I’m at a crossroads. A few days ago, I wrote a requiem for this blog, then thought the better of it. I’m going through a difficult time from multiple perspectives, not the least of which is a feeling of burnout from the job I always loved – being an inner-city ER nurse. At the year one anniversary of COVID, It’s impossible to deny the toll of working on the pandemic’s front lines.
Last year at this time, it was Armageddon in my ER. Death from the plague was everywhere. Then, on April 26, my medical director, a brilliant woman I felt close to and had worked with for 10 years, committed suicide. She felt responsible for the collapse of our ER, which of course she wasn’t.
Here in NYC, the hardest hit emergency department was Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, the second was mine. What happened was simply unimaginable – unless you were there, it’s impossible to convey the horror of the experience.
I now understand what soldiers who fought under constant danger of death, who witnessed and took part in mass casualties, must have felt like. Not being able to talk about what happened because you’ll either scare the shit out of people, or worse yet, they’ll try to comfort you with useless platitudes that only underscores the unbridgeable void that separates you from everyone else.
You’ve just got to process your pain and profound disappointment privately, and it’s hard. Nothing will ever be the same, but then again, life is always changing anyway, right?
Clearly, this blog is no longer a daily discipline, and I wonder if it’s serving any purpose at all. The hopeful paradox here is that I’m engrossed in writing fiction, and it’s incredibly fulfilling. I’m getting short stories published with no education whatsoever – it feels like this what I’m supposed to do, in a very good way. Better yet, I’m improving.
So that’s where my focus is now, and I’m afraid this blog is suffering. It may have run its course, but for the time being, I’m going to try and keep it alive. It’s clear, however, that it won’t be a daily thing. At least for the time being. I’m psychically wounded and a bit beat – my bandwidth is limited.
I may be temporarily down for the count, but I’m not out yet.