I'm concerned for the safety of a friend right now. Over a year ago, when I was also worried for her safety, I flew out to Croatia to see her. It's brought my focus back to what 2017 has been all about for me. It's been a year of loss. To be honest, it's been a year of not being able to recover, as one loss has followed another. In all, it feels like a year in which a nuclear blast has torn through my life, permanently altering the landscape, and leaving it a cold, desolate place I no longer recognise.
Of course, I'm currently working with people who've suffered a loss, and often multiple losses. Circumstance dictated that I work with bereavement but, in my work with witnesses of crimes and victims of crime, I'm also working with people who have suffered some kind of loss.
On Tuesday, I have my third counselling session as a client, and I've been invited to talk about losing my sister earlier in the year. I warned the counsellor that, although it's the clearest example, it's also far from being the only source of grief I've had to deal with recently.
Last night, I talked to some friends, and that reminded me of something I've gained during 2017. Some friendships have fallen by the wayside, but some have become stronger. I've also become stronger, but it has come mostly from being sorely tested, and having to find a way to cope.
I maintain a sense of gratitude. I still try to give some love to those who struggle to love themselves, and refuse to give up on those who want to give up. As stated by someone who has been vitally important to my development, the line between me as a counsellor and me as a person has blurred to the point where it can no longer be seen. In truth, I don't know that the line was ever there.
Earlier this week, I listened to someone talking about being on the path I'm currently travelling. As she talked about burning out, and finding ways to disconnect from the cumulative stresses of this work, I couldn't help identifying with her. That's pretty much where I am right now. I'm doing my best to carry on although, as I've said recently, I'm practically running on empty. Maybe 2017 hasn't been all about loss: maybe it has been about finding strength.