Jesus knows I’ve been suffocating these past few months.
I’ve been using social media as some sort of twisted life line, completely
unwilling unable to unplug. Any kind of drama is exhausting for an empath like me, and the water has been rising for quite some time.
I’ve wanted to write so much, but have been telling myself it needed to be perfectly powerful and poignant; speaking for everything. No one wants to read another whiny post about my feelings while there’s so much actual pain and suffering in the world.
Trauma tells me my shit ain’t that important and to just get over myself. Feeling like a burden when struggling with mental health is the absolute worst, and I’ve chosen the dangers of isolation more times than I can count. So, to alleviate the massive amounts of suffering in the world, I’ve been
slowly killing myself offering up all my energy to anyone who needs.
It’s what I do.
Pretty early into my recovery, I learned that focusing on other people who have it “worse,” can put all things into perspective and convince me that I’m okay.
My life has purpose when I’m helping and it keeps the noise in my head at bay. All the voices telling me I’m not worth the air I breathe take pause when I’m needed. I decide this is what “okay” probably feels like, and I chase it like a drug. When it becomes a “thing,” I compare it to all the other “things” I could be using to feel better, and consider it justified “harm-reduction.”
Given everything that’s happened in my life, it makes total sense I’m
completely a little fucked up. I try to be compassionate with myself, but I find it much easier to love people like me than me. I don’t see it as settling for less, even though it’s exactly that. Instead, it becomes my fix “motivation.”
I’m enough when I’m helping. Supporting people who don’t usually allow people “in” makes me feel special. I’ve always been really good at translating other people’s emotions, and just maybe it’s my super power. It’s a gift that God gave me – to be of service — even if it kills me. With all the world’s suffering, how selfish would it be to keep it to myself?
Maybe you’re thinking: Julie, Surely God doesn’t want you to suffer under the weight of all this pressure and sacrifice your life for others!! To that I say, Hi, Enter Jesus. Maybe you’ve heard that story? Obviously my suffering is merely solid evidence I’m the second coming of Christ. Who said it couldn’t be a woman? Don’t be sexist.
No, I haven’t actually read the Bible, but I know even Jesus said “NO,” and took time for himself to connect with God. I’m pretty sure he even climbed mountains and shit to escape all the people clawing at him. But that’s not me. Nope. I’m basically better than Jesus.
When I lose my footing and get lost in someone else’s struggle or trauma, I don’t make a B-line towards a large hill to recenter, find balance, or whatever. I make it my mission to end said suffering — at any cost (spoiler alert: the cost is usually mine).
Needless to say, this pandemic shit has thrown quite a wrench into my savior complex. I’ve been forced to take a HARD look at myself. It’s been like a detoxing of sorts, accompanied by mourning and… anger. I have been selfish, but not in the ways I should be. I have worked really hard for all that I have – all that I am, gotten up more times than I have fallen, and haven’t taken much of the credit for any of it. Giving has been my jam, even when I knew people were just there to take, and then I’ve shamed myself for being this way.
Holding myself to unrealistic standards, I’ve spread myself thin and refused to be honest when given an out. You and your happiness are important to me, and I want you to know that you are deserving of time and care. I know the devastation of feeling alone, in pain, like no one is listening, and I want to save you from that.
No one person has ever handed me every tool I needed to get here, and I need to remember that. I’ve had to struggle through every level for the benefits. I am only one person, and I need to stop acting like that’s not enough if I can’t save you, because that’s a complete set-up for me.
I’m absolutely not fricken’ Jesus, and I can’t save you. All I can do is be an example, by sharing my truth and experience, of the fact that you can recover from all sorts of incredible shit — with help. I just can’t necessarily be that help. What’s selfish is to pretend that I can.
Exhausting myself numb no longer serves me. On the contrary, it impedes my ability – my right – to enjoy the life I have worked so hard for. While my ego would love for you to believe in my extraordinary talents, I’m actually not altogether that spectacular.
I’m not special, akin to Mother Theresa, or the second coming of Christ. I’m just one messed up, flawed human being willing and able to be open about it. I’m just… Me.
I haven’t worked this hard and come this far just to kill myself trying to will you into the life I think you deserve. It’s time to actually enjoy the life I know (somewhere) I deserve.
If you need me, pretty please don’t. I’m not the one anymore.