Don’t Suffer In Silence

Clinical Co-ordinator Cathy Johnston has been awarded first prize in a poetry competition, with an entry based on her personal experience of burn-out at work.

Cathy, who’s been employed in NHS Forth Valley for more than 20 years, wanted to attend a two-day conference ‘From Burnout to Wellbeing and Joy at Work’ at the Golden Jubilee Hospital, which dealt with surviving or thriving in the workplace. However, the conference was oversubscribed so Cathy wrote down her feelings which she submitted for the poetry competition.

She said: “Although there is still a bit of stigma surrounding mental health, do something about it and don’t suffer in silence. People are out there who can help.”

The Chrysalis – a poem by Cathy Johnston

I put on my happy facade, but really inside I’m very sad
Not letting my true feelings rise.
Too afraid that I will cry
So I keep on going…never showing.

I carry on with my brave show
Not revealing that I feel so low
And I keep on going…never showing.
And finally I decide to attend
A course, no longer will I have to pretend
So I am going…I am going!

I go along with an open mind
Hoping that new strategies I’ll find
So I am going…I am going!

I’m not alone, there’s others as well
Great pretenders, I can tell.
They hide their feeling oh so well!

So now we are no longer sad
We’ve shared experiences- good and bad
And we will keep on going …ever growing
I now have belief in myself