The thing about being an empathetic person is that you feel all the things. It’s a wonderful trait to have, to be able to put oneself in another’s shoes and understand that life has it’s ups and it’s downs and be more sympathetic to any given situation. But it is also horrible. It is horrible to be able to feel what another feels in situations that are less than ideal, and it makes dealing with day to day life hard at times.
Currently I am dealing with such a situation, and it’s thrown me off considerably. Due to privacy concerns I cannot go into great detail as to the specifics of the situation, so in my vague way I am going to try and write out how another’s pain has become my own, and try to cope with it as best as I can.
I guess the biggest thing that is effecting me is that I have children of my own. I cannot fathom losing one of them, and I fear that to have to deal with such a loss would be my mental undoing. I always thought the loss of my dad would unhinge me, but I made it through that by sheer stubbornness and will power – and the scared looks on my children’s faces when they witnessed me crumble during the first few minutes when the knowledge hit me that my dad was gone. I knew those boys needed me, and my brother too – so I put my own feelings aside and handled what life threw our way. It was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with in my life. I would like to hope that if God forbid I were to lose one of my children that I would be able to dig down and find the strength to endure for the sake of my other child and for my brother. I question that ability though.
I have seen my share of bad times and horrible situations, and I am thankful for the strength that I have to handle all that life has handed me, and my eternal optimism. I cannot imagine what it would be to deal with this life without having the ability to overcome. It’s hard to fathom ever feeling so hopeless as to want to really and truly give up on life, and to think that the only peace I could find would be in death itself. Especially knowing I have the lives of my children and brother in my hands. Especially because I look to the three of them for strength more than they know. I know that without them I wouldn’t be able to be who I am and where I am, and I could never take all of the credit for how far we have come. . . Because without them I would be nothing and nobody. And I could never leave them with the burden of knowing that I didn’t love them enough to keep trying, to keep pushing forward, to keep overcoming.
Having said all of that though, I myself don’t have a mental illness that makes life seem so hopeless. I am an empathetic person, but empathy only goes so far. I’m empathetic because I have dealt with so many different things and so many different variations of problems . . . But that one eludes me.
I hurt for those that deal with this on a daily basis, who wake up and debate every day if they’re going to keep trying or give up. I hurt because I can’t imagine feeling that way. I can’t imagine what it would have been like through my life to be burdened with those types of thoughts and feelings.
I hurt for their families. Their children and sisters and brothers and parents. Their friends. My little one has spent a lot of time away from home here recently, and when he comes home he is stuck to me like a burr. I can’t imagine how he would feel if I was gone forever. I know how I feel having lost both of my parents as an adult, but to imagine my children losing me at such a young age brings literal tears to my eyes.
I applaud those that do deal with depression on a daily basis and made the decision to keep trying today. Thank you. Thank you for not giving up. You are loved and valued beyond measure. Please keep trying. One minute, one hour, one day. You can do it. I believe in you.
I send love and hugs to those that have lost someone to suicide. My heart hurts for you, and I wish more than you will ever know that I could take that pain from you.
My blessing and my curse is empathy. Today I am hurting for those that hurt.