I’ve always viewed myself as a problem solver, and was humbled when people came to me with their issues. Although I was going through my own, I didn’t mind it much, because I felt it was my duty to help. It didn’t matter how grand or minute the issue, because I knew I was the person for the job. What I didn’t know was once I took on that responsibility, I would not only be tasked with solving the problem but carrying it as well. This presented a problem for me (no pun intended), because my baggage alone was enough, and coupled with someone else’s was overwhelming. The most stressing part of it all was the fact that they were okay with me doing it, because then they didn’t have to deal with it. I went from worrying about me, to them, their kids and the “what ifs,” completely oblivious to the harm I was doing to myself. It was a lot to take in, a huge adjustment, and I wasn’t doing a very good job of it. Not only did I not know what I had gotten myself into, but I didn’t know how hard it’d be for me to get out of it. After years of carrying around the backpacks of others, I had no choice but to let them go. I kept thinking, “It’s okay to empathize and even sympathize with someone, but it’s never okay to carry what they have.” They don’t want to, so why should they expect you to.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played the hero, but in the end, desperately needed someone to save me. I’ve realized I can’t do everything, even if I think I can. And neither can you!