The other day I had to work and come home, sit it front of my computer and try to write a blog post. But the longer I stared at my computer, the more my mind went blank. I’m not talking about the words wouldn’t come to me, I’m talking about so blank there was nothing, remotely, happening in my brain. My youngest, E came into my room and asked me what I was doing. I told him that I was trying to write for my blog, but nothing was coming to mind and I couldn’t write a single word. E looked at me and said “mom, just take the night off”. I was shocked like I had been slapped or something. Take a night off? How dare I do something like that? I write every day and I couldn’t imagine taking one night off. Why was that?
The moment that it entered into my head that it was ok to take a night off, I immediately felt guilty. Was it because that I didn’t want to let anyone down? Or was it more because I was afraid of letting myself down? I believe that it was a mixture of both. I want to believe that I help others by writing about my life, but I’m also helping myself by writing about my feelings and how it is to live with chronic pain and illnesses. Isn’t hat why I started all this to beginning with? Lord knows it’s not to make any money but this need I have inside to help people. So the thought of taking a night off, made me feel so guilty but I wanted to try it. And it made me feel uneasy all night, like I forgot to do something important.
Living with Guilt
Living with guilt is one of the hardest emotions to live with. but we all feel guilty one time or another. Whether it was that little white lie you told or something bigger. Guilt has a way of holding on to you and make you relive that emotion over and over. Here are a few steps to help you live with guilt and not let it destroy you.
- Understand your guilt. Is it productive guilt or guilt that can tear you into pieces? If its productive guilt, this can help you grow as a person and become a better person. For example, if you said something offensive to a close friend over which you feel guilty because it upset them, you will learn not to say those types of things or else you risk losing friends. In other words, you will learn from your mistake. In this sense, then, the guilt has worked productively to positively reshape your behavior.
- Understand that sometimes we feel guilt for events out of our control. It is important to recognize that sometimes we feel guilty for things over which we had no control, such as a car crash or not arriving in time to say goodbye to a loved one before he passed.Sometimes people involved in such traumatic events overestimate their knowledge of the event and what they could have done. In other words, these individuals think they could or should have done something but, in reality, could not have.
- Clarify exactly what it is you feel guilt about. Think about what is causing these guilty feelings. Again, consider writing everything down to begin the process of working through the feeling of guilt.
- Accept guilt. You will have to accept that you cannot change the past or what has happened. Acceptance also involves acknowledging difficulty and recognizing that you are able to withstand painful feelings in the present moment. This is the first stage in dealing appropriately with your guilt and moving forward. It is helpful to tell yourself affirming statements that emphasize acceptance and tolerance.
Knowing what your body needs
Now that we know how to live with the guilt, the next step is listening to your body. Those of us with chronic pain and illness need to do that but so does those who doesn’t live daily with chronic ailments. Our body is an amazing book and when it is trying to tell us something we need to just listen. Easier said than done. Normally when we are feeling out of sorts, it’s because of a reason. Learn to stop and listen so that you can adjust accordingly. Then act how you think is best for your body. Sometimes this is taking a day off.
Do not overwork yourself
In this day of living, money is everything to most people. That being said, its very easy to become overworked and your body suffering from it. Our bodies can only go at one speed and that our speed not the speed of the world. Some ca go a lot faster than those of us living with chronic pain and illness. Stop measuring yourself to the person next to you and realized that your life is yours. Your body is yours, and you can only go as fast as you can.
Taking that time to yourself and sticking to your own speed is what life is all about. You know what you can do in a day and sometimes that isn’t a lot. Dont feel that guilty because you need some time to yourself. You can’t be expected to go 100 mph all the time and not crashing a little. You will want to take care of yourself so that when you do crash, it’s not a big one.
Leave me a comment below on what you do when you need to “crash”.