What is it about having an autoimmune disease and having excessive feelings of guilt?
Really, think about it for a second. For some reason, when a person is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease they often express feelings of guilt along with all of their physical symptoms.
It is incredibly strange and sad that having an invisible illness not only fools our peers, but sometimes it fools us too.
Some days we wake up,
look in the mirror,
see what looks like a ‘healthy person,’
and then feel like we need to justify our symptoms to ourselves.
We wonder if we really did make up all of our pain.
This is especially difficult on our good days. On a good day it is hard to believe that the bad days exist. It is hard to think about the pain. We want to feel ‘normal’ so badly, but we are not even sure what ‘normal’ is.
On the bad days, we feel guilty for not looking as sick as we feel.
On the good days, we feel guilty for not feeling as sick as we’ve told people that we are.
It is time to stop these destructive thought processes. No one asked for their autoimmune disease. No one volunteered to be stuck in a confusing, invisible, painful illness.
The truth is, autoimmune diseases are unfair, and do not make sense. We don’t know enough about autoimmune diseases to explain what causes them (although there are compelling arguments involving leaky gut) so it is time to accept where we are with our autoimmune diseases, and stop trying to own every aspect of them.
When you feel good, celebrate it!
When you feel bad, stop feeling like you need to validate your pain. You don’t feel like you need to prove to yourself that you are sick when you get the flu, and this is no different. Trust yourself.
Do you ever struggle with feelings of guilt brought on by your autoimmune disease? How do you cope with your situation? How have you found self acceptance and let go of your unnecessary guilt?