I used to feel guilty for being me. For consuming others energy with my inability to use my own. For constantly feeling like a let down or like people expected more.
But the truth is, guilt is heavy.
Guilt is particularly heavy when you carry it round without really understanding why or how to get rid of it.
I think that having a chronic illness brings about so many emotions and so many doubts. I know for a fact I have felt sadness, anger, remorse, frustration, shame, disappointment. But I have also found myself seeking validation for how I’ve felt.
Some of you may be confused why I would feel guilty for being ill but I think when you go from ‘normal’ to unwell, so many things change.
I used to feel like a burden all the time; becoming reliant on others for support and seeking understanding for things which never used to present as an issue. For being constantly fatigued in a way which meant I couldn’t do everything the old version of me used to do. For cancelling plans and for being unreliable.
When I look at it now, I don’t see these things as guilt inducing. I see them as putting myself first regardless of what others might assume.
I think that’s come about from acceptance that this is my normal. It doesn’t matter what others think as they don’t live how I do and therefore have no right to judge. We all have a different ‘normal’ and that’s more than okay. I know for one that I would never question somebody’s choices to prioritise themselves.
When people drag guilt around, it can take a huge toll. One so large that it can become worse than the initial problem itself. That’s why it’s so important to rid the guilt before it becomes the burden.
I will admit it’s easier said than done to begin with. I think I used to worry too much about what others would think but now I’ve learnt to ignore that.
It will take time and perseverance to put your needs before others opinions, but I think this is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learnt since accepting my illness.
For those of you with physical/mental illness, I want you to know that nothing is your fault. You have no need to feel guilty about being the way you are or feeling the way you do. All of your choices are valid.
In regard to other emotions, I will be writing posts regarding anger, embarrassment and resent. Keep your eyes peeled for those over the coming weeks.
And lastly, don’t forget, take time to rest if you need it; I know that’s exactly what I plan on doing today 💗