I am an emotional sponge


I attend group counseling and I tend to be the most emotionally stable of the group. The other girls reach out to me when they’re having a bad day and I am always there to help. One of the girls recently went into the hospital for depression, and was released (what I believe was too early.) She was still very depressed and couldn’t stop thinking about self harm. She contacted me and told me that she didn’t trust herself to be alone and asked if I would stay at her house to help keep her mind off of things. I ,of course, agreed. I should mention that I suffer from medical problems that leave me extremely fatigued… I am exhausted all the time, and I can’t do a lot of strenuous activities. As my friends seem to be having more bad days then usual they want me to go out and do more activities then my body will allow me to do. But, if I don’t go to comfort them on their bad days, I’m afraid something bad might happen. What can I do?

Category: asked July 27, 2014

5 Answers

maybe you can do things that are less strenuous with your friends and yet still comfort them with what you say and do with them? you can be there for people without doing all the strenuous things all the time. and it's also important to have a group of people to support you who you can rely on, to help you when you need someone, and maybe people who your friends can rely on too when they need someone, so theres more a supportive group of people for you and for them so you don't have to be the only one who is there all the time. but helping your friends is really important, you are right; and being able to rest and recover is very important too. can you talk with your friends and try to help them in a way that isnt always too strenuous on you all the time? I think helping your friends in a way that doesn't involve a lot of strenuous activity would be best, if you can do that..
you need to worry about yourself before anyone else. if you feel too exhausted to go out, then you need to just stay in.
Learn to assert yourself and say "no". You are not responsible for them. You are responsible for yourself.
Tell them you're not up for big activities and would rather do something less tiring
I too struggle with saying "NO", and then incurring the consequences of the limitations of my person/body/being...one can check e.g. allaboutcounseling.com /forum/general-support/how-to-say-no-and-not-feel-guilty/ and a number of other places, but part of the real trick here is to know ones' own limitations. Part of responsibly helping other folks is to maintain oneself; good friends will understand this, and understand that you are not picking "problems" over them.