The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
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Feelings of guilt How do you deal with them?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Arise, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Arise


    I often get these feelings like when I turn down work (I work casually so I can pick shifts to work or I sometimes get offered them). Often when I am feeling worse than usual, I'll will get into two minds on whether to work or not, a number of thoughts will start rushing into my mind, on the one side the thoughts would be "If I go I will feel good and rewarded and at least I can relax properly afterwards"or "I felt like this before and went to work without anything bad happening"

    On the other hand will be "You're lazy and this is just an excuse not to go to work". And these thoughts can bring feelings of self loathing and guilt.

    I try rationalize these away, as I know of I push myself too much then I might get worse, which could make me feel more guilty as I already knew what could potentially happen.

    Does anyone else get these thoughts or feelings whether relating to work or anything else?

    I sometimes wonder if I have accepted my limitations because if I have then shouldn't these thoughts/feelings not be bother me.

    The other thing is that you shouldn't live life in fear of crashing/PEM all the time but sometimes it is difficult to really know when you are pushing too far and when you could be doing something.
  2. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    There's so much uncertainty, and so many conflicting claims around CFS, that it's easy to slip into feeling that you are being bad whatever you do. This isn't a great way to think about life!

    It is also hard when one's health can fluctuate a lot, and can be unpredictable. Personally, I think it's best to just relax and do what one feels like. Some-time's you'll end up doing less than is optimal, and sometimes more. That's just life. Just because your health problems makes these mistakes more of a problem for you doesn't mean that you're going to be any better at avoiding them than anyone else, and I don't think that over-rationalising things, or coming up with restricting rules to follow, is the right way to respond to this. I think that you should try to be kinder to yourself about things, and accept that being in a difficult situation means that you should try to be extra nice to yourself rather than extra firm and controlling.

    All this is made extra difficult when living in a society which often treats people poorly, and where financial problems mean that people often have little control over how they spend their time, so I'm not pretending that there's an easy solution!

    Best of luck with everything. Be nice.
    anna8, Arise, taniaaust1 and 2 others like this.
  3. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

    Washington , DC area
    I can completely relate. I get those feelings of guilt about not being employed, about how I should be a better (more active) parent, about asking my husband to take on more household responsibilities when I'm not feeling well, even though he is the sole wage earner in the family right now. Sometimes these feelings spur me on to do more than I should and I crash. Less frequently, but sometimes, they help me realize I can do more than I thought and I feel good about that. Probably I shouldn't dwell on unproductive emotions like guilt and instead try to live in the moment, but I've never been very good at that. I worry that my excess of caution is rubbing off on my daughter and making her timid, but that also may just be her nature.
    Valentijn and Arise like this.
  4. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    From your post, I get the impression that you are very unsure of really where your limits are. When one really knows that, its harder to feel guilty as one knows what one needs to be doing to stay healthier some. I wonder if if you journalled your activities and learnt more on how much activity you can do before it creates poor effects, whether that would help you understand this more.

    If it truely would make you feel good and be feeling good afterwards too, you maybe should be going.

    Being underactive more then one needs to be probably is near as just as harmful as the opposite. Hence working out good balance for yourself and where your limits lay is very important. (I think this is the very reason why GET does help "a few" esp those who havent been ill long term and may not be well aware of where their limits are. I could understand if someone has developed a fear of crashing while not knowing their limits, maybe they could be going the other way then most of us do and underdoing things due to fear).

    Maybe it is that. I think you do need to be asking yourself "why the guilt?" Is it cause you are in fact underdoing things out of a fear and hence some part of yourself is feeling guilty cause deep down somewhere you do know that or is it cause you havent accepted your illness or for another reason?

    No one should be living in fear of that all the time and you wont have to once you work out where your limits really lay with things. Just remember you should never work to your limit but there should be a small safety gap there to allow for rhe unexpected life things to happen without you going over as well. Learn where your limit is in which you start getting issues and then work just below it. IF you KNOW you are doing this, it should ease that guilt.
    Arise likes this.
  5. Arise



    Yeah I think the unpredictability is the biggest problem in knowing what to do. I do find that it is best to relax if I do go ahead with something. Like today I didn't go to work then got a call for a little social event that I could have avoided if I went to work, I didn't have the courage to say no, so I went along but I tried to stay relaxed as possible which certainly helped. I found that ironic it was funny and annoying at the same time, maybe something is trying to teach me something.

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