Why Having a Chronic Illness Makes Me Feel Like a Terrible Person

Chronic illness?

I’ll begin with explaining what this term means because I don’t know about you but the first time I heard someone say it, it sounded scary! A chronic condition/illness is a health condition or disease that is persistent, basically something that is long-lasting, usually longer than 3 months.

For those who don’t know, I have Fibromyalgia, I was diagnosed about 2 years ago although people believe I’ve had it for years. As a child I was always palmed off with growing pains, I then later got diagnosed with ME/CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) and I had MANY a scan and tests now here we are. Fibromyalgia also known as FMS is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body along with increased sensitivity, fatigue, problems with mental processes, headaches among many other wonderful things.

Beside my symptoms which if you googled they’d come up one that won’t appear but the main thing I feel is guilt! And here are a few reasons why…

Feeling bad/comparing yourself

Everyone has something going on in their life, sometimes it’s visible sometimes it’s not and I always feel bad talking about Fibromyalgia or writing about it because I know people are going through far worse and this definitely is not a pity party. So, why are you writing about it now Rebekah? I think although it makes me feel bad I feel it is important for people to talk. I know I don’t have it bad at all, but it’s important to remember everyone struggles in life are their own and sometimes it’s just nice to know there’s someone out there in the same boat as you, whatever boat that might be.

Being the let down

I am that person, the let-down, the ‘I can’t make it’ ‘Can we do it another time?’ and I HATE being that person! There’s only so many times you can say ‘I don’t feel well’ until people just don’t believe you anymore. Nowadays I try not to make plans which in turn quite often makes it look like I’m not bothered about stuff, but I am! I just hate feeling like the let-down.

Being a complainer 

It’ll probably come as a massive surprise to many that I don’t enjoy moaning or complaining about what’s wrong with me, but the problem is of having Fibro is none of it is visible, sometimes I can feel so sick, or have the most random pains and I look completely fine and If I didn’t moan or complain nobody would be none the wiser and it’s not always possible to keep going.

Being accused of being lazy

I spend a fair bit of time “resting” which means I spend a fair bit of time on social media scrolling through looking at people I wish I was, which lately is the fitness gods of Instagram, I want to be able to squat more than my weight and have the perfect booty, I want to go for a run when I’m feeling anxious or stressed instead I’m sat here with everyone thinking I’m just a massive ball of lazy.

With all that said, although I’m not doing the best at the not feeling guilty thing currently I think it is important for those who do suffer from a chronic illness to not feel guilty, your health and well-being is what is most important and as the old saying goes…

– Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter!

I’d love to hear from you, does anyone else who’s chronically ill feel guilty? And if so do you have any tips to ease the guilt?

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8 Comments

  1. Emma
    08/02/2019 / 17:59

    I used to feel guilty about all the things you discuss – especially having to rearrange or cancel plans with friends. I’ve got to the point now where I’m past caring too much what people think! That sounds harsh but I learned quickly that you have to develop a thick skin to being ignored, not being invited, being given the silent treatment, huffs…

    I decided that those people who genuinely understood my condition, who reacted with understanding and compassion instead of disappointment and resentment to changed plans were my real friends. One of the few positives of Fibromyalgia is you learn who your true friends are.

    Don’t waste time feeling guilty – it drains your already depleted energy and becomes a vicious cycle.

    Emma

    • Rebekah
      Author
      11/02/2019 / 00:43

      That is so true, you really do! and that is a very good point, thank you so much for your comment 🙂 x

  2. 09/02/2019 / 07:21

    I totally get all of this. I was diagnosed with arthritis about 2 years ago (it was Feb 2017 so my anniversary must be coming up!!) at the age of 19 and since then the pain has gotten so bad and it sucks.

    I especially feel the same about moaning. I hate ever mentioning it an will desperately try not to. If I’m at work and my manager wants me to haul a heavy box upstairs, I’ll do it through pain just to avoid being the one who looks like I’m not pulling my weight. I’m not sure I’m one to advise you about how to not feel guilt, but I guess the step towards it is understanding that you DO have a set back when compared to most others, and it can be easy to almost convince yourself you’re making it up? Or it’s not as bad as you think it is because so many others have it worse, but those people aren’t you and what you feel is so valid.

    I truly hope things do improve for you pain-wise and you learn to accept the fact that you can’t do everything, and taking time for yourself is sooo important, not lazy. God knows we need it sometimes!!! Great post xxx

  3. 11/02/2019 / 19:02

    This comes from the heart! Try not to dwell feeling guilty – I am sure everyone around you understands. Looking forward to reading more of your blogs 🙂 x

    http://www.thediaryofrebecca.com

    • Rebekah
      Author
      20/02/2019 / 13:14

      Really sorry for the slow reply, aw thank you so much! – means a lot! 🙂 x

  4. 12/02/2019 / 03:34

    I completely understand where you’re coming from. My husband has CFS and we’ve had to deal with a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance. But he’s a great person and so are you!

  5. 19/02/2019 / 18:36

    I absolutely love this, and it’s so important to talk about it. I often feel the exact same way and it’s so difficult trying to explain it to others. Thanks for sharing.

    Coralle x

  6. 19/02/2019 / 18:47

    I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. I think you should tell your friends how your illness affects you so they won’t think you’re lieing when you say you are sick. Maybe you could have more get togethers at your place. Maybe movie nights so you can rest and see your friends. The ones who don’t support you aren’t really good to have in your life anyway.

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