This is a throwback to an older article I wrote, titled “The guilt of feeling well“.
I wrote that a long while back, yet the topic is still quite relevant to me. Today, I had a really great day, energy-wise. I did so much, and as I sit here writing this, I still feel vital energy coursing through my veins. I should be elated, and I am, but there is that ever-present sense of guilt looming over it. I should not be feeling this good. I have a disability. My disability hearing is this January. Disabled people can’t do half the things I did today.
I feel like a fraud.
I know that isn’t the case, because I am fully aware that the kind of day I have had today is so rare, I can’t remember the last time I had a day as good as this one. My body’s health is fleeting and unpredictable with the complicated pituitary disorder that I have. Most days, I am only able to carry out the basic everyday tasks required for normal human existence. Some days, I have moments where I can barely lift my arms to goof around on my phone. Then, there are these random explosions of energy that allow me to clean the house, go to the gym, run errands, AND play video games for a couple of hours without needing so much as a nap.
On these “good energy” days, it is easy to forget that I am physically incapable of working. I look around at all the other seemingly healthy, hardworking people in my life, and I feel a pang of guilt for sitting there with all that energy enjoying my free time while they bust their asses to make a few bucks at their job. I used to work, and believe it or not I actually enjoyed it. I’m a people pleaser. I do miss those days- even the shitty ones.
Still, knowing that I have doctors confirming that I am incapable of obtaining gainful employment due to the unpredictable and frequently debilitating nature of my condition, I continue to feel like a fraud when these days arise. I should embrace these days and enjoy them without allowing the guilt to permeate, but that is something I am going to have to continue to try to train myself to do.
It’s also important to note that good day I had today was mostly spent getting things around the house caught up that had fallen behind on the days when I wasn’t feeling well, so even if I did have a job to go to, I would not have been able to spend that energy keeping household chores from piling up even more. These are things that a normally healthy person would have no trouble keeping up with even on top of their job. I felt like a superhero getting those simple tasks done and having some energy left over afterwards. This is a good example of how my definition of an “exceptionally good” day differs from that of normally healthy people. My “good day” today would very likely be just an average day for a normally healthy person. I need to try to remember that.
This is a short article, but it’s just an important reminder that I’m still a work in progress, and a statement to the world that I know how irrational that guilt is and I intend to find a way to defeat it.
Have you been here before? Still struggling, or have you cracked the code? Please tell me about it in the comments! Let’s help each other beat this thing!