So this is what it feels like to be downtrodden? To be crushed, deflated, depressed, twisted, and emptied of life. This is what it is like evidently. Because after that shift yesterday at the hospital, I feel every bit of it. Four deaths, people with Stage 4 cancer, heart attacks, burn victims whose skin was peeling off and whose rooms smelled like burned flesh, families in denial, and helpless elderly ladies whose husbands died too suddenly. It really felt like too much. It took me to the end of my rope, emptied me out like balloon slashed by a butcher’s knife. It felt brutal. By the time 8pm came around, I had nothing to give any of my patients and had nothing to offer in terms of care and love.
In fact, what I felt was being empty of meaning. I felt like I was helpless, disengaged from the world, and horribly broken. These families were broken and the sights I saw and the sounds I heard and the smells I smelled broke my heart- broke my heart because those sights and smells and feelings were too much. So this is what it feels like. To be broken and empty. It feels like being run over twenty times and then being snapped like a twig and thrown into a fire. It leaves no energy, a lack of emotions, no motivation, and an overwhelming languishing. It left me feeling unable to talk through a whole conversation, because I just wanted to get away and curl up into a ball. It was hard to want to be with people- hard to smile and hard to enjoy much. So this is what it feels like- to be broken, empty, and downtrodden. I know now.
God in the midst of this brokenness, thank you for people who made the recovery a healing through their hospitality, welcome, and listening. May you continue to be found, even as an intimate stranger, in the midst of the brokenness.