Chronic Illness Can Make You Feel Selfish

Do you ever feel like your IBD has made you a bit selfish? Or, shall I say, more self-centered than you would be if you didn’t have so much to deal with because of your disease? You aren’t alone if you do. I feel that way very often and absolutely hate it.

When you are in pain, have terrible sleep patterns, cannot eat or drink properly, are constantly in the bathroom, are dealing with obstructions, fistulas, strictures, etc etc it can be very hard to focus on anything else but the nightmare you are currently living through. I often find that I don’t have the patience for anything or anyone else when I am going through so much physically.

Living with any kind of chronic illness is taxing for so many reasons.

Oftentimes, just getting through a shower is an achievement, let alone having the energy to help other people or even be there for someone. I have found I have little to no patience when I am in a tremendous amount of pain. My sleeping problems also cause me to feel irritable which I know impacts those closest to me. I feel like I am in a fog fairly often which doesn’t allow for me to concentrate enough to be of help when something is going on with a loved one. I also tend to withdraw from others when I am not doing well, which obviously means I cannot be there for someone else. I think in some cases, that is taken as me not caring which couldn’t be further from the truth. It isn’t always this way for me, but I have noticed it happens quite often in my life.

There are many things I despise about living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

And this is definitely up there at the top of my list. I always appreciate when my loved ones are there for me – even just to listen. I always appreciate someone being there with me at appointments, in the hospital, or even on the couch if I cannot leave the house. I want more than anything to show those closest to me how much I appreciate them, and how much I want to be there for them also. However, I feel like with some people I end up taking more than I give. Meaning, they end up being there for me way more than I am able to be there for them in their time of need.

On days when I am feeling somewhat better, I try very hard to reach out to certain people who I may not have the ability to talk to or really focus on when things are at their worst.

I try to make the best of the days I feel well and be there for someone else.

While I know no one is keeping score, I still feel like a lot of the times I am very caught up in my life and all that is going on with my body.

Can you relate to some of these feelings? If so, it’s important to understand that this isn’t your fault. Living with an invisible, chronic illness has the ability to wreak havoc on your physical body and mind. You are not a bad person. You are a person who has to battle so many things that are beyond what most people can even fathom. You are human. I know it sucks beyond words though!

SubscribeJoin 13,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter.

Your username will be visible to others.

Reader favorites