Fibro Blogs, Fibromyalgia

Chronic Illness and Feeling Guilty: The Sad Truth

I know I shouldn’t blame myself for my bad health, that I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I do.

I have always been a people pleaser and a very empathetic person. I love helping others and being there for them. I’m great at jumping in wherever I’m needed and putting others first.

But I’m having to change who I am in order to factor in and accept that I am chronically ill.

I still love to help others and I sometimes can, but I have to pick my battles now. I cannot be there for everyone all the time, and now I have to put myself first.

I hate putting myself first. It has always been so easy to carry on and get involved with other things than to focus on my own needs.

But it has gotten to the point where I must put my health first. Sometimes I have to say no and take a step back.

The guilt is always there, eating away at me, worsening my anxiety. The guilt that I cannot help everyone, that I feel selfish for putting myself first.

I feel guilty that I cannot be there for my friends and family and that I have become the person needing help rather than the other way around.

I feel guilty for missing out on big events in other’s lives and for having to leave work early when I’m feeling rough.

I feel guilty when my colleagues are dealing with issues and running around while I have to rest.

My bad days are B A D, yet I still feel guilty

I know my friends, family and colleagues mostly understand why I have to stop, why I say no, but I still can’t help the guilt. I still cannot accept that this is how it has to be and there is nothing I can do to change it.

I have hope that one day I will not have to be like this. But I hate that it is changing me into someone I don’t want to be.

I know I must accept it and I am starting to, but when I have a flare up, and I have to take things even easier than normal (for me), the guilt just comes flooding back.

I cannot change my health. I cannot change my priorities. But I can slowly change my perception. Like everything, these feelings will pass, but they always seem to resurface when I least expect it and it is hard to push them back down again.

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5 thoughts on “Chronic Illness and Feeling Guilty: The Sad Truth”

  1. Very, very well written! I could say all of this myself but I’m still struggling to get to that ‘putting myself first’ place in my life because it’s so alien. Sounds like you’ve found that really tough too. I’ve also felt so much guilt all the damn time and it sprung up after I got really sick and especially when I lost my job, and now the guilt just follows me around everywhere. When I read your experience of it all it makes me want to say ‘no, you shouldn’t feel guilty whatsoever! You’re doing the best you can and you deserve to put yourself first for a change and do whatever you can to look after your mental & physical health”. It’s just so often easier said than done. You can do it, Bethan! Sending love xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so much easier to understand when looking at it from an outside perspective. But as soon as it is about you, it is so hard to change. Like you my guilt is worst when I’m in a flare up and have to take a step back from things. I am getting better at being kind to myself but it is a long journey and sometimes I can’t help but feel useless and a burden x

      Liked by 1 person

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