This is about powerlessness.
It seems like I am getting a lesson in what I can do and what I can't, and I really don't like the length or content of the list in the "can't" column.
I hate it when my friends hurt. I hate it. I want to help. If truth be told, I'd like to be able to fix whatever's wrong, but I try now not to be a superhero, so I'd just like to be able to help.
It seems like a dozen or more of my friends are in tough spots right now. Several need jobs, some have kid troubles, some have health issues, a couple are being bullied at work, at least one is being discriminated against because of gender stuff, and more than a few are struggling financially. There is nothing I can do to alleviate any of their suffering. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.
I have my own brand of stress in my life, too. I was sick for two weeks, missed a bunch of work and got behind just when I thought I might catch up. Oh, and while I was sick? I had to go to the hospital to see if I might actually die or have the plague or something, and I came home with a bill topping $2,000 from the emergency room where I endured a strep test and a CAT-scan with an IV with funky dye only to be told that I probably had a virus, and to go home, lie down and push fluids. Did I mention that I have no insurance? Yeah. That bill's now in my lap.
But I have been in tough spots before. I know I'll get through. It's watching my friends hurt that gets to me the most.
Honestly, I'd rather take a beating in a biker bar full of strangers than watch my friends hurt the way they're hurting right now. It makes my stomach hurt to see them suffer. It makes my head hurt. I want to help. God, but how I want to help.
And I can't.
There is not much I can do.
I can listen. I can empathize. I can hold them in my heart, if not always my arms.
And I can ache for them.
For the record, this is NOT where I want to hear platitudes about taking care of myself first, or letting go or any of that crap. I just want to say aloud that it hurts me when people I love are hurting. I don't need advice, nor do I really want it. I have to feel this, get through it, and turn it over and let it go. I know that. I just needed to say it out loud.