A poem about burnout

This poem and its introduction have been written by a doctor who found poetry the best way to share her experiences. She has written a series of poems. This is her first.

“For years I kept silent, afraid of the consequences of admitting how hard I found being a GP. When I eventually “burnt-out”, I withdrew from friends, family and colleagues, ashamed and fearful of how I would be judged. When Kate suggested I tell my story I struggled to put into words the pain and loss I was going through. In the end I tried writing poetry something I had loved as a schoolgirl. By rediscovering my “lost passion” I found the way to articulate my experiences.”

A poem about Burnout

The enemy sits before me
Heartsinks that adore me
Demands that slowly floor me

Beyond a curtain I hide
I want to remain outside
And silently scream inside

With nothing left to give I flail
The pound of flesh, the final nail
Fighting the fire without a pail

I startle as the telephone rings
And flinch when my computer pings
Afraid of what the mailbox brings

When always on the brink
No time to eat or drink
I just need space to breathe and think

Can’t sleep for worry and for dread
Then wake fearing the day ahead
No respite even in my bed

I opened Pandora’s box of human pain
For despair you can’t prepare or train
I long to be naïve again

Constantly learning whilst secretly yearning
To stop the Evidence Based wheel from turning
Nothing in medicine it seems is certain

A daily battle with change ensues
I have the “Interactions Blues”
More appointments driven by the news

The CPD game at work I play
Collecting points along the way
Saving my score for Appraisal Day

I need an Avatar to play the game
To hunt for “Impact” in my name
So that I can learn to care again!

If you have any thoughts or simply want to say thank you to the author for sharing her poem, please do comment below or like the post. It takes a huge amount of courage and vulnerability to share something like this.

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8 thoughts on “A poem about burnout

  1. That’s a fantastic poem. Really moving and really strikes a chord. Very sad and true. Well done for sharing! Brave lass


  2. captured it all- I resigned from partnership and have three weeks left to go – feeling guilty++ but cannot do it anymore


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