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Compassion overload


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I come here and read trying to catch up on all I have missed while working so much. I see all of the new people here and my heart goes out to them. It is so easy to remember what those first fearfull days were like after the diagnosis before either Johnny or I knew that there could still be hope.

I come to the grieving forum and my heart breaks over and over again. I feel so much pain here. I know too what that pain is like. The feeling that life has lost all meaning and there are no more hopes or dreams. I know what it is like to almost wish for death to release you from the searing pain that feels like it will consume you alive.

I'm glad I am a compassionate person. Everyday I ask God to increase my patience and my compassion. Compassion is important in my line of work. If the day every comes when I can't feel compassion for my clients I will find another line of work. There are far too many already who lack the ability to put themselves in the place of the ones they care for. If you can't do that you can't understand and it becomes almost impossible to give these people what they really need.

After a while it all builds up. My emotions are wrung dry each day. I cry buckets for the people here who are afraid or in pain and at the injustice I see in my work everyday. Why do people have to deteriorate so badly when they get old? I see people who are still mentally sharp but their bodies have betrayed them. I see others who have a strong healthy body but their mind is muddled by dementia or Alzhiemers. Then there is the couple who have been married for 60 years and they don't recognize eachother. Her because she has Alzhiemer's and him because she has Alzhiemers. He can't handle it any more and feels guilty for thinking about himself.

I hate nursing homes. I worked in assisted living and found that to be a little better but not a lot. Yet I want to tell this man it is time to find a place for her. Simply because I can't stand the thought that his last memories of her will often be tarnished by disgust at some of the things she does and guilt for feeling that way.

I come to the grieving forum automatically. I was told that one of my last posts should have been in the good news forum. Still I come here even when I do have good news. The reason is simple. This is where I recieved what I needed many times. Were it not for this forum and the many caring and compassionate people here I doubt that I would have ever made my way through the pit to where I am now.

I am not up to date on treatments. I haven't kept up with the clinical trials or new drugs. I haven't had time. I can't advise people about those things and there are many here who can.

The thing is I have been where many of you are. I may be doing a lot better but I am still there is the grieving process. I doubt there will ever come a time when I am not but I have gotten better. Many of you remember what a mess I was. I am an example. If someone as messed up as I was can get to here there is hope for the rest of you.

Believe me it hasn't been easy. There are still days when the ache is so bad I wish I could just go to sleep and forget that I am alive but those times are far fewer than they were. It took time, good caring people to support me and a strong faith in God and a belief that the body may die but the spirit and love live forever.

I don't have words of advice. I know that those who are still very raw don't want or need any words from me or anyone really. I just want you to all know that I have been there and I did survive. It is doable. I may not say to each of you how much I care about your pain and loss but I do. My compassion is still very strong. It threatens to get me down at times but it never allows me to not care, to not feel your pain.

I am doing pretty good. I have cut my work week down to 3 days a week for the most part. I have been doing a lot of work in my yard and painting my porch. For fun I have been fishing as much as I can rob the time for on my days off. I go for perch. They are a lot of fun to catch and bite just about any time and they sure are good eating :!:

I have spent the night with my niece who lives about 50 miles from here. Yesterday I made a big dinner for her and her husband, my sister in law and my nephew. That it the biggest meal I have cooked in over 4 years and I enjoyed it a lot.

I've been trying to diet a little. Not really a strict diet but using the Weight Watchers point system as a kind of guide line. I gained 10 pounds and sure don't want to gain more. Gaining is bad but the reason I have gained is a good one. IT HAS BEEN 3 MONTHS SENSE I HAD MY LAST CIGARETTE :!::P

So anyway I just want to thank all of you who have helped me get where I am. I also want you to know that I do care even if I don't take the time to always let you know when I see you in so much pain. I cry for you and with you. If I have to have an overload of anything I hope it will always be love and compassion.

Hang in there! It does get better even if right now it feels like the world is spinning out of control. God Bless. Lillian

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Thank you for your post; it was good to hear you are doing so much better and does give many others the hope they need to get going one more day.

I hope your days continue to improve. As for asking God for more compassion...I think you have all that you could possibly need. The compassion you feel for your patients is heard loud and clear in all of your posts.


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