It’s a Blessing to Be a Burden

In my downward spiral, I felt I was only a burden. But I learned differently.

Eileen Davis
6 min readAug 31, 2021
Photo by Sung Jin Cho on Unsplash

At some point, most of us feel like we are a burden to others. When we struggle mentally, emotionally, or physically, we may feel like a burden because we require additional care. We cannot fulfill all of our physical and emotional needs without assistance. It’s oh-so frustrating to rely on others for our basic needs. This summer I struggled with additional anxiety and feeling like a burden too.

My Experience of Feeling Like a Burden

In the spring, I started medication to help me manage my weight like many other individuals. One prescribed medication was a stimulant that could exacerbate my bipolar and anxiety. At first, I took a small dose of the stimulant and only experienced some anxiety as a side effect. My weight and blood pressure went down. My doctor said I could experiment with a larger dose. I varied between a full dose and half-dose to find a balance, yet my anxiety still increased.

Some paranoia appeared. I worried certain friends had abandoned me because some hadn’t responded to my messages. I felt like I was too much of a burden to respond to. Logically, I knew they were busy, but emotionally, I felt they had abandoned me. On the other hand, I felt like such a flake because I canceled on two other friends because I was tired. I tried to push through the paranoia and anxiety because I had results with physically feeling better.

On Father’s Day weekend, I took the stimulant too late in the day and slept poorly. On Monday, I was switching the laundry over when my husband suddenly announced he had to go into the office because of our boys’ loudness. My sleep-deprived brain flipped. I pleaded to my husband I needed a nap. At first, I cried. Then my brain spiraled down to the thought I was a burden to my husband; therefore, I must not exist. I self-harmed and my husband restrained me. I still struggled because he still might have gone to the office. After all, the boys are usually loud. My husband continued working from home. I tried napping, but I was too jittery from the medication. I reasoned no one loved me, God hated me, and I was a burden to my husband. Part of me knew my thinking was very skewed, yet the emotional pain and mental fog prevented reason.

I slipped away from the house to disappear. I shut off my phone so my husband couldn’t locate or contact me. God had abandoned me. No one was looking for me.

I kept hearing a boy yell “Mom!” I turned around on the path and no one appeared.

At the end of the trail, a young woman said “hi” to me. Maybe the universe cared about me, but then I could be wrong. No one had come to rescue me, unlike other times people had come to my rescue. I kept walking until I felt impressed one of my boys might be hurt looking for me. I returned home still angry and emotionally wrought. I saw my husband in the car. Once home, my husband said he and my oldest had been looking for me and called me. I still said God didn’t care for me because no one had noticed I was gone. No one had contacted me, though I usually contact my mom or siblings. Albeit, I turned off my phone. I cried, yelled, and rocked back and forth for a time. I calmed outwardly, but decided I would be a wooden puppet.

How do you react when you feel like extra weight to someone else?

Counseling Appointment

I debated going to my counselor appointment that evening. I attended. I broke down and my counselor employed some techniques to calm me. I knew this had to be a process she used. I still complained I was a burden and God didn’t care for me.

She told me everyone is a burden to each other. That’s just a fact of life.

That thought calmed me. I still felt upset with God. She said maybe God doesn’t exist. I recognized that calming myself mattered more than belief in order for me to stay alive. I could believe it when I had returned to a proper mindset. At the end of the session, I could look at my counselor for a few moments. She asked if I would be okay going home. I said yes.

How do you feel knowing that being a burden is a fact of life?


At home, I tried talking with my husband. I spiraled downward again, but not as severely. I blamed my husband for using me, and so on. I blamed God for someone not reaching out to me. I asked for a priesthood blessing. In the blessing, my husband voiced that angels would help me. I looked and no angels appeared. No one contacted me, but my son hugged me. The dog ignored me, but my husband hovered. No one called or texted me. Where were my angels? I had a test for God. He had to show me angels. Then I thought the angels may be my son and my husband. But they weren’t angels. They were just there to calm me down, so I’d make them regular meals.

Do you discount loved ones' efforts to help you sometimes? Why?

Only an Outside Angel Would Do

My sister texted me late that night. We texted then talked for hours. Then I felt like maybe an angel had come. My husband and son just didn’t count. They are angels, just too familiar angels for me to always recognize.

Do you have angels closer than you think? Do mortals count as angels?

The Paradox of Wanting Attention, But Not Wanting Attention

During the whole downward spiral, I didn’t want to reach out to anyone despite that it is my usual coping skill. Surely, they should know I needed help without my asking. The universe would tell them. I kept waiting. I wanted specific people to reach out in order for my prayer to count as answered.

I thought of posting on Facebook, but I often feel like I am begging for attention, or I am a burden. I struggle with the words of sympathy afterward. I think friends only respond to be nice or feel social pressure to do so. Some comment “Call me. Text me. Anytime.” My brain thinks, “why don’t you just, ‘Call me. Text me. Anytime’ before my plea?” Friends’ sincere reassurance feels futile because it is after my crisis and often only occurs when I draw attention to my distress. Sometimes, I am caught in the paradox of I don’t want attention, but I want it.

On the other hand, I only comment or call when I see someone struggling. I haven’t “been there” daily. I will bear your burden in an emergency yet the daily bearing of that burden feels overwhelming. After all, we have limits on how much we can do.

What reasons stop you from reaching out for help? Have you found a way to balance bearing another’s burdens while practicing self-care?


I made a primary care doctor appointment and stopped taking the stimulant. At the doctor’s office, the doctor told me to stop the medicine and he increased the dosage on another med. Eventually, I stopped all weight management medicine due to side effects.

Mentally, I can open up about my burden now because it’s solved. My brain is thinking clearer. I still wonder about what to do for the next time when I don’t want to share my messy burden.

Do you make a plan for when you break down?

It’s a Blessing to Be a Burden

I tell myself, it is okay and normal to be a burden. I take on the burden of caring for my family because I love them. They take on my burdens because they love me. My friends and I reciprocate sharing our burdens and triumphs. Sometimes we have the strength to lift another. Other times we need someone to lift us. I hope many of us have the support system to bear one another’s burdens.

For all of our independence, we are an interdependent species. We depend on our parents or guardians as children. As adolescents, we depend more on ourselves and our peer group. As adults, we become as independent as our circumstances allow, yet we still need to rely on each other emotionally. In our weak moments, we can remember that we are each other’s angels. And if it helps, we can depend on God too.



Eileen Davis

I love language and believe every word is a poem. I majored in English language from BYU. I am a mom to four rambunctious boys. I have bipolar disorder too.