Working through guilt is a great topic to discuss I believe for a chronic illness sufferer. I have always wanted to make others happy . . . I don’t like to use the term “people pleaser”, but I mean your family and friends you want to make them feel special, important and top priority with you. I also like to be a person that keeps her word at all times. If I tell you, I am going to do something I want to do it/follow through no matter what. Well, dealing with an autoimmune disease and chronic pain will put a damper on this area of your life unfortunately too. So, this is something I am learning to do is try my best not to feel guilty. I don’t want to think I have disappointed or let someone down, but to have those feelings of guilt can take a toll on you and seriously could in itself trigger a Lupus flare-up.
My advice to a sufferer would be this:
Do the best you can do each and every day, pencil in activities and events and do your best to follow through/attend and worst case if you have to cancel then so be it. Always remember you have to take care of YOU before you can take care of anything or anyone else. The hardest part for me has been putting me and my health needs above other things . . . . . At first, it will feel selfish to a person that never does this, but then you will quickly realize that it is essential to your health and to maintain somewhat control over this disease.
My advice to a family member or friend of a sufferer:
Please educate yourself on the disease that they have whatever it might be, don’t judge, have patience and understanding. To be made to feel guilty about canceling or taking a break is not the right approach, trust me NO ONE is EVER more upset/disappointed with the situation than the sufferer, so my advice would be - do not add to that guilt they are already battling daily within.
God Bless You All and Thanks For Taking The Time To Read,
* A very honest and transparent perspective on life from Teresa White (Wife/Mother/ Keller Williams Realtor since 2006/Sweet South Organics Company Owner/Autoimmune Disease Warrior).