Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Coping with the guilt of hidden disability

I was recently asked how I fight the guilt that comes with disability and medical conditions. The guilt from not doing tasks you feel you 'should' have, for not being able to help out or socialise with friends and family in the same way that others can. For not being able to work as much etc.

I think perhaps over time I have learnt not to fight it.

It's more that I let it fade away. I can't control how I feel - but I can control what I do with the feeling.

I recognise that yes, I feel that way sometimes. But I also don't have to believe it, or act as if it were true. And over time, although guilt still floats through my brain sometimes, it does so less and less. And affects me less and less.

You see, if I can't do something without unacceptable side-effects, then I shouldn't be doing it.

And once I've made that decision, instead of looking at what I can't do, I look at what I can do. I can't help set the tables for a party - but I can fold the napkins. I can't run around with the nephews, but I can play monopoly.

I also measure my achievements by what I found hard but managed anyway. Putting something that is challenging for me, today, on my 'To Do' list each day. Not challenging for someone else, not challenging for me on a good day, but challenging for me. Today.

 Having a schedule also helps because then I feel I have more of a purpose to my day, and it makes pacing easier too. Then instead of feeling guilty about what I can't or haven't done, I can see what I have done and celebrate it.

A win-win situation!

No guilt needed.

1 comment:

  1. I've taught my niece creative journalling, sticking things in, writing poetry, creating hidden flaps in her journal etc. I can't run about any more, but I can bring my ukulele completely with print outs of the lyrics for xmas carols. We still have fun

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