Wednesday, April 18, 2012


guilt (noun)
1. the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime,violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law;culpability: He admitted his guilt.
a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense,crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.

Conduct involving the commission of such crimes, wrongs, etc.: to live a life of guilt.

 Though the definition states for having committed an offense, remorse etc...through no fault of my own, I have RA. This should not be a crime, wrong, or offense. However, it feels this way.  Lately I have noticed I feel guilty all the time – guilty that I’m not able to do all the things I used to, guilty that I can’t work more, guilty that I cannot run, dance, hike, and play with my kids as I used too, guilty that having RAD has made my family sad, stressed and worried.  It makes no sense, because I didn’t decide to get sick, I am doing what I can to feel better, I am trying my hardest but I even feel guilty for having a chronic illness in the first place and causing others more stress. Guilt. I think the definition needs redefined. 
My husband also feels a lot of guilt though he does not show it all the time.  He feels guilty that he can't take better care of me. He feels guilty when I come home from work in pain because he thinks that if he made more money I wouldn’t have to work. He lashes out on me due to the extra pressure and stress my chronic illness puts on the family. End result is I lash out on him, our marriage is strained due to many things but my disease is the major one. 
My parents feel guilty, even though this is not a disease that they did something to give me. They get depressed when they cannot fix it. They struggle to speak to me about what impact it is having on my life. They feel guilty they cannot help. I feel guilty because I am not striving. I am not living up to what they feel I should be. I feel like I have failed my family. It’s a horrible feeling, knowing that MY chronic illness is making so many people feel like crap. Because it is uncomfortable to talk about, they avoid it. So then I feel more guilt taking the blame onto myself and how it is affecting me. The stress just keeps coming.  Guilt. 
The stress makes me feel worse and makes me dwell on things. I feel guilty because I am always so exhausted and cannot get anyone to understand that even if I get 8 hours of sleep, I am still exhausted. I feel guilty that even the smallest household chores leave me feeling so exhausted my symptoms get worse. 
I know the guilt is not healthy, yet I cannot stop it. I have no control over how others are feeling, so I try to make it all seem OK. I have no control over my illness and am doing what I can to feel better. Shoot, I even am eating gluten free. 
 Guilt makes me suffer more,  something that isn’t my fault, and frequently leads to self-hatred and feeling like a failure. I am not sure how to overcome the guilt. I am trying. If you have advice I will take it!  Day by Day I learn more. In learning I hope I can overcome it all. 

1 comment:

  1. Hello there. I know how you feel. I suffer from RA as well, first diagnosed when my oldest son was born. I have 3 young boys and weekends are the hardest on me physically since I have to attempt to keep up with their energy levels! My feet are screaming at me after an active day playing outside with them. I feel guilty that there are a lot of things I can't do. I got depressed for while there before baby #3 came along.

    I decided finally, I am not like other Supermoms I would compare myself to. Trying to keep up with the standard of what kind of mom I should be was exhausting and stressful. I started letting go of expectations. I hired a cleaning service to help with housework, I ask my oldest son and my Superhubby for help, I sit and rest any time my feet can't take it (and ignore that housework looming over my head), I find quiet sitting activities to enjoy with my kids (building Legos, painting and play doh) when my feet need a break. Most of all I started my own blog where I focus on the small victories I accomplish in my day. I am in the process of moving it from blogger ( to my own domain ( But just writing about the positive things I accomplish certainly helps me focus on the bright side..whether its finishing a good book I read, reading a useful RA story or making a meal my family enjoyed, I write about it.

    I know it's hard not to feel guilty but you need to try. Stress makes me flare worse than usual. In one stress management class I took, the instructor said you shouldn't stress over the things you can't control. I think that's true. You can't control that you have RA and you can't control how others feel. What you can do is control how you feel and dont let RA get the best of you! Those kids and your loving family is what's important. Just do what you can do cause your family doesn't want to see you overdo it and then suffer pain later. Best of luck to you!! Sorry for the really long comment!