M- posted this this morning:
What would you do if you knew someone needed your help, but you knew there was nothing you could do to help?
I’ve been thinking about it all day.
I find myself in that position often. So many people want or need my help, but I often don’t have it to give. I pray. And call my contacts. I have an extensive network of colleagues and resources. I usually know someone who can help or know someone who does. But there are situations that can’t be fixed, hearts that can’t be mended, questions that have no answers.
The short answer is – I pray. And I hurt. I have to accept there is nothing I can do. It’s not easy. And sometimes there is something I could do but it would hurt me to do it and I have to say no. And sometimes I have the perfect solution but it’s not my problem to fix.
Helping people is tricky. Many times I find what people are looking for is not a solution but comfort. Someone who will listen, a hug, a note just to say you care. For me, just being near people who mean a lot to me helps. Like Sacha. Her voice and her presence, for the most part, are calming to me. If there’s nothing I can do, it’s not my help they need.
I run a non-profit support organization for people with mood disorders and their friends and family. I see a lot of people in crisis. I get 3am phone calls, emails and texts 24/7. I’m the designated crisis person because I know what to do, what to say, who to call or not call and why. But it takes a serious toll on me. And it’s taken many years to realize that I can’t save them all. It’s not my responsibility. Does it hurt me to watch some suffer? You bet. But, for my own sake, I can’t save them all.
So I do what I can do, what I’m willing to, and I pray. God, please hold this person. They’re hurting and there’s nothing I can do. Then I make sure I have the support and comfort I need. Helplessness eats at me, especially if who I can’t help is special to me.
I also find it frustrating when I’m the one asking for help and there are no answers, there is no response. It would be nice sometime to find someone like me who will do everything in their power to find an answer. Until then I pray, and write, and sing, and accept, and help people. Every day.
I love what he said later: “I just wish I could make a magic dress that when worn would heal anyone of sickness or woe.”
That would be such a beautiful dress. I close my eyes and smile just to think of it… Makes me feel light yellow and reminds me of the little yellow house I dreamed someday to own. :) I don’t know of a dress that can heal but the one I bought for my birthday this year made woes goes away for awhile. I was still sick but when I wore that dress I felt beautiful. And that feeling, that feeling like I was worth it and could conquer the world, won out for awhile. Just one night. I remember that feeling. It didn’t matter that I was sick. I just felt good. I didn’t want to take it off…
Tonight it makes me wonder why if everyone’s searching for the answers we haven’t found them yet. I don’t know. A magic dress. Why not? Are clinical trials required for healing articles of clothing? Hmmm… Sign me up! :)
© Michelle Routhieaux 2010