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Coping With the Guilt of Chronic Illness

Updated: May 30, 2022

The physical effects of living with a chronic illness are incredibly hard, but even harder are the mental and emotional effects.


One of the most common feelings that spoonies experience is.. guilt.


Why all this guilt?


When, all of a sudden, we can't do the things that we used to be able to do because we need more help and support, we feel like we are less.


There are many layers to guilt. Here are just two of them:


1. Feeling guilty because you cancel on someone.


I’ve canceled plans more times than I like to recall. The feeling of guilt always promptly snuck in, and the unhelpful voices started.


What helps is reminding myself that if I don’t take care of myself, I will have to miss even more such events.


In the past, when I did decide to push through a flare-up and go out regardless, my body punished me. I was miserable, and it was obvious to those around me as well.


2. Feeling guilty because you're not cooking or cleaning, etc.


When I was unwell, I had to depend on my husband for the house chores.


When we were apart, I would just do as little as possible.


We've experimented with having someone come to clean once, and the cleaning lady commented on how the woman of the house should be doing this. It hurt a lot.


What helps is having clear lines of communication with the person assisting you. Perhaps you could do loading and unloading of the dishwasher or something else.


Work as a team. Don't be afraid to ask for help and find a way to share responsibilities based on how much you can handle. You are still as lovable and worthy as ever.



In the picture above, my dad came to visit me after I moved abroad. It was one of those days when I couldn't keep any food in, and I was in pain. I felt so guilty that I couldn't really do any activities or tours. We stayed close to the main train station since there was a bathroom there.



Health coaches can also help with managing this. For more support, book a Strategy Call today.


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