This is a personal piece. Please be trigger aware when reading.
Guilt is something I feel a lot of. It is an emotion that quite often threatens to overwhelm me and often makes simple acts of self care hard. It is an emotion I think is quite common in people who have a mental illness. Here my plan is to explore some of the things that lead to my guilt.
I feel guilty for a number of reasons. One of which is that I am currently unable to work due to my mental illnesses. This is hard for me to deal with as I constantly feel like a burden to those around me. I have worked while I studied and for a few years after I qualified but now the impact of my mental health means this just isn’t an option currently. I hope it will change but I just can not support myself and the guilt is horrendous. It leads to, at times, a worsening of my mental health because I just feel so negatively about myself. Guilt has a huge impact on me.
Another reason I feel guilty is because I am currently using self harm to cope. I know how much this upsets people around me yet at the moment I can not see how I can function without it and this makes me feel incredibly guilty. I hate that I am upsetting people and letting them down. I am also a lot harder to deal with and this makes the guilty feelings sky rocket. Again I feel a burden to those around me.
I feel guilty for the care I require from a stretched NHS. At the moment I am having input from at least three mental health professionals as well as doctors for my physical health. I feel I am a drain on resources and unworthy of care. I feel guilty to the point it physically hurts.
All these things I feel guilty for are not my fault. Yet guilt prevails and quite often wins as the strongest emotion I feel. If anyone else said they felt guilty for these reasons I would tell them that they have no reason to feel guilty, that they are not a burden, that this is not their fault and they are worthy of care. But for me this feels impossible.
I have no tips on how to deal with this overwhelming feeling. All I can say is that if you feel guilt for similar reasons you have no reason too. But I know this won’t always help. I have friends who tell me the same, yet still guilt overtakes me. I think this is just something I will have to learn to battle. If you have any tips on conquering guilt please share them. And remember you are not alone.