If you have a bit of a savior complex – PLEASE STAND UP! You guessed it – I’m totally standing up! For some reason, maybe it’s grandiosity, but at times I feel like I can save people from themselves, especially those I love. Unfortunately, time and time again, I have failed to rescue others. I may be able to apply a Band-Aid to help, but ultimately, change is up to the ones I think need saving.
I’ve written a bit about my best friend, Brian, who died of an accidental overdose due to mixing prescription pills in 2003 at age 19. I can’t remember if I’ve written at all about him here at The Caramel Files, but I go pretty in-depth with his death and its effect on me over at The Bookkeepers’ Secrets, where I co-blog with Lila and Claire.
[my post about Brian can be found here]
Regarding Brian, we both knew he was a drug addict. I hoped to be a positive influence on him, to eventually help him decide to go to rehab. But, he died before he got to make what could have been that life saving step. I still wish I could go back in time and call 911 that last night I saw him. I had an uneasy feeling when I left the party, but sadly ignored it.
I felt guilty for a long time following Brian’s untimely demise. Thankfully, nearly 14 years later, I have forgiven myself and let him go just a little bit more. I now understand that I was just a baby myself – I was 20 at the time; I didn’t know then what I know now. As they say, hindsight really is 20/20.
Brian’s overdose was a catalyst in my decision to major in social work in college and eventually earn my master’s degree. I have worked with children and families in turmoil and emotional upheaval, which has been very difficult – rewarding at times, but difficult. Many times I wished I had a magic wand during my time in the field so I could wave new, happy lives devoid of problems into my clients’ experiences.
I still want to help people, I just need to continue working to train myself to keep my social worker hat on and avoid getting too personal and biased when listening to those dear to me. I find it easy to solve other people’s problems, my own, not so much. Why is this so? I think it’s weird. But, I also find it easy to stand up for other people, even strangers, over myself.
While I do continue to worry about ‘my’ people, primarily when they’re going through tough times, I’m learning to stay out of their business. This can be hard when my people spill their hearts out to me – I want to help and I feel that I have solutions, but others need to reach their own conclusions in order to become true change agents in their lives.
So, I shall continue to listen and offer my shoulder for tears – I just hope no one else dies…