“The Fixer:” What Happens When You’re The One Always Helping Everyone Else

When somethings broke, I wanna put a bit of fixin’ on it. When something’s bored, I wanna put a little exciting on it. If something’s low, I wanna put a little high on it. When something’s lost, I wanna fight to get it back again. — Pearl Jam

“The Fixer” is a person who looks at something broken and makes it their mission to not only repair it, but to also enhance it. They see the potential in something or someone and they become obsessed with building it from the ground up. Once they set their sights on a pile of scrap and remnants, they immediately picture the beauty that they can create from it.

The Fixer spends all of their time and energy on their little projects and they don’t stop until they are complete. They slave away, brainstorming and planning, trying to figure out how they are going to create this work of art. Having a project to work on gives them fulfillment. It becomes their reason to live. Some people look at The Fixer and think how wonderful they are; here is this person that wants to help people and put their energy into making this world a better place. And maybe if you aren’t a Fixer, you might wish that you were more like them, able to look at a hopeless situation and swish their wand a few times and voila, turn that mess into something beautiful.

But The Fixers don’t only use the scrap materials they found in the beginning. They chip away at parts of themselves.

They take a chisel and they scrape off various pieces of themselves one by one and add them to the masterpiece that they are building. It takes a toll on them and if they aren’t careful, they leave themselves with a hole. Or they chip off a piece that they can never get back. At the time, they say “it’s worth it” because of course — look at the masterpiece they are creating! They’re pouring their heart and soul into this venture and in the end, they will have something to show for it. Nothing else matters but the project; they don’t care about the sleepless nights and the energy they have emptied into it. That is why many artists and writers forego sleep, money, and social interaction – for the simple purpose of their creation.

But what happens when you finish? What happens when you created exactly what you wanted and you watched, right before your very own eyes, this desperate thing transform into the vision that you originally had from the very beginning?

I’ll tell you what happens, speaking from years of experience.

After the initial feeling of accomplishment and success, you collapse. Maybe from exhaustion, maybe from the utter relief that you could actually do this. You had a vision and you made it happen; it came to life. But after the satisfied fog wears off, you are left feeling empty. There is nothing left for you to fix. You can try to give it some touchups and of course there’s always a little bit of maintenance here and there, but you no longer have something to consume you. It’s like coming off a high from a really amazing drug – you want that feeling back. You would do anything to go back to the beginning just to go through the same motions and to have that sensation again. And not only do they feel empty because of the absence of that feeling, but they are also left with less of themselves than they had before. After chiseling away at their own parts and adding it to their newly created masterpiece, they have holes in places that were not there before.

When it comes to relationships, being a Fixer means that there will always be an expiration date. When the Fixer finds someone that they want to spend the time molding and creating in order for that person to reach their full potential, they cling to them. They become so attached to this person and feel that this attachment is synonymous with being in love with them. They fool themselves into thinking that “this time is different” and even when their new love (i.e. project) reaches their maximum potential, the Fixer will still love them and want to stay with them. However, that is never the case. While their intentions are always good, when the Fixer finishes their project and the person has become exactly what they envisioned they would be, they soon start itching for a new project, a new person to spend all their time and energy on. The Fixer travels from relationship to relationship, fixing and mending. They will never be satisfied staying with someone whom they have already fixed, with no alterations left to make.

As a chronic Fixer, I’m sorry to all of you who have been in my destructive path. I say “destructive” because while at the time I was improving your life and situation, I essentially may have destroyed everything I spent my time and energy on in the end. I’m sorry that my need for fixing things kept me from being able to honestly love you. I’m sorry that you felt like a project that I only wanted to complete and then move on from. I’m trying to change. I’m trying to eliminate that crippling obsession and trying to instead appreciate the beauty in the broken. Not everything is meant to be fixed; sometimes it’s better left untouched, in its purest form.

While I may have moved on to other “projects”, my mind still wanders to you every so often, just to admire the masterpiece that you are, and the light trace of a smile can be seen on my face, knowing that I may have played some small part in it. TC Mark

image – Look Catalog

Maureen is a 20-something pre-med student at the University of Central Florida. She hopes to one day become a neurosurgeon. She enjoys running, writing, being a hot mess, and complaining about the weather. Email her: maureen.townsend09@gmail.com

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