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MS Guilt

Some days, I find myself feeling guilty. I feel guilty because although I have MS, and have had it for many years, my MS has remained stable and overall mild. I look around me to see other MS friends who are having a tough time, and it makes me wonder why them and not me. Please don’t misunderstand and think I’m complaining, because I’m most certainly not, but it’s hard to find joy in your blessings when those around you are hurting.

Even when I feel good, I feel guilty

I’m a very empathetic and compassionate person. I hurt when others hurt. I’ve felt MS pain and sorrow, and I know it all too well. Sometimes seeing and knowing that someone else is experiencing that also is hard for me. I hate knowing someone else is dealing with MS because I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It’s the same with any other disease and illness. You see the havoc it’s wrecked on your own life, so to see someone else experiencing it is tough. I find that those days that I do feel good, I feel guilty.

I start questioning why I feel good

That’s the problem with feeling good with MS. When I feel bad; I feel pretty bad. But, when I feel good, it can feel wrong. When I feel good, I feel like maybe I don’t fit the part; like I’m a fraud. I shouldn’t feel good with MS right? I even start questioning why I feel good. Were they wrong about my diagnosis? Do I really have MS after all? These are obviously silly questions, but our mind can play crazy tricks on us. It makes me feel like if I’m not dealing with crippling pain or fatigue that it’s not “believable” that I have MS.

I hate that I feel guilty

I hate that I feel that way, too, because I know those things aren’t true, but I think those feelings are why I feel guilty. Many have very physical symptoms and deal with crippling pain every single day. Those are the ones who can’t escape it and never have a day where they ask themselves those questions. I don’t want to continue using my time to feel guilty, though. It’s not in my control that some days I feel better than others. I could be wrong, but I don’t think others who truly care would ever want those with an illness who have good days to feel bad about them.

We should embrace the good days

It’s like someone who has really great good luck and wins the lottery. You may envy them for a moment, but it doesn’t make a difference in your immediate life, so you move on. You don’t hate them for it. It also reminds me to embrace the good days. I shouldn’t waste my time feeling guilty, because that’s not doing me any favors. Instead, I should hang onto the good days and run with them.

The good days don’t always last

Those good days don’t always last, so instead of fretting over things that are silly and out of my control, I should choose to accept the good days and pursue them with joy. I shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling well, and for feeling “normal,” I should be elated! So as 2019 is here, that’s a goal I’m going to accomplish: less guilt, and more celebrating when I feel my best and dare I say it, MS-free. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s definitely worth a happy dance!

XOXO,
Calie

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • mcleod6699
    9 months ago

    Calie,

    I told my wife this very thing. “I have felt so good for so long, I sometimes wonder if I have it!?” Not that I want to feel the way I did about 5 years ago, but because I look around and notice that I am “normal” again. Nobody can tell, nobody would guess, but I have it. Someday I won’t be so lucky, but today I’m trying not to feel guilty about feeling good.

    I’m not glad you have MS or feel guilty, but I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels guilty about feeling good. (That’s a mouthful)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Mike

  • Calie Wyatt moderator author
    9 months ago

    @mcleod6699 I’m so glad someone else understands what I mean. It’s a relief to know others in the community get it. Of course, neither of us wishes to have MS, but it sure is nice to find the good days and to feel good about them!!

    Wishing you the best, Calie

  • Onlyup
    10 months ago

    Calie,
    I hear you about feeling well having MS and everyone is different. As a co-leader with my local MS Support Group, I find as an advocate with MS (32 years and counting) to pass along credible MS to others wherever they are with their MS journey is what I can do to give back and do not feel guilty. Nobody asks for MS but we each need to learn what we can do to help others in my opinion whether its working with others who have MS or something else. Giving back is a great way to help others in need. No guilt necessary to apply!
    Ellen

  • Calie Wyatt moderator author
    9 months ago

    @onlyup thank you so much for sharing! I love that you lead an MS Support Group and help others!! What a humbling thing to do. I applaud your efforts. Thank you for helping others in the MS Community!

    Wishing you the best,

    Calie

  • Becca ru
    10 months ago

    I feel fortunate to have been DX in my mid 20’s! I had just about every symptom associated with MS so My DX was quick! I am still able to go to cook & clean on my own, go to the gym and shop without a motorized seat! I do feel guilty because I have friends living with this disease that struggle on a daily basis! I have a positive attitude and push myself! I rest when I need to and stayed informed on ways to help me stay in good health besides the MS!

  • Calie Wyatt moderator author
    9 months ago

    @3ybgf7 I also feel fortunate to have been diagnosed young (I was 14), I know being diagnosed early is hard but I’ve learned so much and I’m so thankful they were able to get a hold of my symptoms and MS early on. I love that you have a positive attitude and do what you have to do to keep going!! Thank you for sharing!

    XOXO,

    Calie

  • Kim Dolce moderator
    10 months ago

    Calie! I particularly like how you illustrated the challenge of seizing the moment in a positive way. The lottery winner is momentarily envied but it doesn’t change your life–and the MS patient that has a rougher journey distracts you from appreciating a good day of your own. These challenges so excellently address how we dwell within the moments our bodies provide. You might not be a lottery winner but you are definitely a writer that has won my admiration. –Kim

  • Calie Wyatt moderator author
    10 months ago

    Kim, thank you so much!! I appreciate your kind words!

    Wishing you the best, Calie

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