealed soon!
My own problems are teeny tiny in relation to those of the people that I work on behalf of. Those lyrics highlight how, mentally, we put our own trials and tribulations on a par with the bigger much more devastating stuff going on in the world. 'Torture, killing and intermittent problems with my leisure battery' might be my own version of the words. What is going on personally, however trivial, often evokes the same, or sometimes an even bigger, emotional response than the abject terror and despair that is relentless for many others. I'm blowed about how things can truly be put in perspective. Maybe just being mindful that this tendency to over-inflate our own problems is a good start?