Why I Feel Guilty for Just 'Being Me' With Chronic Pain

Something that often comes along with living with chronic pain is guilt.

I am always trying to stay positive, trying to do what I can with a smile on my face. I still occasionally get a bit down in the dumps. I will not call it depression, because depression is a lot more serious. Depression is completely different. I get a bit down, just like everyone, but I can also pick myself back up.

However, I do often struggle with bouts of guilt. I will add now that nobody makes me feel guilty except myself. But those bouts of guilt are more difficult to deal with.

I had to take early retirement when I was 28, two years after getting married. My pain has always ruled both our lives. But it gradually became worse over the years. Now I do less, my husband does more and I do feel guilty.

I used to be able to push myself more, but now I just don’t have the energy. I also don’t think I am physically capable of pushing myself anyway. I put my feet out of my bed in the mornings (at some late hour normally), and feel as though my feet won’t hold up my body. I struggle with everything. Life is hard. Just living is difficult some days. And yes, I feel guilty that I can’t do what I wish I could.

But it isn’t just that.

 It’s other things…like not phoning someone, not getting around to answering someone’s email or Facebook message. Not reading blogs or Facebook posts that I would normally read. Or getting tired mid-conversation and losing track. Forgetting things. Getting things wrong. Just generally not being able to keep up.

I used to do things. I baked. I painted. Made cards. Made jewelry. I wrote. I even ironed occasionally. Now, it feels like I have become a zombie. I get up, I eat, I sleep. Maybe take a turn or two on a scrabble game, but that’s about the height of it.

Sometimes I hate being me. Being me is tiring. And I feel guilty for being me.

I actually feel guilty for being me!

I could spend my life wishing things were different, but they’re not, and they’re not likely to become different.

Living with constant pain uses a lot of energy. And guilt is what I classify as negative energy. We, chronic pain sufferers, can’t allow energy to be wasted on something like guilt. We need every single ounce of it just to get through the day.

So, it’s time to get rid of the guilt.

Might be easier said than done though.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Pain

Woman looking out window at sunset

8 Strategies That Help Me Accept My Bad Days With Chronic Pain

When I categorize my daily life with chronic pain, I split days into three categories: good days, regular days and bad days. Good days are when my pain is manageable. Good days mean that the little tasks of the day don’t cause intense pain. I get out of bed without a groan, the stairs in [...]
White pencil illustration of woman sitting on the stool looking in the distance

What It's Like Being Judged for Your Invisible Chronic Pain

I was recently asked a question: if there had been a time in my life where I had been judged because of my invisible illness: chronic pain. This question was not difficult for me to answer, not because I could not think of a time when I was judged for chronic pain, but because there have [...]
woman on road looking at the sun

How Looking Young Can Be a Disadvantage When You Live With Chronic Pain

I recently turned 40, but thanks to genetics and a little bit of hair color, I don’t look it. But when you live with any type of chronic pain condition, being young or looking young can have its disadvantages. With my chronic back pain conditions and fibromyalgia, I most certainly don’t feel “young.” Medical providers often tell me I’m “way [...]
Homegrown indoor pot plants and leaves

How Marijuana Has Helped Me Live With the Pain of My Rare Disease

I am a 23-year-old, full-time student and life enthusiast. I take about 23 tablets to get through all my daily routines. I also receive chemotherapy every four weeks and every three months I require an intravenous immunoglobulin infusion, called Polygam, to keep my muscles functioning and keep me breathing. I have survived open heart surgery [...]