When I’m perusing other blogs or Facebook pages, I often see posts from people with chronic illnesses who feel as if they are burdens on those they love. And while I understand this feeling, I also realize that in most cases, it is exaggerated.
Typically, it occurs when we are experiencing a bad day — either physically, emotionally or both. And when we are suffering from increased symptoms of our illness and the torrent of emotions that can occur, it’s sometimes natural to engage in negative thinking and to question our worth.
Here are some things to remember when these types of feelings surface:
1. Friends and loved ones have chosen to be in our lives. We are not holding them hostage. If they are with us, they have made a conscious decision to be there.
2. Even though we are chronically ill, we have something to offer them. Of course our lives are different than those of people who are not experiencing chronic illness. But different doesn’t equate to “bad” or “worse.” We possess attributes that attract people to us and make them want to stick around.
3. No one is perfect. Even if our friends and loved ones are 100% physically healthy, the chances are that they have some flaws that affect our relationship with them. No human being is without at least one type of physical or emotional liability.
4. They may need us as much as we need them. Just as we often suffer from invisible disabilities, those closest to us may also be struggling with something that we are not aware of. Our presence in their lives may make a huge difference in their overall quality of life.
It’s not just people with chronic illness who experience doubts when it comes to our relationships. This happens to “normal” people as well. But if we remain aware of these doubts and then use logic to combat them, we can refrain from allowing them to deeply impact our own feelings and how we respond to others.
Have you ever felt as if you were a burden to others? If you have recovered from feeling this way, how did you move past it?