I’m not a man who can say things easily in person. I stutter over my words, can’t find the right thing to say, and my awkwardness gets in the way of expressing my true feelings.
I’ve tried to tell my wife the way I feel many times but the moment’s never been right, she’s not been in the right mood or I’ve become scared. I know she reads this website every evening when she gets home from work so maybe if I put down how I feel about her you could share it for me?
The love of my life, I wish I had the strength to tell you this in person and to let you know just how much I adore you for all that you bring to my world.
You truly make my life complete and there is not a day goes by where I do not count myself blessed to have found you. As we have grown older together and you have given me a family, the words read out by your brother on our wedding day ring ever more true…
“Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”
We are one tree where yours are the roots that make us strong and bind our family together, holding us firm throughout any storm that weathers us.
Even though you are so strong and wild and spirited and everything else that is beautiful and free in the world, I have seen a change come over you in recent years that ebbs away and withers you. At first I thought it was a phase, then I thought it was just what happens when you hit your mid-thirties and then I blamed myself for not being the man you deserved.
Then it dawned on me. You no longer wake with the same enthusiasm to make the world a better place that you used to. In days gone by you’d go out into the community with a dream of making a difference but now that optimistic talk of change has been replaced with a resignation that you’re merely treading water.
In the past, I’d get text messages and emails from you at work to let me know how your day was going or make plans for the night. Now it seems like you feel guilty for taking the time out to get in touch with me or you simply don’t have the time.
You’d once come home talking enthusiastically about your day but now it seems like you’ll do anything you can to avoid talking about work. It’s great that you want to ask me and the kids about our days, but sad that you’re so keen to forget yours.
I know what you do at work lingers in your mind long after you’ve finished for the day. I know that the things you see and what you must do lay heavy on your heart.
It’s like you find it hard to live in the present and enjoy the moment these days because your mind is always on something you need to do in the future. Even when your manager isn’t texting you on your days off or you’re replying to emails late at night, I can see that you carry the burden of your job with you at all times.
For years I’ve stood by your side and watched this change come over you and I worry where you will be if I stand silently by your side for many more.
You are so strong but I think the cracks are starting to show. Your mother asking me if you’d ever thought about speaking to our family GP about depression last Christmas when she’d had a few too many sherries.
The light coming back into your face after our long holiday this summer.
Seeing your smudged mascara and knowing you’ve been crying at work again. I worry so much that these people you work for will keep taking from you until there’s nothing left of you to give and then, like all those people you tell me about who go on the sick at work with depression, you’ll be a shell of the person you are.
I’ll be there to pick up the pieces and put you back together, but it shouldn’t have to be like this, my love. There is more to life than your job.
You are not just a social worker. You are not just there to do what the system demands of you. You are a mother, a wife, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a cousin and a neighbour too.
You are more than just a job title and everything about you that makes you so special and unique is being taken from you by the demands of your job. You’re now so worried about all those stories of other social workers being struck off that you don’t even dare post your political views online these days and have to use a fake Facebook name, which means it’s taking your personality as well.
I know being a social worker means a great deal to you, but is it worth having to give up so much of yourself in return?
I feel so guilty for feeling this way, let alone writing it down, but I have to let you know it’s time to think about taking a break.
You’ve always been so keen to save others, but now it’s time to think about saving yourself.
I hope you read this and know it’s meant for you.
Come back to us my love.
by My Social Work News