And deep down inside you know it's killing me
I can call, wish you well and try to change this
But nothing I can say would change anything...
I wish I could save you
I wish I could say to you I'm not going nowhere
I wish I could say to you
It's gonna be alright
-- Save You, Kelly Clarkson
My heads been stuffy with thoughts all evening. I was wandering the house trying to make sense of them all. Finally I started to feel a bit suffocated so I changed and hit the gym, hoping that I could pound out a few of the thoughts and hang out to the good stuff. I was sweatin it out on the treadmill to Kelly Clarkson when the song Save You came on. I haven't listened to Kel in a while but when the familiar lyrics started flowing through my head they almost stopped me in my tracks.
I am always trying to save people. Years of my life could be summed up by that statement. I don't just mean this in an I-went-to-school-to-save-the-marginalized kind of way. This is before, during, and after my social worker career (which was four years long and involved school and 1 summer internship only).
I know it's not my job to save people. In theory, I accept this fact. Unfortunately, I'm a magnet for the broken. I've wondered a time or two if they can sense that I understand? I've been broken before, in more then one sense of the word. Once you've hit rock bottom and bounced back you're sort of inclined to being sympathetic to those still going through it, in that 'Man, I've been there' kind of way.
I've learned two important lessons about people who are self-destructing:
First off, when your dreams for someone are bigger than their dreams for themselves - you have a problem. You cannot no matter how hard you try, force people to want more for themselves. They have to find their own dreams. You can't help people who aren't willing to help themselves.
Secondly, sometimes you can't save people (or help them save themselves) and you have to bail out before you sink with their ship. The important thing is, learning to recognize that point when you arrive. I've stayed too long before and I've jumped too early. I'm still figuring this part out. How far you can guide people and support them through their tough times before you recognize that they're bringing you down more than you're bringing them up. Sometimes you gotta abort mish.
Note: I don't mean your closest friends. Those are the ones you are there for no matter what, for as long and ugly as their hard times get. Just so we're clear.