The Feel Good Soup

The philosophical ramblings of a psychology enthusiast who endeavours to live a passionate, meaningful life.


How to deal with the guilt of moving upwards and seeing those you love stay behind

grumpy-old-man

I received a message from a friend the other day. The question that this person asked me was one that I asked myself for a long time. And I hadn’t realized that I had the answer until I wrote him back. I want to share this conversation with you today, with my friend’s permission and anonymity, in the hopes that it might help you too.

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Dear Mel,

I grew up surrounded by poverty and addiction. So when I dug myself out of that hole and attained middle class-ness, I found that I couldn’t bring my whole family with me. I can’t even help them with money because it only feeds their addictions.  So I watch as they slowly kill themselves through awful decisions – medical, or drugs or alcohol, or abusive relationships – and I can’t help because they won’t accept what I can offer. No amount of money, even if I had it, would solve the problems of a lifetime of habitual behaviour.  When this happens, Mel, how do you deal with the guilt? (more…)