Posts Tagged ‘Guilt’

When I experience guilt, I really experience guilt. If I feel that I have done the tiniest thing wrong I am immediately overcome with an intense feeling of guilt.  But that’s not the worst part.

The worst part is the sudden anxiety/guilt attacks that occur for the next few days.

It’s essentially a panic attack, I have this intense foreboding that something terrible will happen if I don’t fix it immediately. But usually I don’t know exactly what it is. If I think back and try to come up with a trigger for the anxiety (which I do with most panic attacks) I don’t come up with anything. Instead I just come up with guilt. Reminders brought on by an unconscious thought crossing my mind. And BAM. Guilt attack. I have to fix my wrong.

Problem is, most of the time I didn’t actually do anything wrong. I just perceive it as wrong. Or I think that someone else will think it is wrong. And I can’t fix it. But I still feel guilty.

It’s debilitating. Honestly. I live in fear of doing something that awakens my guilt. It keeps me from taking risks because I’m afraid of making a mistake. It keeps me from trying new things. It gives me intense anxiety about getting pulled to another unit at work because on a different unit I don’t know every tiny little detail of each rule and therefore I’m less prepared to ward off a mistake. I don’t have the best chance at performing *perfect* work, which means that there’s a larger chance I’ll miss something. And feel guilt. Even when the other people on the floor forgive me because I don’t usually work there.

So often I want to ask doctors questions about their work and how they chose to go into what specialty they are in. But unless I have a complete set of questions worked up in my head I won’t do it because I’m afraid of sounding stupid and embarrassing myself, which causes more guilt.

And the guilt renews itself each time I see a person associated with the situation.

This perpetuates the eating disorder.

This is what is holding back my life.

And I don’t know how to stop it.

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Inappropriate Guilt

I have been meaning to write this for a long time…but in the past 1 1/2 weeks I have moved to a different town, started a new job, and started classes at a new school.

I have been really conflicted about my last post. I find myself questioning if I was correct in writing it. If I really had a right to feel that way. If I had a right to make others feel bad (although I suppose I technically don’t know whether that occurred or not and my therapist reminds me that it is often dangerous to make assumptions about what others think). Or the worst possible scenario–people possible misunderstanding my meaning. I recall reading at some point that all guilt is not bad. When guilt appears properly it can actually be a very useful and appropriate emotion. But I’m not sure that my current guilt is bad.

I feel guilty that I let my needs be known. This is a common theme in my life. For some reason I feel ashamed that 1) I have needs and that 2) sometimes those needs must be fulfilled by other people. Part of it is that I am scared to rely on other people (that requires trust!) but the other part is that I don’t want to be a burden. I know that I don’t think any of my friends are a burden so it’s very reasonable to assume that they don’t think of me as a burden, but that is still a common roadblock in my thinking.

I am afraid that people misunderstood that because I only presented one side to this argument that I don’t think the reverse is also true: that I am not perfect at supporting those I love. In fact that post was almost as much for me as it was for anyone else. I am far from perfect at this. When I think about how much I hurt sometimes, then it is a strong reminder that I need to be aware of the needs of others. I want to do this more. At this precise moment I have been thinking of it and utilizing some possibly inappropriate guilt. I feel bad that in the last few weeks I haven’t driven to A— or D— to see people. But when I think about what has been going on in my life recently (new job, moving to a new city, starting grad class, not being given a work schedule beyond a couple of weeks) I realize that I probably shouldn’t feel guilty that I haven’t visited people in the past two weeks. Again, this isn’t something that I have gotten any concrete feedback on; it is simply my imagination running and attempting to read the thoughts of others.

Sorry for the rambling and lack of coherence. I’ve used up the last of my brainpower today doing competency requirements at work and completing a difficult anatomy assignment as well as studying for the impending MCAT. But this is a topic I will likely consider to ruminate upon and may write about again…

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