What to Remember When Chronic Illness Makes You Feel Like a Burden

We’ve all felt like a burden at some time or another, but of course we may not want to admit it. Admit how hard it is to have to depend on someone for everything. It’s hard to have to ask for money or ask for a ride to yet another doctor appointment or physical therapy visit. But we do what we have to do.

The people who really love us will never tell us we are a burden, but we may still feel like it. I feel every deep sigh when I forget to tell them something important, the eye roll they do when I have wasted four hours of my time at a specialist appointment only to be disappointed once again. The tension you can cut with a knife when the person you depend on has to change their plans to help you once more with something you need to do. It sucks!


And most times I feel like I can’t tell them how much it hurts to have to depend on them or to be a burden on them. A lot of times I know I’ve felt pressure (if I’m honest, that I put on myself) to always be positive no matter how I’m feeling. On my worst days I put on a smile. On my very emotional days I withdraw to try and hide from everyone I’m hurting, hide that I feel like I’m a huge weight on their shoulders. That I do not want to let them see me cry again today. That I don’t want to put one more burden on them.

What I’ve learned is it’s OK to be sad and cry and even laugh at yourself and how hard it is for you. The people who really love you are going to be there regardless. Regardless of how much you bug them or get on their nerves. And yes, our questions and appointments and even our bad days may aggravate them, but they are human. Even though for us they do superhero things. I don’t believe we are a burden on them or anyone. Or that they think we are a burden – they have bad days, too.

Nothing is wrong with them being annoyed or us needing attention. We just have to give our caregivers a break and some time to not be our caregivers but our loved ones, our boyfriends/girlfriends, our parents. That separation makes it easier for everyone and makes those hard days a little easier to manage.

Don’t think so much about the “B”-word because honestly, there’s not much you can do about your health situation or the fact that you need a little more attention. You also can’t change the fact that people love you and will help you, even when you don’t want it. Think about the fact that even in pain, you get to spend invaluable time with the ones you love.

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Thinkstock photo via Eyecandy Images.

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