Being cared for can cause guilt, but it shouldn’t. Guilt darkens your mood and drains your energy, widening rather than bridging the gap between your abilities and your caregiver’s. There’s no need to feel guilt if you did nothing to cause your disability. You did nothing wrong. You’re doing the best you can with what life dealt you. Your caregiver loves you, and love is the greatest motivator and burden lifter there is.
If your roles were reversed, you wouldn’t grudgingly care for your caregiver, so don’t talk yourself down and make yourself feel like a burden. You’re worth being cared for. Yes, you are!
This is the expanded version of what I told my friend with a progressive neurological disorder when she said something negative about having to live with her parents/caregivers. Let go of the guilt and work on something else that you can change.
Darla Nagel is an editor and writing tutor who has an invisible chronic illness. She wants to help other patients and enlighten health care professionals about our experiences. If you’d like to be alerted whenever she writes a new post, sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Darla copyedits biomedical research while living with an invisible chronic illness.