Chronic Illness Guilt: excellent articles that address this topic

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by zenouchy, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Hi All,

    After having fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses for over a decade, I realized that I still sometimes live with guilt. I found this website that address the topic, and they aptly call it "chronic illness guilt". The link below (simply copy and paste it into your browser) has a wonderful article that discusses it as well as links to more articles. It's so validating.

    I know it has been discussed here as well. Getting rid of the guilt (for me, sometimes it can live "under the surface" and drag me down when I don't even realize it) and knowing that we haven't done anything wrong and didn't ask to be sick allows us to heal in the most beneficial way.

    Peace and good healing to all,

  2. pastorwife

    pastorwife Member

    Thanks for sharing. I don't have time to read it all, and will def go back and do that later to see here suggestions. What strikes a chord with me are the following statements.

    - I am very, very lucky and blessed to have a support system and a caring and loving boyfriend and family. However, I still do feel regret that he is “stuck with me”

    - I worry ... about my ailments putting a gap between myself and those that I love. It is bad enough to have these diseases, but even worse when you know that there’s nothing you can do about them – and you see how it affects the people that surround you.

    - I still have a hard time struggling with how it affects people around me. I can’t help but to feel bad, and be sorry that I’m “not the best version of me.”

    But, one thing I don't see eye to eye on with her is the part of the marriage sickness in health. I thought it was true until my husband (a pastor) divorced me with the excuse of me not being functional enough! I know there was more to it and he was trying to put blame on me that I won't accept.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/23/2011]
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Seems like we are programmed for guilt even when we suffer illness through no fault of our own. Intellectually, we all know how useless guilt is but that can't stop our feelings of guilt. I think we ofte feel as though we are letting our friends and family down when we can't do what we used to be able to do.

    Again, thanks. We absolutely need emotional support and to decrease our stress.

    Love, Mikie
  4. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    so much for your thoughtful and kind responses. It helps to hear from others who experience the same or similar things, and I hope that it's helped to share with each other. I didn't realize that guilt was dragging me down so much, and now that I do, I think I will be able to work on it better. My family is both supportive at times but then tries to lay on guilt to get me to do more things or to come visit them when I just can't, despite the many times I stand up for myself in the most polite way possible. The guilt is their issue and not mine; I don't have to accept it. I'm realize this more and more now.

    Hope everyone is having a good day. I've got an ocular migraine and shouldn't be on the computer too long (the bright lights aren't helping much even with the settings all the way down :)), but I'm sure it will pass. Sending big healing hugs to all, and I appreciate you all so much for responding. Have a happy/feel good day everyone. Love, Erika
  5. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Thanks for posting this. I have the same problem, feeling guilty even when there's no one there laying a guilt trip on me. I've been sick for 3 days now (it came out of the blue) and have had a hard time just accepting it because it keeps happening. It completely incapacitates me.

    And it was interesting what you said about guilt living under the surface where you're not even aware of it - that's the worst part. I finally realized today that I wasn't doing anything wrong - my body is not working right so I'm sick, but it's not a personal failing or slacking off, although it feels like that. It makes no sense but that's the way it is.

    Very good post -

  6. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    My pleasure to post this article. I'm so sorry you aren't feeling well and hope you feel better soon. Don't let guilt aggravate it. I hope we can all work on this together. I understand what you are saying. I sometimes feel like if I'm not pleasing someone in the way I used to, I did something wrong. It's a learning process to just be ourselves in the now and know that it's okay. I think also that it's so pervasive in our society that if we're not doing ten things at once, there's something wrong with us. Kind of the "are we a human 'being' or a human 'doing' concept".

    I remember seeing part of Oprah's Farewell episode. Something she said really struck a chord with me: "You're worthy because you are born." We don't have to constantly do something or prove ourselves all the time. I'm working (or not working ;)) on that every day.

    I come from a very perfectionistic family, so I was raised with the constant pressure of having to please someone or do something all the time. It's been so innate in me for so long. It's a learning or "unlearning" process, plus my family still pressures me sometimes. Hopefully bringing this topic out in the open will help everyone too.

    Feel better and find something you enjoy doing, maybe reading or listening to music. :)

    Soft healing hugs to you,

  7. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    After I wrote the above post I realized I am my own worst critic - it's extremely hard to accept that I can't do anything that seems meaningful - e.g., I spent most of the week-end in front of the TV because I felt too lousy to do anything else. It feels like such a waste, so much of my life is spent just surviving but it doesn't feel like living. And that's when my internal critic goes to work and so on ...

    Anyways, thanks again for the post -