As a “sick” person, I have had to rely on friends and family A LOT. Way more than my comfort zone allows, and my pride permits. But regardless I’ve had to learn to suck it up. While ALL of the help and support is is amazing, I get left with this sense of guilt. Guilt perks its little head up in small places, like my surgery being scheduled on my parents anniversary, or my sister having to find a late night babysitter for her daughter to take me to the ER. I know that these people do these things because they want to, even need to, but there is still the overwhelming amount of guilt that comes along with being sick and having a chronic illness. Its feeling like you can never repay those people for their help. Its feeling like you never want to ask for help for anything extra because they have already done so much for you.
Guilt is being 26 years old and still needing your parents to help you with your bills, because your illness got you fired from your job.
Guilt is your 83 yr old grandfather shoveling 10 inches of snow in your front yard.
Guilt is borrowing time, or money or help, full on knowing you’ll never be able to repay that.
Its something you try not to let get your down, but its always there. I try to “give back” by volunteering and helping out with my abundance of time. But I know that doesn’t directly benefit those who have generously helped me. After all, thank you cards only go so far.
Other than showing gratitude, I feel like there isn’t anything you can do. I know some people..( ahem, my mother) just like to be able to help. She likes when shes needed and when she can help. But I just wish I could write you all a giant check, or send you all on cruises (except my dad cause hes terrified that people don’t come back from cruises) or do something to make your lives easier in the way that you’ve all made mine.
This is horrible writing because its flip flopping between being directed to certain people and to the internet. But I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all have guilt about being sick. Whether its money, or time, or help cleaning our houses, whatever, its makes us feel guilty. There is a certain level of accepting that, but I think if you just always remember what other people have done for you, and show them you’re thankful, that can be enough. At least I hope it is.