It seems that I draw hurting people to me. That doesn't bother me. Maybe that is why I became a nurse. I enjoy helping people. I like influence them in a good way and to see them get better.
Internalizing their problems is not fine, and that is what I do. I take their problems on and make them my own. I really want to fix them. It just kills me not to be able to make it all better.
I think about them constantly. No, maybe obsess is a better word. I obsess about my friends' pain.
Then their problems invade my sleep. I wake up frequently in the night and instantly think of them. I even dream about their problems. Boy do I get up tired after a night like that. Sometimes I even need to take a sleeping pill to get a good night's sleep.
When I internalize others' issues it is hard to keep the black cloud of depression and anxiety away.
The obsessive thoughts, restless nights, anxiety and depression have now been joined by stomach pain. That is a miserable cycle. I think about their problems and my stomach starts hurting. Later I realize that my stomach hurts and I know it is because I am focusing on their problems. That makes the pain worse.
If I get too stressed out for too long I will have a fibromyalgia flare up. That stinks. It takes a lot of work to get my muscle and nerve pain to stop when it starts. The chiropractor makes loads of money off me.
How can I still be compassionate, helpful, and empathetic and not feel others' problems so deeply. I can't become calloused and uncaring in order to protect myself. How do I find a healthy balance?