When I was diagnosed with lupus I didn’t know what to expect. I hadn’t even heard of this disease before, but I can tell you for certain that I never expected to feel guilty about having this disease.
How is it possible to feel guilty about being sick? I’m the one who’s ill. I’m the one who will live with this disease forever. I’m the one who will have to endure it all. And yet I still can’t rid myself of the tarriance feelings of guilt that plague me daily.
I feel guilty that I’m not the only one who has to live with this disease. My loved ones are being pulled along with me. I know they want to be supportive and strong, but I can see the expressions and the pain on their faces each time I have a flare or a complication from lupus.
I feel guilty that I’m not nearly as independent as before, breakdowns occur at times because some days I just can’t cope on my own. Sometimes a month or months will pass without any flares and then BAM! I’m in river of guilt all over again.
I feel guilty because I’m an adult, and my husband has to be so involved in taking care of me sometimes. I feel I should be able to do things on my own. However, there likely won’t ever be a time when my husband and kids aren’t subconsciously worried about chronically-ill me.
I feel guilty for being tired that I can’t get out of bed earlier sometimes, which results in me “wasting” another beautiful day. Some days I lose to my fatigue, adding to my river of guilt. I hope that one day I’ll look back and at least be grateful that I did try my best to do what I could.
I feel guilty sometimes, when I push myself to attend someone’s event and I feel equally guilty if I didn’t go.
I want to to feel proud of just how hard I’m trying right now. Sometimes I feel as if I’m failing miserably, and it eats at my soul.
It’s all a work in progress and I try every day to work on my guilt surrounding my chronic-illness. I know a part of me is always going to feel guilty for having lupus and my river of guilt will continue to flow.
In the meantime I will continue to practice the following steps that has helped me to deal with my guilt.
Here are some simple steps to help you deal with your guilt.
1. Think about what is making you feel guilty, and why are you feeling guilty and write it down.
2. Reflect on your guilt and put it into perspective.
3.Think about what you can do about your guilt. Shift your focus from what you can’t do and put it on what you can do.
4. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Sometimes when we say no to others, we are saying yes to ourselves.
At some point we have to accept “what is”, take what you have and work with it and reevaluate our own expectations of yourself. It a “readjustment.”