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Why Do I Feel So Guilty for Feeling Sick?

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It’s not like I expect anyone to understand exactly how I feel, but I do expect people to try.

I’m sorry that I feel tired and weak all the time. If I had a choice, I would have tons of energy and I would love to hang out with friends and family all day long. I wish I could be the friend you deserve, but I just can’t be that right now. My health is completely out of my control at the moment, so please don’t make me feel guilty for feeling this way.

I don’t exactly enjoy telling people how I’m feeling because it sounds like complaining. If I am taking the time to tell you, it’s probably because the pain is pretty severe that day. Don’t make me bottle up my feelings inside. It isn’t healthy. The more people get annoyed when I express how I’m doing that day, the more I am going to keep things to myself.

It isn’t my choice to feel this way. I’m doing my best to act as normal as possible. So why do I feel so guilty for being sick?

I think it’s mostly because I can’t meet the high expectations that people have of me. You may not think your expectations are high, but try looking at it from my perspective. Don’t expect me to go shopping with you and not be tired by the time we walk into the third store. Don’t expect me to go to class, and not want to go home and take a nap afterwards. The smallest things drain the life out me. I feel exhausted 90 percent of the day. My immune system is fighting against itself right now. I know that is hard for you to understand, but please do your best to try.

It’s exhausting to pretend to be “normal” and try to fit in so that you can make the people around you feel like everything is OK. Sometimes I want to know that it’s fine not to be “OK.” I want to tell people not to ask me how I feel because I don’t want to say “I’m fine” when I’m not. It’s not right for me to feel guilty about being sick. This is my body and I’m the one who has to deal with this day in and day out. It’s time for me to stick up for myself and accept that it is OK to not be OK. You should accept that, too.

Originally published: August 8, 2016
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