Gratitude

After a long career of intense emotional work – suicide prevention, threat assessment, listening to clients share their pain and suffering and hope for brighter tomorrows, I retired to this much quieter place. A place where I could breathe the rich air, hear the rustle of the wind through the trees, sit quietly and stare at the wide trackless sky, discovering shapes in the cloud wisps; a game I used to play as a child – two interconnected hearts, a musical note, a bunny. 

Secondary trauma is defined as indirect exposure to trauma through a firsthand account of traumatic events. Hearing tales of extreme suffering and observing the emotions of fear, helplessness, and yes horror on a consistent basis may result in a set of symptoms called compassion fatigue, a consequence of the helping profession.

It took me awhile to admit I suffered from compassion fatigue; turned down invites to hang out with friends, avoided the phone, shied away from social media, built a nice, safe invisible shell around myself. This shield had a purpose. I needed it at the time.

But now… this defense has slowly crumbled and I feel immense pleasure in connecting with friends and family and acquaintances. Sometimes my laugh catches me unaware and I wonder who is this light- hearted person?

I stand in the sun and bask in the warmth; leaving the carcass of my former need to protect lying in the growing spring grasses and take refuge in my joyful heart.

How did you find solace this week?

© 2021. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

2 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. That is beautiful, Sharon, and so open hearted. I’m very happy for you that you’ve returned to a place that we both have loved. It was healing for me too. I didn’t know then, the gift you would have for writing though I’ve always felt gratitude for the friendship we share. May your new career be endlessly inspiring and your books read by multitudes.

    Liked by 1 person

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