A while ago I was worried that my GP was taking on burdens that belonged to me. It went round and round in my head and, in the end, I decided to put it down on paper so she’d have something to look back on and absorb.
It occurred to me today that this might have played a part in her decisions on The Friday. That in trying to give her perspective, I also revealed my own.
Anyway, you can decide for yourself. Here’s what I wrote:
“Firstly, you need to know that this is not a suicide letter. But I was worried about the sense of responsibility you seem to bear for your patients like me, and I felt there were things to be said.
If I die, it will have nothing to do with you. It won’t be as a result of anything you’ve done or not done. It will have been my decision, because I will have decided that I have tried everything I can and will have given myself permission to give up.
In fact, you need to turn this around, and see that without your help I wouldn’t have managed to carry on this long. You’ve been an anchor point for me. A calm voice against the noise in my head. Time after time, offering facts and reason to counteract my fears. Often repeating yourself, because the fears don’t change: they just ebb and flow. Patiently suggesting practical steps that could make things just a little bit better. And I have never once felt judged. Even though there is a lot to judge.
Some people are not fixable. Some people are broken early in life and no amount of care can make them anything other than shadows of what might have been. Which means you’re fighting a losing battle. But the fight matters. And the way you fight matters. And the fact that someone is fighting for you matters, even if the fight is not going to end well.
If I believed in absolution, I’d offer it. If I could lighten that sense of responsibility, I would.
I am my own responsibility, you see. I take that from you and I will do with it what I see fit. I will manage the best I can until I’m all managed out. That is down to me, and no one else.
I hope this helps.
And thank you so very much for being on my side.”
And she was at my side as they decided I wasn’t fit to make my own decisions.
Even so, I still feel she’s on my side.