Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Strategies and alternatives for coping with fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder and other chronic illnesses

Posts Tagged ‘guilt’

My Chronic Illness Journey – The Trip I Never Expected (or WANTED) to Take

Posted by wendyburnett on June 1, 2010

Chronic illness is a life-changing experience for everyone, and each person’s journey is very different; but there are experiences we all recognize as well. How many of us have lost jobs, friends, spouses, homes, and family members to our disease? No matter what illness we have, we share so much that we can connect on a level that many will never understand unless the journey comes to them. We share symptoms, and losses, and lessons; and we share the understanding that our lives will never be the same because the illness, the journey, has changed us in ways that can never be undone. Even if we were to wake up tomorrow and be healthy again, even if by some miracle we were cured; the experience has changed us in fundamental ways, and the lessons it has taught us can never be unlearned.

My journey began many years ago, and it has changed my life so much that when I look back I barely recognize the woman I was. I was married, and miserable, and convinced that I was too stupid to ever be able to take care of myself without a man to tell me what I thought, what I wanted, and what I felt. I was depressed and suicidal, dissociative, and having flashbacks that I thought were delusions or hallucinations. I was terrified that I was losing my mind, and more terrified to tell anyone what was happening for fear that I really WAS “going crazy.”

I can pinpoint the exact moment that my journey through illness began, too. Not with a time or a date, but with an event; an event so ordinary, so innocuous, that I could never have suspected the effect it would have on my life. Continue reading My Chronic Illness Journey – The Trip I Never Expected (or WANTED) to Take


Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Pain | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

How are You? How Do You Answer the Hardest Question Ever When You Live with Chronic Illness?

Posted by wendyburnett on May 20, 2010

I think we all hate that question when it’s asked by “normals.” Unless it’s someone you know well, you never know whether to tell the truth (I feel like shit, thanks for asking.) or lie (Fine, how are you?)
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Pain | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

You’ll Be Sooooorrrrrryyyyyyyy . . .

Posted by wendyburnett on April 1, 2010

That’s what my body is telling me at the moment. It’s telling me that I’m going to pay, and pay big, for what I’ve done today. Those of you with chronic illnesses will understand; the rest will think something to the effect of, “hell, I do more than that in a few hours and never have an issue, you must just be weak.”

I finally had a good day, so I ran the vacuum cleaner, did some sweeping and cobweb removal, washed dishes, and did a couple of loads of laundry. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Invisible Illness, Pain | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

Blaming the “Victim” of Chronic Illness

Posted by wendyburnett on February 7, 2010

I was reading a post about blaming the victims of rape on Virginia Woods’ blog yesterday, and it made me think. “Victims” of chronic illnesses frequently get blamed for their illness as well, especially if they have something that isn’t very well understood by the medical community, like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Victim blaming isn’t as common within the medical community when it comes to mental health issues like PTSD, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, but out in the “real world;” family, friends, and acquaintances frequently blame the mentally ill for their symptoms. (Have you ever been told to “just stop thinking about it and it will go away” or “you didn’t have a problem until you started seeing a therapist?” How about, “you don’t have anything to be stressed (or depressed) about,” or “I’m tired (or in pain) too, and it doesn’t stop ME from doing what I need to do.” I have, and I expect that I will again.)

Healthy people seem to have the idea that those of us with chronic invisible illnesses can control or eliminate our symptoms with willpower. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness, Opinion, Stress | Tagged: , , , , , , | 28 Comments »


Posted by wendyburnett on January 28, 2010

Flaring is a bitch. Not sometimes, but always. With fibromyalgia, being tired is a fact of life, no matter what you do; but during a flare it’s ten times worse. If you have fibro, you know exactly what I mean, but if you don’t, there’s no way you could possibly imagine what it feels like. The exhaustion is like trying to move through molasses up to your neck, and no matter how much you sleep, you never feel like you’ve slept at all. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Guilt and Chronic Illness

Posted by wendyburnett on January 16, 2010

“Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.” – Erma Bombeck

I feel guilty all the time – guilty that I’m not able to do all the things I used to, guilty that I can’t work more, guilty that I had to quit the good job that provided the majority of our support, guilty that we lost the house and the car and most of our belongings as a result, guilty that my husband has to continue working at a job he hates so that we can barely scrape by . . . It makes no sense, because I didn’t decide to get sick, but I even feel guilty for HAVING a chronic illness in the first place.

My husband also feels a lot of guilt – he feels guilty that he “can’t take better care of me.” (His words, not mine.) That covers a lot of ground for him. He feels guilty when I come home from work in pain because he thinks that if he made more money I wouldn’t have to work. He feels guilty about losing his job when I got too sick to work, and not being able to find another one for so long, because he thinks that if he’d been working maybe we wouldn’t have lost so much. He never complains about all the things I can’t do, and he never mentions it when my inability to do something irritates him or makes him angry, but he feels guilty about having those feelings anyway. He doesn’t understand that “knowing” I was sick when we got together didn’t equal “understanding” what it would be like for him when I had a flare, or how it would affect him emotionally.

Guilt is a HUGE issue for anyone with a chronic illness, but we rarely realize that it is just as much an issue for those who love and support us. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Illness, Fibro, Fibromyalgia, Health, Invisible Illness | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »