Put simply I am finding it harder to watch television and listen to the radio.
However good the script, however excellent the acting (however appalling the sound quality) I cannot find it in my heart to care about what does or does not happen in Happy Valley. However well researched the storyline, however well presented, I find that it does not matter to me what happens to Helen in The Archers. And the same I am starting to find applies to a growing number of programmes. This is not a comment on the quality of the programmes but rather the state of my heart.
All my emotional energy goes into trying to watch the news. The danger is that the daily diet of human suffering that occupies so much of the news will just bounce off me; it is surely all too much to bear.
But I will not remain unmoved. I have to let the unfolding stories of human suffering in – I owe them that much – and doing so breaks my heart. The pain of hearing these tales is over whelming (yet alone dear God what it is like for those living these all too real stories) but I have to remain open, and feeling, to all that is happening in the world around me.
My fear is that because I cannot cope with the pain in the real world, I will start to focus on the pain in a make believe world and give my energies instead to being caught up in the woes of Helen Archer, not least because it is The Archers, it will all work out for the best. I will be given the happy ending I fear I will not find in the real world.
But my broken heart will not allow such escape. Instead I find a growing disinterest in the latest supposed gritty reality drama. Whilst refugees struggle to find a welcome, famine and flood continue reap havoc and those around me struggle with cancer, depression and relationship break-up, my broken heart has enough to cope with.
I hope The Archers storyline may help some one struggling with domestic abuse, but forgive me if I do not worry what will happen to Helen. Instead I will return to the counselling room and try to help another couple heal their all too real broken relationship.