Have you ever found yourself feeling guilty because you are sick so often with rheumatoid arthritis. You feel guilty because you can’t perform the task that you once could or even some of the smallest things that you once could. It is very disconcerting if you find that you can’t play with your children the way you would like or do some of things they want you to do and find you are wishing with all of your heart you could run outside, play ball or even walk in the park with them the way you once could or even the way you’ve never been able to.
This is the situation we face so much of the time with our families. We wish we could do all of these things but our disease dictate when and how much we can do in our lives. We still try to do things even through our pain but so often the pain takes over and we have to listen to our bodies, therefore we are limited to what we can do. With this, the guilt creeps in because we feel we are neglecting our love ones. Of course this is not intentional but never the less the guilt is there.
Do they understand, sometimes. I know this can be very stressful for us but for our families as well. They need us as well as we need them so it’s a balancing situation that is hard to keep level. Understanding is very important in our fight against rheumatoid arthritis but at some point we all face what is inevitable, the guilt and sometimes the lack of understanding and the pressure we put on ourselves to do more even though our bodies say no.
Why do we feel guilty? I believe because we feel our disease has taken so much from us and is still taking so much from us as well as our abilities to do what we want in life. It’s taking away some of the simplest task that we feel we should be able to do for our families and ourselves but can’t. Some of us are faced with the fact that instead of us taking care of our family, they are taking care of us, so this leads us to think we have become a burden. Though this is not true, our guilt leads us to think otherwise.
We have to remember we are all in this together (family, friends, doctors, co-workers). We also have to remember the key to making this journey successful is: 1. love 2. support 3. understanding and 4. medication. Working together it can be done and it will be done.
photo credit: luciano bustos/freeimages.com