Nothing To Feel Guilty Of
Posted by cwmd1
9th Mar 2019

Do you ever feel guilty? I do. Do you ever feel guilty for having a mental illness? I do sometimes.

If I am being honest, I feel guilty one heck of a lot. In fact, I actually stopped the other day when feeling one of my guilty moments and thought just how many things do I feel guilty about? And when I stopped and really thought about it, for the first time I questioned, am I being too self critical and way to harsh here? What if me was a friend? Would I really be saying to my friend"yes its all your fault and you really should be feeling this guilty about it all". No, I wouldn't.

I seem to feel guilty about, well basically most aspects. I feel guilty for having a mental illness. That I am being a burden to others. Other things too - not being good enough, not making enough effort with whatever it is I am doing, or with others. Not being a good enough partner, friend, relative, worker, etc etc the list goes on.

I am beginning to think though that maybe guilt and self criticism in itself can be very addictive in a very negative way. Feeling guilt about something feeds into feeling guilty about something else and then the list goes on and on.

It was when I questioned just how much guilt I allow myself to take on, I finally was able to take that step back and realise I would not be telling a friend to feel this guilty so why have I allowed it to be ok to do that to myself? What I am trying to do now is instead of trying to overcome these feelings by trying to be better and continually failing, I now stop and embrace and acknowledge exactly how I am feeling. And ask myself do I really need to be this hard on me?

I have decided that for Lent this year I am not giving up anything (last year I tried to give up chocolate. I lasted less than a week and yes I did feel guilty!) but I am instead going to learn and explore how to deal with feelings of guilt and self criticism.

I don't have many answers yet, but one answer I most definitely have is that in no way, should a person feel guilty for having a mental illness. No one asks for a mental illness, and it should never, ever under any circumstances make anyone feel guilty.

To learn to stop feeling guilty will take time, but deciding to explore this has helped me feel, for the first time since I can remember anyway, that I do believe I am too self critical and I want to stop feeling guilty about being me.

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