“Divorce” – A poem about the emotions of leaving the NHS and the medical professon

Although it’s getting easier now, making the decision to resign has been a long, drawn-out process and emotionally very challenging. It came into my mind the other day that this experience is something akin to divorce, in that I know it’s not right for me to stay, but it’s very hard to leave behind something you have invested so much of yourself into over so many years, and to admit that something you loved and had so much hope in former days simply hasn’t worked out.


I was young when we first met.
Full of ideas,
My altruistic vision clear –
We would do great things, you and I.

I left the ones I loved for you,
I didn’t think I was going to,
But your appeal was strong,
And I, pliable.
Persuaded with a word
That what I loved was wrong.
Be sensible, they said.

Thus synapsed my life with you.
I fought for us,
Believed in you.
It was hard and I worked long,
Forgetting what they said was wrong,
And losing who I used to be
While slowly you took over me.
I thought it for the best.

I thought things would get better,
That this extending misery
Would boost my heart’s immunity
To passion.
And it wasn’t all bad.
There were days when I was glad –
When endorphins filled my veins,
When exhaustion mirrored gains.
I looked at you in wondering awe,
What a cause to live life for!
What a purpose! What an aim!
And no one else could do the same.
I’d never be as good without you.

Yet, what was good in me was fading.
Unconsciously I started trading
All the things you liked in me
When we first met. I lost, you see.
I lost the flair,
The dream,
The drive.
I lost desire to survive.
I lost my faith, in a fashion.
But worst of all I lost compassion
And that was what killed us for me.

You hurt me.
You beat me down.
I worked my bones into the ground.
As you took off your saintly mask,
I saw how much of you was farce.
Your inspiring, high ideals –
Were any of them really real?

Perhaps it was partly my fault.
Perhaps I was just far too naïve –
Expectations too high –
It’s what I wanted to believe.

So why is it so hard to leave?

I need to go, I know.
Despair will rot me if I stay,
My colours fading out to grey.
I’ll make it black for all around,
I’ll run our broken ship aground.

But you’ve been with me all these years…
I’m scared of you not being here.
It’s easy with the status quo.
Will all be wasted if I go?
And I’ve lost who I used to be.
You’ve been my identity.
Where do I start with this new me?

I was young when we first met.
I tell you now, I’ve no regrets.
I’ve loved you, and I’ve hated too.
I’ve spent far too long stuck on you.
Now I’m full of new ideas!
My future vision is less clear, but
We will do great things, you and I.
Just not together.
So, goodbye.


3 thoughts on ““Divorce” – A poem about the emotions of leaving the NHS and the medical professon”

  1. Pingback: 12 months older, I must admit… – the disillusioned medic

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