Living with an overwhelming sense of guilt 79



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Touch wood.

I live with an overwhelming sense of guilt and the anxiety emanating from this guilt is crushing, yet I haven’t done anything wrong.

I have lived a blessed life, one of relative financial and physical comfort. Sure, there have been the usual ups and downs of life’s rollercoaster ride. There have been miscarriages, financial hardships, time spent unemployed, divorces within the broader family and I have lost more friends to cancer than I care to acknowledge.

However, when I look around and really take stock of my life, I’ve yet to experience REAL adversity or REAL loss…and that’s what provides this sense of guilt, feeding the anxiety of what’s inevitably round the corner. Has my rather sterile existence sufficiently prepared me to deal with the emotional tsunami’s gathering speed just over the horizon?

I’m devastated by the funerals I have to attend, saddened by the loss, but at the same time think to myself ‘it’s not my wife, my father or my son’. It seems that that one-degree of separation makes all the difference.

This emotional state dictates more of my life than I care to give it credit for. I’m not sure how to get around it, yet feel somewhat selfish for even thinking I have a problem in the first place.

Some of the things my friends and broader family have had to deal with are rather shocking, dreadful and inconceivable. Too often tragedy seems to hit the same family over and over again. What did they do to deserve that? What I have done to escape it? Is it truly the luck of the draw? How can it be that God’s plan to see how much pain one family can endure before they break? Sometimes the saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” isn’t applicable.

I don’t want to bury my parents, my brother or sister, or god forbid, my children and grandchildren. I don’t want my wife to have to deal with breast cancer, Alzheimer’s or MND. I’d prefer not to have a stroke, heart attack or prostate cancer either for that matter.

Why is it then that I carry such weight on my shoulders? How can the weight of nothing be so heavy? Shouldn’t I be relishing in the life that has been given to me? Why be burdened by the dread of things that have not and might not happen? Surely I owe it to those not so fortunate to embrace my good luck and make the most of every day?

But the fear, the fear of, at some point, having to deal with this is suffocating. It’s not like I’m willing it to happen – quite the contrary really – I’m just petrified of when it will.

It’s a tough topic but how do you feel about the writer’s raw emotions? Should we feel guilty for our good fortune?

Guest Contributor

  1. Don’t feel guilty, it is life. It took me a long time to stop asking “why me”, but now it is just part of my existence. I’m not sure why I get out of bed in the morning some days, but I’m sure there are people having it tougher than me. Don’t wish it on yourself. Feeling guilty means you have compassion and you are caring. If you breathe a sigh of relief that it is not you, that is called being human. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Sounds like your wishing tragedy on yourself, perhaps you need some counselling, just be thankful that you have had a wonderful life or perhaps go & help people that have a real reason to worry about things in their lives.

  3. Just enjoy what you have and do good with your lucky life, make a difference to those who have not had the same luck.

  4. Feeling guilty is easy but it isn’t right… I have suffered from anxiety for my whole life before I finally found something that worked. A lot of people do not know about natural anxiety treatments. A lady who suffered from anxiety and cured it herself wrote a book on how to cure it. I can’t stress enough that people should give this alternative treatment a chance instead of drugs. It may have saved my life.

  5. What a huge weight you are carrying, and it’s because you have a big and caring heart. But you are weighed down by the weight of this feeling of guilt and waiting for the other shoe to drop off,and our thoughts do rule our health, so I agree with Hailey,and that link she shared sounds very good. Also, have you tried meditation, which keeps you focused in this present precious moment of NOW. If you can do that,life takes on a whole new perspective. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a great guide. Blessings and May your journey lead you to find peace of mind.

  6. Never heard of any one who has got though life unscathed . Rich or poor. Funny or sad. No one is getting out of here alive.

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