“You should follow a routine!”
“You should follow an exercise plan!”
“You should volunteer!”
Those three sentences are to be stricken from the What to Say to Someone With Fibromyalgia Manual!
Those of us with a chronic illness feel enough guilt for not being able to carry out the simple chores we once did without thinking twice. Like grocery shopping, making dinner, even taking a shower. Now, to be bombarded with ‘should’ and ‘routines’ and ‘plans’… there are some days when I’m thrilled when I remember how to tie my shoes.
When you have a chronic illness you are already planning every minute of every good and bad day! We are trying to find forms of exercise that won’t send us to bed in pain and agony for two days after completing the exercise plan. We are trying to find activities, that we can accomplish on our good days, that make us feel worthwhile. The medications we take make us gain weight, without the medications, we would not be able to function. The medications we take, make it difficult for us to drive, without the medications, we would not be able to go anywhere at all. The medications we take can sometimes mess with our mental capabilities, with out those medications, we would not be able to concentrate or memorize anything at all.
Medications = guilt.
Depression = guilt.
Not being able to work = guilt.
Not being able to complete chores = guilt.
Not being able to attend events = guilt.
Not being able to commit to a volunteer schedule = guilt.
GUILT! The one emotion every single person with a chronic illness lives with every single day. Hello, my name is Guilt.
So, to wrap this up, we are trying! We are trying to find a routine, an exercise plan and accomplish something in our lives that make us feel like we are not just taking up space on this earth. We are plagued with guilt but we are working on that, after all, we didn’t ask for this chronic illness, it was given to us. We do what our doctors tell us to do, we are constantly researching to find better ways to handle our illness. We are finding new hobbies and exploring interests within our limitations. We take our medications and our homeopathic remedies… we are doing our job. Help us out by doing yours too! We need you, we need your support!