“Life, as it is imposed on us, is too hard for us; it brings us too much pain, too many disappointments, to many insoluble problems.” -Sigmund Freud
Life becomes too hard to endure sometimes. We not only suffer, but also see our loved ones suffering. And it hurts; it hurts so much. We know, that our loved ones are hurt too, much more than we are, and this slowly kills us inside.
At those moments, we take responsibilities we can’t take. We assign ourselves missions of superheroes, trying to pull out the people we love from the pit of despair they are in. With utmost sincerity, we try to help the people we care about.
But we unfortunately miss a point: our own wellbeing. We lose the track of borders. While trying to be empathic, understand what they are going through and be there for them, we become sympathetic. We mirror the emotions our loved ones are going through; we feel their sadness, their regret, their despair.
This case, known as secondary traumatic stress, mimics the symptoms of the first hand trauma victim. And even though we don’t take it seriously, it may result in consequences much more severe than we think. Sometimes, we come to the point where we drown in our problems, so that we can’t even take care of the people we love anymore.
I know. It’s so great that we are trying to help; It’s so nice that we are touching others’ lives and making an impact on this world. But if we want to help someone, we have to help ourselves first; If we want to be there for someone, we have to be there for ourselves first. We should never forget: We are living for ourselves, not for anyone else.