Since I’ve been battling daily Hemiplegic Migraine, I’ve had overwhelming feelings of guilt about loads of things. Guilt about not doing things, letting people down, not living up to expectations, not being able to join in with events, having to cancel plans at the last minute, not being able to be depended on, not being a good wife, parent, daughter, sister or friend. The list goes on and on.
Sometimes the guilt feels like a storm cloud that envelopes me in its clutches. Breaking free just seems like an impossibility because I don’t know how to be the new me.
Before the Guilt
Before my health declined, I was outgoing, sang on the Praise team and was very active at church, went to every ballgame that the grands played, enjoyed watching football and NASCAR, liked working in my flower beds, absolutely loved shopping with my husband…the list could go on forever. Plain and simple…I was living a good, full life!
Skip ahead two years and you will find that I am isolated and socially uncomfortable, I am no longer physically able to sing on the Praise team and I miss more services than I attend. I have missed every game this season, I am not able to watch anything much on TV because of the flashes of the moving lights. It is impossible to work in my flower beds because I don’t have the energy and I can’t handle getting hot. And I no longer shop because it takes way too much energy.
It seems like everything that made me who I was has been stripped away. I am not sure how to be this new person…the person left in the wake of the sickness, weakness and pain. How do you stop feeling guilty when you can no longer be what you used to be?
What Feeling Guilt Means
I realize that what I am saying makes me sound depressed but I really am not…not at all. I am just trying to figure out how to be this “new” me. It is sort of like breaking in a new pair of shoes. When you start wearing them, they hurt a little. As the day go on they hurt a little more until you have a blister. Eventually, the shoes will stretch out just right and you are comfortable again. But for right now it feels like I am still in the “breaking in” phase.
I hate to admit it but there are days when I could probably do more than I do but I am terrified of the blisters. What would doing more mean for my health? It scares me…then I feel guilty for being scared and guilty for not doing more.
How Do You Handle the Guilt?
How do you handle the guilt that comes with the limitations created by your chronic illness? What things have you done to make life seem ok again?
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