I like helping people. I like volunteering for stuff. Particularly when it comes to feeding people. Whenever sign-up sheets went around in church for a pitch-in, potluck, taking a meal to a family, or hosting the missionaries for dinner I always signed up. For me, feeding people is the easiest and best way to show someone you care about them.

sandwiches.

If someone needs something, and I have a something that I don’t particularly need or use? I’m happy to hand over that something. It’s easy for me. I like doing it. It’s just a thing I do. It’s not a big deal. (It’s kind of how society should work, isn’t it?)

At my peak of helping others was also the peak of my mental health. I WAS SOOOO GOOD! Just sailing along with little trips here and there.

Well, surprise! After last year helping people became hard. I still tried to do it, but I never bothered to take care of myself first so helping others simply exhausted me. What’s worse is it took away from what I was able to give my family as well. You’ve probably heard the announcement on airplanes “Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others?” Same applies to life in general. It’s not selfish, it’s common sense.

I also began to pull away from emotionally difficult relationships. I certainly didn’t need anyone else making me feel worse, I’m perfectly capable of making myself feel like garbage, thanks! Slowly things started to improve and with therapy I can actually feel the old me begin to bubble up. Several people have already mentioned how much happier I seem, and that means an awful lot to me.

This is where things get tricky. Pieces of the old me are starting to show up. I am happier. But I am still not strong enough to wade in the emotional struggles of others.  I am an empath. Always have been. Addie is one as well. For the last year I have actually hated being an empath because it has made me such a delicious target to awful people throughout my life. Being an empath isn’t a bad thing, but right now I really need to take care of myself so I’ve learned if I can’t improve a situation with a sandwich? Sorry, I’m out.

Our first trip to Cleveland won't be our last. We may even wait over an hour for fried grilled cheese sandwiches again. Special thanks to @mryjhnsn and her family for showing us around and making sure we left in love with her city. Thanks to all of you wh

The good news is I can fix a lot of things for a lot of different people with a sandwich.  So can you. There’s thousands of different sandwiches for thousands of different situations, and I’m happy to provide whatever sandwich is needed when I’m available.

Pastrami sandwich from Shapiro's deli in Indianapolis. Even better than it looks. Promise.

So if you’re an empath, or a giver, or a helper, or a doer, but it is really in your best interest to take care of yourself right now? Ask yourself if a situation can be improved with a sandwich. Sandwiches mean a lot to people. (So do cheeseburgers, burritos, gyros, and falafel.) If it’s not a situation that can be improved in any way with any form of sandwich? Maybe step away.

what I had for lunch.

Maybe have a sandwich yourself.

Comments

  1. i love you. i’ll share sandwiches with you and fix the world one carb-y, bread-y, delicious bite at a time <3

  2. A couple of posts back, I came *thisclose* to telling you “I wish I could bring you a meal. You once told me that in a reply to a comment of mine.

    I really wish I could bring you a plate of gooey, underbaked cookies. And a big glass of milk.

    Praying for your heart.

  3. Who Empath? Yeah that is me. I’ve caught myself so many times and realized “WAIT! These aren’t my emotions!!!!” It is startling when I realize it. Freeing too. Frustrating as well before I realize what the issue is.

    Thank you for sharing. I missed your voice.

  4. Sending you so much love, hugs and healing thoughts and wishes! Your writing hits home for me in so many ways.

    I’ve never met you but I adore you and your family!

    No clue who wrote this but it’s a quote I adore and share with you: “You are part of a puzzle in someone’s life. You may never know where you fit. But, someone’s life may never be complete without you in it.”

  5. I feel you. Literally because I too am an empath. I have stepped away from a LOT this last year or two. Not sorry about it at all. NOPE. I wanted to nurture a specific relationship but life was getting in the way. So when we finally crossed paths I was so so excited. And then…felt like a gut punch. It was awful. Yet another to mark off my list. For now. But hopefully not forever…Hopefully. Simply the emotions I was feeling were not mine at all but they were so yucky. I want to fix it but a sandwich will not do in that case.

    Now once we cut out the bad stuff and have room in our lives for good stuff how do we find new people to fill that? I’m not going to church so please don’t suggest it.

  6. Wishing you lots of sandwich distribution in coming weeks/months. I think helping people does help ourselves, but you are so right in that we need to also practice a serious case of self-care.

    xox

  7. Mmm, sammich.

  8. I love you. I truly do. I miss you tremendously, too. I, like you, am an empath. When my friend took his life, the counselor I was seeing right after asked me if I could feel what my friend was feeling. I told her yes. I think that’s why I hold on to so much guilt. I could feel his pain and he felt betrayed by me.

  9. I am glad you’re writing again. You don’t know me or anything, but we seem to have similar quirky ways of processing things. Also, mmmm, Shapiro’s. Try the kugel. Not to be confused with kegel.