Guilt is such a big part of being sick. I feel guilty on a regular basis. Guilty for not doing more things with my kids, guilty for not having a spotlessly clean house, guilty for not making it to all my daughter’s school parties, guilty for not cooking a homemade meal every night, guilty when I’m too sick to get out of bed, the list goes on and on. Because of guilt I often push myself to do more than I should. I don’t allow myself to stay in bed and be sick because I feel that I’m a bad person if I do that. I push and push and push myself, all because of guilt. Sometimes it’s a good thing for me to push myself, but usually pushing my limits ends up blowing up in my face. The truth is that I am sick and sometimes I need to give myself permission to be sick.
We chronic patients need to allow ourselves to be sick. It is okay if we stay home and rest once in a while, our bodies need that time. We’re often pressured by friends and family to just “get up and get over it” and so that is what many of us do. I am a prime example of how getting up and getting over it can actually work, but the truth is sometimes I truly cannot just get over it. I’m sick on a regular every day basis and when you add normal sick (ie cold or flu) I’m lucky if I can limp around the house.
Today I woke up feeling like crap. Not only does my entire body hurt like it normally does, but I have a killer cold with all the usual trimmings. At first I thought I’d make a trip to the store and then clean up some things around the house, but even the thought of getting ready to go out made me feel exhausted. So today I’m giving myself permission to be sick. I’m staying home and nursing my cold and taking it easy and I refuse to feel bad about it. Amazingly as I sit on the couch with my son wiping my nose every two seconds I am feeling content. I am enjoying slowing down and allowing myself to rest and not worrying about everything I should be doing. It’s nice just to spend some time relaxing with my amazing little boy. Maybe I should give myself permission more often!