Guilt and Remission

One day in and I want to give up. Trying to find the time to write a to do list is hard enough, carving out time to make this happen for 30 days is excruciatingly difficult. But it needs to happen. I can feel my jaw tighten at the end of the day because I am empty, empty, empty after giving it all away. I used to enjoy doing this. It used to give something back to me. Blogging. Letting the feelings flow from my fingertips to the keyboard and leaving it there. So, here I am, trying again. These posts are going to ramble, and be raw and real and the grammar and comma usage and long sentences are going to drive some of you crazy. But let me try it anyway. Let me find myself again.

It feels different now. Typing this out feels so vulnerable. Here I am in this tug of war of whether or not I should keep this blog going. Remission is weird like that. I have this sense of guilt about feeling better while so, so many others are not. I don’t know why I’m in remission and they continue to battle. Sure, I’m super grateful. So grateful. Tears welling up when I watch the sunrise kind of grateful. At the same time, I feel so awful about it. Why should I write about my life now when I’m not suffering with IBD symptoms and someone else is just getting worse? What purpose does it serve to share this part? “Look at me, doing so well! No, I don’t know why it worked for me and not you, sorry… but check out this picture of the view from the hike I took.” Doesn’t feel right.

And yet. I feel like it also is important to show that there is life with IBD. I always remind myself of when I was initially diagnosed. I saw all the horror stories at the time that were online. There wasn’t much out there to relate to 6 years ago, or a lot of hope. It was pretty dark. I cried and cried for hours because I thought nothing good was ever going to come of this. But, you can have a great life with IBD. Even if you aren’t in remission like me. So, maybe it is important to share this part too.

Guilt isn’t just there for people with autoimmune diseases who go into remission. I hear about it in cancer patients too. Some even go into depression and can’t enjoy the gift they were given. Then the ability to enjoy the life remission gives us wasted. So what do we do with the guilt?

Get rid of it. There is nothing shameful about being in remission.

Find ways to give back to those who are still fighting. Practice Gratitude. Don’t just say #grateful or have a little sign on the wall of your home. Actually take a few minutes each day and practice. I do this when I’m putting Madeline to bed at night. While I’m bouncing her to sleep I go over in my head things I’m so glad are in my life. My health is always top of the list.

How about you? How do you get rid of the guilt that shouldn’t really be there in the first place?