The Guilt Of Chronic Pain
Most of us never dreamed of being here, our idea of raising a family didn’t include daily chronic pain. Let alone holding onto the guilt of chronic pain. We wanted our children to have the best lives possible and now they have to accept they have a parent in pain that some day’s struggles just to get out of bed.
None of us asked for this and remembering the old us, before the chronic pain, is something that taunts us.
I miss going on field trips, going shopping with my daughters, having a free day to just hop in the car and find something to do. Now, I can’t even make plans because I have no clue if I’m going to be hurting and driving most days is out of the question. I was the type of mom that was very busy, always moving and doing something before my CRPS diagnosis and now I just sit. The hard part is my mind still thinks or feels I should still be doing those things and my body rejects every idea. Because just a simple trip to the grocery store sets me indescribable pain, but I’m stubborn and sometimes do it anyway…why? Because I get mad at myself if I don’t. Have you ever felt that way?
I guess I don’t want to show I have a weakness. The conflicting part is, I know having a chronic pain condition/disease is far from a weakness. I know you have to fight every minute of every day. Fighting this illness has been the hardest task of my life. So why am I allowing myself to be mad? I guess it’s just because of the guilt I feel. Seeing the tiredness in my husbands eyes after working a very long day (week, month, year) as he comes home and cares for our kids and myself, seeing the disappointment when my children ask if we could do something and having to say no because I’m in too much pain, knowing my best friends child’s Birthday party was today and once again I could not go.
I was always independent and a bit stubborn from a young age, when someone told me I could not do something, I always had the watch me attitude. So to have my independence ripped away because of this CRPS disease, feels like I’ve been sentenced to life without parole for a crime I didn’t commit. It’s not fair and it’s not right for my family or myself. I’m sure anyone suffering with a chronic illness has felt this before.
We desperately need to move past this guilt! I know I do, but how do we do that? I was always told everything happens for a reason, I’m still not sure what the reason is that we have to endure this kind of pain. However, I have started coping and seeing the bigger picture. It’s a picture that paints an understanding, observant, sympathetic, caring woman. Her heart has grown and she knows she’s not the only one…her husband and her children have adapted these qualities that may not have been as strong if she wasn’t chronically ill. We have to believe there is a bigger purpose to this chronic pain. We have to stop feeling guilty for something we did not choose, we have to understand it’s okay to say no because we are hurting. We did not choose this life, unfortunately it chose us.