Having Clinical Depression is a burden to bear - no doubt - but I often look to those who suffer it much worse than I.
There is a pain in seeing your loved ones suffer. Be it physical or mental illness. The difference is that in many instances - tho not all - you can alleviate physical suffering. It's significantly more difficult to alleviate mental suffering.
I have a thousand and one ways that I can describe how *I* feel - how *my* depression affects me - and those few things that can assist *me* - but it's only about / concerning / affecting me. One can not understand someone else's mental illness - because it is all so different - some subtly so, some widely so.
When it's someone you care deeply about / love, it is a pain that is a dull throbbing of your heart that doesn't worsen, but never eases either.
There is a helplessness and frustration one feels when there is nothing left you can do to lessen their burden. You know they are in a similar type of pain. You know there is a *possible* way you *might* help them - but there is a good chance it won't work...
Unfortunately, the by-product of this can be an aggravation of ones' own Depression. Not good.
But how can you NOT try to help? Of course it will take a toll on you. But ask someone taking care of a loved one through say cancer, or HIV, or alzheimers.... they'll all tell you at times there can be a moment of "really?? again??" but they won't walk away. You can't. You won't. It's love.
Do you have a friend or loved one with Depression/Serious Illness? Are you always there for them? Do you feel that urge to walk away sometimes? If you do - congratulations, you're a real person. If you get up every morning with a sunny disposition knowing that you are going to "do good" - you probably have the 'Florence Nightingale' complex and are DOING less good and more LOOKING good.
We often kid ourselves about the impact we have on other peoples lives, but it doesn't mean anyone should not try to make a difference. Managing the expectations of ones impact is more difficult.
I'd like to think that I make a measurable impact on others and certainly I have been told so, but the frustration and the helplessness still hangs around.
I guess I am not managing my own expectations well enough.
Blessings n Shalom
PS A moment of serenity - taken when needed :)