Behavioral health professionals tend to be sensitive to the pain of others. The ongoing, collective pain of the world is undoubtedly taking a toll on many of us.
I notice that I oscillate between two different responses to all that is going on in our world.
One response is an urging to stay tuned in, engaged, and to do my part to ease the suffering in the world. The other response is a desire to create distance, put up boundaries and do a “digital detox.”
Both responses feel insufficient. The first response is exhausting. It leaves me feeling angry and resentful. I get annoyed at others for what they do and say, and equally annoyed at people for staying silent. I judge myself for not doing or saying more. And, sometimes, I feel like the effort I do put in doesn’t enact true change – which is frustrating.
The second response feels packed with privilege. The choice to take time off from the pain of the world is something that many people don’t have the option to do. Also, while I understand the value of boundaries and self-care, I tend to take it a step further into isolation and detachment.
I’ve been sitting at my laptop for a while now trying to find a way to make this sound hopeful or encouraging. I’d like to share a silver lining or offer a powerful takeaway.
Friends, I got nothing. 🤷
Perhaps all I can offer is just validation if you are feeling this same way. As therapists, we know that there is power in naming feelings – even if there isn’t a “fix.”
If you are feeling exhausted, I hear you. I feel it too.
If you are feeling saddened by the pain of the world, I feel it too.
If you are feeling isolated and detached, you are not alone. I feel it too.
I’m holding space for these feelings – mine and yours – today.