Depression + Compassion Fatigue
I’ve talked about this so many times. This topic is so close to my heart because it’s still something that I struggle with day in and day out. The only difference is that I now know what to call it.
Depression is something that never truly goes away. Once you find yourself slipping into that dark hole, it’s so easy to find your way back down, time and time again. The only difference for me is that I’m now aware of what happens. For a long time, I thought that I just wasn’t meant to be a funeral director. I thought that this job was too much for me to handle. I thought that I was a weak person. I wasn’t weak, but instead I thought I was so strong that I was invincible. I thought that I could carry the weight of others all by myself. I thought that death didn’t affect me and that I would be able to save all of these families from their grief.
But people who are truly strong, know when to ask for help.
Compassion fatigue is real. When you completely submerge yourself into helping other people and when you forget about your own well-being, you are experiencing compassion fatigue. When you want to help others so bad, that you neglect your own health and wellness, you are suffering from compassion fatigue. You are not weak, it’s just that you’re not invincible. It took me a long time to realize that, and a new job within the funeral industry to be able to begin climbing out of that dark hole. There are still dark days, but since I have more knowledge and resources I am better equiped to handle this career and the depression that can come along with it.
Everyday is a new opportunity to learn and grow. Every morning I wake up I can put my own health first while still being able to help others. It’s a balancing act, but I’m learning.
Read more about me finding my resilience here.
Finding Resilience is a burnout prevention program in partnership with Homesteaders and Dr. Jason Troyer to create resources to help you cope with difficult situations and find the joy in the important work you do to serve your community. You can sign up for a free journal or weekly emails here.