Lately, I’ve been finding it difficult to relate to other people’s troubles.
It’s not like I’m unfeeling—heck, I’ve been accused of being “too sensitive”—it’s just that my sense of empathy has become dull.
This hasn’t just happened overnight or without cause.
Factors in my personal life and the worldly life are to blame for this unsettling phenomenon.
See, I am recovering from Post-Traumatic Stress (have a couple of horrific symptoms) and I’m still struggling to cope with the chronic effects of depression and anxiety.
When I go beyond myself and look at the world, the situation is just as bleak. Crime, greed, hate, poverty, unemployment, etc. – the usual suspects are busy wrecking the world and making it an increasingly ugly place. The little good that still remains in our lives ends up getting overshadowed by these robbers of peace and light. But I digress.
What I’m trying to say is, I have stopped blaming myself for not being as empathetic as I used to be in the past.
I let myself be instead of beating myself up for being cold and insensitive.
Why? Because I know now that I have not become desensitized to anybody’s pain and suffering because I don’t care about what happens to them. I do care. I don’t feel as much only because it is my mind’s coping mechanism to ensure I do not take on anything that leads to more emotional exhaustion. And believe me, I suffer from a great deal of emotional exhaustion these days.
So even though all I really feel is a mere twinge of empathy when I talk to or hear of someone’s issues, I don’t doubt my sensitivity or emotional intelligence. Because I finally know that caring less than I used to is just a way of protecting myself from further pain. And a side effect of the antidepressants I am on as well. Also, apathy is a typical symptom of depression.