At this point, some days go by where I completely forget that my mom has cancer. I know what you’re thinking. How could I possibly forget something so monumental in my life? I am not always sure, either. But regardless, it leaves me feeling guilty AF. It took a lot of guilt for me to realize that we're all human and guilt is one of many emotions we're going to feel during this process. So alas, if you are experiencing guilt around your ill person...it's okay! Five times when you might feel guilty about cancer:
1) WHEN YOU FORGET THEY HAVE IT
As the months go by, part of me has slowly come to terms with my mom's illness. So on some days, I forget. “What the hell, self?" I've wondered. "How dare you forget. How dare you even think about ANYTHING else?” An inner bitchy dialogue can admittedly run through me time and time again. If you're experiencing, this, remind yourself that "not thinking about anything else" just isn’t possible. Life does go on. It changes, sure, but it still goes on. So if days or week or hours go by where you aren’t thinking about your family member or friend who is sick 24/7, that's okay. Yes, this is a big part of your. But you also have your own life. And that’s okay.
2) WHEN YOU’RE SAD ABOUT SOMETHING RANDOM
Lately I have had trouble experiencing feelings of sadness or frustration. This is because the second I’m upset, I immediately experience a wave of guilt wash over me. There are people in the world combatting cancer + other chronic illnesses…and here I am crying about my career? An audition I didn’t get? A co-worker who said the wrong thing? A meeting that went poorly? A text I didn’t receive? An email that pissed me off? We have to remember that although there are certainly more important things in life to stress over, we cannot expect to stifle our emotions. We’re human. We deserve to feel all the feels. So girl, be kind to yourself when you’re upset. Letting ourselves fully experience the sadness or anger is actually instrumental in the healing process. The alternative? Bottling things up and holding onto our feelings for an even longer period of time. Followed by an explosion slash melt down (um...guilty, again.) Ain’t nobody got time for that.
3) WHEN YOU THINK YOU’RE WORSE OFF THEN YOUR FRIENDS
Ha! This is so messed up. I literally feel so bad when sometimes - YES, I’ll admit it - I feel like my life sucks more then other people’s. Is this true? Well…yes and no. There are always other people who are worse off then you are, so that is something to take into consideration for sure. That said, yeah, maybe you have been dealt an unlucky hand in this moment. It’s not always going to feel this way. I can look at some friends whose parents aren’t sick and just think man, they have no idea how good they have it. How easy their lives must be. But we don’t know everything a person is going through. And hey, if they are having a great life, good for them! We need happy people walking around so they can like, you know…uh, cheer us depressed people up?
4) WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE TALKING ABOUT IT
Sometimes my friends ask me how my mom is doing and for one reason or another, I truly just don’t feel like telling them. Other times, I feel like chatting about it until my face turns blue. There have been moments where I have felt like I “shut down” a friend by diverting her questions. After processing this, I have realized that it’s normal to feel more talkative then other times. For instance, maybe I already spoke with someone else about it earlier that day or that week…maybe I journaled that morning or went to a workout class. All of those things may have already flushed it out of my system. You can’t blame yourself for wanting to chat vs. not chat. Do what feels right for you. Your friends will understand.
5) WHEN YOU NEED DISTANCE FROM YOUR PERSON
I hope you don’t think I’m a horrible person from this blog post. But sometimes I need a full week off from mi madre. Bless her heart, but sometimes it makes me feel sad to discuss her illness with her. Or sometimes I just need to not think about her illness for a while. It’s completely normal to need to be alone with your private thoughts + experiences. You don’t have to even explain why. Take the time you need to process what you’re experiencing on your own terms. So yeah, I can feel guilty when this happens but I know that my time alone will in turn strengthen our relationship next time we do get back in touch.
What are you feeling guilty about? Let me know in the comment section below! xx