The Blame Game
The Blame Game
Oh the joys of rheumatoid arthritis and the guilt, depression, and the blame that comes with it. It’s called the blame game and I play it so well. I blame rheumatoid arthritis for the things I no longer can do. I blame my doctors for telling me I wasn’t sick and for me having to spend years without treatment. I blame my friends for making me feel so lonely as they all seemed to vanish as soon as they found out that I was, indeed, sick. But above all for every bad day and for everything that could, and most often does, go wrong I blame myself.
We all know the blame game
The blame game…I think we all know it so well. It’s the silent game we play in our head when no one is around. You know that game the one where the little voice in your head tells you it as ALL your fault. I don’t know about you, but most of the time I believe it. It seems like I just love blaming myself for everything that goes wrong, but most of all I love blaming myself for being sick.
I blamed myself
When I first got sick I completely blamed myself. After all, I must have done something horrible to deserve this illness. For some reason after all these years I have held onto that belief. If I have a bad day and I am in pain, then it’s all my fault. If there are things that I can no longer do because of my illness, then it’s all my fault. After all, like I said earlier, I must have done something so unimaginably horrible and unforgivable to deserve rheumatoid arthritis.
As if it were our fault…
We as rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are experts at playing the blame game. We feel we are to blame for being sick and for all of the inconveniences that come with it. We apologize for the things we are no longer able to do as if it were our fault. We apologize for asking our loved ones for help as if we had done something wrong. We blame ourselves for the things that are out of our control. And it seems just when we have come to the realization that these things aren’t our fault, that little voice that seems to pop up when we are all alone returns to remind us that it is ALL our fault.
The truth is that you don’t get rheumatoid arthritis because you spread a rumor or you cheated on an exam. You don’t get rheumatoid arthritis because one time, or more, you skipped class in high school. We don’t get rheumatoid arthritis because we were too mean, too wild, or too selfish. And while we can all too easy find some thing wrong that we have done in the past to justify us getting rheumatoid arthritis, it is not our fault.
It’s not our fault
Rheumatoid arthritis is not our fault and we have got to stop blaming ourselves for it. We spend too much time feeling extreme guilt over something that is not our fault, which in itself can cause a flare. We apologize for things that are out of our control. And most of all we punish ourselves for it. But we are better than that, and we are much stronger than the little voice that pops up when we are all alone. We deserve the best because we were given the worst. We are not to blame.
Saying goodbye to the blame game
So how about this…Today let’s say goodbye to the blame game. Let’s kick out that little voice that has taken up residence in the back of our mind. Let’s remind each other that this is not our fault. And on days when that little voice knocks on our door, find comfort in the fact that only you can let it back into your life to play the blame game. You see, we are strong people who have been given an awful disease. We can’t just fight the disease itself, we have to fight the blame, and we have to fight the guilt. And once we can get past the blame life is beautiful. There will be the days when it will be harder than most to remind ourselves that this is not our fault, but we can fight it. So today let’s let go of the guilt and kick that little voice out. Let’s ban together to remind each other that this is not our fault. We are good people who have been given the worst. So let’s fight this together and remind each other that we are worthy of a great life despite our rheumatoid arthritis. And let’s not just end there Let’s go out and live the best life we can, because we ARE worth it!
Holly wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Rheumatoid Arthritis.