{Graves’ Lessons} It’s Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month. And I Feel Guilty. Again.

March is Autoimmune Diseases Awareness MonthMy 75-year-old mother, who suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis, made this for me with her own hands.

It’s March. It’s also Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month. (Thanks AARDA.)

And me? I’ve had a little health, um, setback. And now I feel guilty. Again.

I feel guilty that some afternoons, even in my “remission,” I feel crushed by fatigue.

I feel guilty that there are days when, after promising my aging, bedridden mother that I’ll visit her in her nursing home 15 minutes away, I call to cancel out of exhaustion.

I feel guilty that I got sick in the first place.

I feel guilty that getting sick probably saved my soul because it’s forced me to reconsider my priorities.

I feel guilty that I’m not as sharp, quick, or physically lively as I used to be.

I feel guilty that my autoimmune disease wrecked my hormones and made a muddle of my brain.

I feel guilty that I talk about my disease too much. I mean, really, who cares?

I feel guilty that I am forgetful.

I feel guilty that I didn’t figure out that I was getting sick until it was *almost* too late and I went into thyroid storm.

I feel guilty that I cheated on my gluten-free diet in the beginning because I couldn’t fathom the difference it would make in my case.

I feel guilty that I’m alive when 100 years or more ago people like me went insane–or died.

I feel guilty that I’ve got really crummy DNA.

But I hope that someday I am able finally to move past the guilty entirely and get on with my life.



    • Thanks, J.

      This is one of the most cathartic posts I’ve written in awhile. Because I’m trying to learn how to both feel good and manage the negative feelings (including grief) at the same time. It’s much easier to do when your thyroid isn’t under attack from your immune system.

      Hugs to you, too.

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