Heck, I didn’t even count the significance, until I was done reading your story, that as a young man I worked as a teacher at an agency for people living with HIV and AIDS. Most of them were theoretically former heroin users. The staff all became attached to the clients and vice versa, but one very strict part of the program was drug testing. Drop dirty, and serious consequences entail, right up to eventual expulsion from the program.
When I remembered those few years, the feelings all came rolling back, and I wished I’d had your perspective then on compassion fatigue.