I had a flare-up yesterday and have missed 2 days of class as a result. Yesterday I couldn’t get very far off of the couch for most of the day. Today I am able to write and get around better than yesterday. It is the end of the semester and makes me feel stressed and anxious when I miss class. There is also the shame that comes along with it for putting a burden on others.
Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t have fun because I’ve been sick and missed school. For some reason it feels wrong to let loose and have fun when I’ve missed so much of class. I always feel guilty. I always feel afraid. What if my professor sees me after I’ve missed so many days and I “look fine”? What if I’m out having fun and they see me? When I’ve been in bed all day I feel ashamed because I could have done so much that day. When people ask “where’s Morgan?” I feel ashamed because I’m usually holed up in my room resting or sleeping.
I feel shame when I:
- I have to say “no I’m not going to class today”
- Cancel plans with friends/family
- Ask for more time
- Rest instead of studying
- Isolate myself from other people that care about me
- Make mistakes
- Don’t speak up for myself
- Don’t try to get out of bed
All of the things I listed are a part of being human. Making mistakes, failing, knowing when to quit and when to try harder, finding our own voice and using it, are all a part of that. I already knew, but I am beginning to truly understand and internalize that I shouldn’t feel ashamed because it isn’t my fault. A friend and classmate has helped me to see that, as she has been endlessly supportive and understanding this semester. So has one of my favorite professors. I shouldn’t feel shamed because I am trying my hardest within the limits of what my body can take. I shouldn’t feel ashamed for needing help or more time because that’s just what I need.
A lot of the time it will not be physically possible for me to do things alone or within a certain time frame because my body isn’t with that and that’s okay. I shouldn’t feel ashamed for canceling plans because those who truly know me and care about me will understand when I need to rest. I shouldn’t feel ashamed for not speaking up for myself sometimes because change doesn’t happen overnight and I’m working on it. So if you can relate to this in anyway, don’t feel ashamed for doing what you have to do for you. We’re all humans who are different in our own way and have different needs. We’re not going to be perfect all of the time but I think that as long as we are genuinely trying and practicing self-compassion that we’ll do just fine. Be shameless.