Where to start? 10 years, 4 months and 27 days ago I had my last drink. After getting sober I decided AA was most certainly not for me, and neither was, well, any form of group therapy or "rules" (12 steps) While I agree that this helps people I am also of the mindset that people are different and what works for some, does not for others. Anyway, I get a suggestion that I join one of these online groups, for sober atheists on fb. I must admit that at first, having some people around was helpful and I joined in whole heartedly. About 12 months in I was asked to be a virtual sponsor and quickly found myself listening to people's problems whenever they felt like unloading. I decided maybe I was good at this and should take a course in counselling. My name quickly spread amongst the sober community until a lady from another group for agoraphobics got in touch (panic disorder was a huge reason for my alcoholism) and enquired about my speaking on their page. I accepted and decided to then study for a degree in Psychology hopefully working with addicts. By now I had a few people private messaging me just for chats. My name again travelled, this time to a forum for women who had been through trauma, again, I got a few pms asking for sessions. I am now in my final year at uni and have 27 patients who I give an hour each a week.
I have not made a single penny from any of them. In fact I'm making no money at all. But this isn't the biggest problem I face right now. Right now I am tired. I am tired of listening. I am emotionally spent. I have heard the worst things that humans do to each other and it came to a head after a message I received yesterday. Let's call her L. She wrote to me asking if she had PTSD because her husband didn't celebrate her birthday properly. After a particular horrendous week I snapped. I failed to take her feelings into account and practically dismissed her as childish. I cannot keep going like this. I have had to remove myself from all forums because I'm inundated with requests for help or to be a sounding board. I want to carry on helping, but feel that if I do at the rate I am going its going to have an effect on my own emotional wellbeing. Ever felt alone? I feel alone.