I read a sad story in the newspaper the other day. It was about a college student from The College of New Jersey who was going to graduate this week and go to law school. This student was reported missing a month ago. The body was found. Unfortunately, The New York City medical examiner said that the cause of death was drowning by suicide.
The student’s name was Paige Aiello. She was twenty-two years old, an honors student, and was captain of her college tennis team. Paige was described as honest, loyal, and selfless. Her friends described her as the glue that kept everyone together. They mentioned that she would constantly put everyone before herself.
Her grieving father acknowledged that his daughter might had shown signs of being depressed. He said that she put a lot of stress on herself by trying to please and help everyone.
This is an extreme case and I don’t want to insinuate that if you have personal characteristics that are similar to Paige’s that you’ll suffer the same fate.
I do want to emphasize the importance of self-care. Get your proper rest, go for counseling, talk to a friend, delegate more responsibility to others, take a vacation, or do whatever you can to prevent the buildup of chronic overwhelm. You have to help yourself before you have the ability and energy to help others.
What do you do to break up the cycle of chronic overwhelm? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.
(Update: The Aiello family created a non-profit in Paige’s memory to raise money for scholarships. The foundation is called the Paige Barrie Aiello Memorial Foundation)