Mr. Rearden, said Francisco, his voice solemnly
calm. "if you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world
on his shoulder, if you saw that he stood,
blood running down his chest, his knees buckling,
his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world
aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater
his effort the heavier the world bore down on his
shoulders- what would you tell him to do?
"I...don't know. What...could he do? What would you tell him?"
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
There is a condition I have coined The Atlas Syndrome
Emotional symptoms: Anxiety, Panic, Depression
Physical symptoms: Shoulder and Back pain, IBS, Fibromyalgia, Migraine.
Social history: An alcoholic, or domestic violence, dysfunctional household where very early on the person is casted in the role of the adultified child, the caretaker, the peacemaker.
Chosen profession: Most usually Nursing, Social work, or Stay Home Mom.
General philosophy of life: Everyone else comes first, I can not say No, I can not hurt anyone's feelings, I am afraid of conflict, anger scares me, expressing anger is unacceptable, everyone has to like me, if I say no he/she will leave me.
When I look into the eyes of these patients, I see the light of their spirit flickering, and I get scared that one more minute and it will go dark for ever. I want to tell them, and I often do: just hold on, a little longer, I will help you take the world off your shoulders....and I promise it will still keep turning.