You're Not Crazy You're an Empath

When a tragedy would happen to someone I know I was never able to be the friend that stayed by their side and held their hand.  When "grown-ups" would have private talks I would always know exactly what was going on.  When we would attend a function in a large crowd of our friends I would need two days of alone time afterward to recuperate.  

What is this?  Why?  We always want to put a name to things, to feel like we know a reason.  This name is empathy.  In school I remember broaching the topic and totally getting it.  It's like putting yourself in someone else's shoes.  But to someone who is highly sensitive, who is highly empathetic, who is an empath, it is literally BEING in someone else's shoes.

 When I was little and my mom was sad, I could literally feel the gut wrenching sadness that she felt.  When my grandma was mad at someone, I could feel the burning, seething, anger.  When my close friend lost a parent, I was feeling her absolute devastation.  When my brother succeeded at anything I felt his glory and his pride deep within and I felt him trying to hide a little bit of it, not to be too boastful.  The closer I am to someone, the stronger it is, although, I can feel the feelings of perfect strangers.

Without an explanation, or someone to mentor me with this trait I wanted it to leave.  I thought that it was some kind of mental illness that needed treated.  I attempted to numb it with alcohol, which worked for the most part, except for all of the side effects, and the fact that sometimes it didn't work and it exacerbated it.  I sought psychiatric help, where I was told it was bipolar disorder and in came lithium.  That took care of feelings.....all feelings, I didn't really want to be a zombie so I quit that.  I really didn't even know that it was other peoples feelings that I was having, I just knew that I was an emotional wreck 90% of the time.  I tried being a recluse, which was quite successful, because the less people I was around the less feelings i absorbed.

I was a social girl fighting to get out and live in a world where being social was killing me.   I finally quit numbing myself after having done so, one way or another, for 20 years or more.  The amount of feelings I was having was insanely overwhelming.  I was determined that I could live a social and happy life without numbing myself.  I changed my eating habits, I began to read how to train my brain, I took the focus off of myself and devoted my thoughts to helping others.  I still was left feeling awful.  People would seek me out to ask me advice, to tell me their woes.  I thought that this was my job, it was my purpose  to take their pain for a moment and fill  them up.  

I attended a large celebration in our small hometown, it was fun! I had a blast but after a few hours I was completely drained, I had to go home before it was over.  My family wanted to stay and they didn't understand, but I had to go.  The next day I woke up feeling like I had a severe hangover, even though I hadn't drank a drop.  I blamed it on too much sun or maybe I hadn't drank enough water, deep down I knew it was more than that.  I thought maybe I have a serious social disorder and that hurt my heart because I truly loved being around other people.  That day I made an appointment with an energy healer for the next day, I thought maybe I could try just one last avenue.

The day of the appointment, I still was in a funk from the celebration.  I described to her what happens and she named my lifelong struggle in a mere minute.  "Oh ya, you are an empath.  Lots of people are.  We soak up peoples energy and people suck ours and we let them.  It doesn't have to be this way though".  She taught me to build a bubble around myself, she taught me about energy vampires, she taught me to not take peoples problems (they will just fill themselves up with more), she taught me to set intentions of what and who I wanted in my energy.  This was seven months ago.  Somehow just knowing that there is a name for what it is and that I wasn't alone was huge.  But that there were tools, that had no side effects, that was monumental!  And then to find out that I could use this "gift" and nurture and grow it to help other people, well, that was life changing.

I am happy, I am social, and I am empathetic.  There is a beautiful life out there.  

Love and Light

Mama Vietti

This is another article that addresses more on this topic.

Cecily Vietti