Guilt. I hear it’s a useless emotion. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel it. Constantly.

No matter how good I feel… no matter how bad… how hopeless… how sad… how confused. No matter what I feel… the guilt is always there.

When I feel good, or even just okay, I feel guilty because I’m not supposed to feel good or, god forbid, happy. I know that sounds incredibly stupid, but hear me out. In my mind, feeling good makes me look like a liar. I have this crazy thought that if I feel good, people will think that when I said I felt terrible, I was lying. It’s so black-and-white in my head. Like I’m not allowed to have good times and bad. Having one disallows the other. And my negative emotions are so ingrained in me that they have become who I am… so feeling good seems like a betrayal to myself… and to everyone else. I know… I sound insane.

When I feel bad, sad, hopeless, [fill in other similar emotions here], I feel guilty because I’ve sought and received and continue to receive help in so many ways, yet I still feel crappy. I feel guilty because I never think I’m doing enough to ‘fix‘ myself. Maybe I’m not, but I’ve also been told that all I can do is all I can do. If I’m not doing more, it’s because I’m not currently capable. Beating myself up is pointless (but I am so good at it). In short… I feel guilty that I’m not better. [But if I did feel better, I’d feel guilty about that. See above.]

[Aside: Is this where I should mention the ‘mom guilt’? I have tons of that. I’m not a good enough mom. I feel guilty because my kids shouldn’t see me feeling so terrible. It’s not healthy for them to be around that. I know it affects them. So much guilt. But someone told me that if I’m worried I’m not a good mom, that means I’m a good mom. I would like to believe that… but I struggle with it.]

Just Plain Messy.
When I feel confused and indecisive, I feel guilty because it makes me weak. I never feel like I can take charge because I never really know what the fuck I’m doing. If I think, even for five seconds, that I do know what I’m doing—that I do know which choice to choose—in the next second, I’ve changed my mind and I’m right back where I started. I constantly second-guess myself. Confused. Indecisive. Really, just lost.

The easy answer… and the one I hear all the fucking time… is: Let go of the guilt.

And to that I say… Thanks, genius. Obviously I’ve tried that. Every minute of every day for as long as I can remember. It hasn’t worked.

People are so quick to give simple answers like that [not just related to guilt, but a host of other emotions], but those people can never explain how. And I find that the people giving those simple (but useless) answers are usually, if not always, people who don’t have the same struggle (at least not to an unhealthy degree)… so they don’t truly understand. For them, it just is. For me, it just isn’t. How does one change between the two? I don’t think anyone really knows.

So… here I sit, feeling guilty as hell. Guilty that I didn’t accomplish anything today because I had time but I didn’t use it well. Guilty for even having that time because I’m feeling guilty for being unemployed. Guilty because I had toast with my eggs this morning while I’m trying to eat fewer carbs.

It’s endless.

If I have to feel something that has no bounds [guilt… but also other emotions that torment me], I wish it could be something positive.


p.s. — Of course I feel guilty for posting this because I wish I was posting something else… something better. It’s unfortunate that I can’t just come to grips with the fact that writing about emotions is simply where I am right now.


©2020 what sandra thinks

About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Italy, but she would settle for a non-oceanfront home in Italy, too. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
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17 Responses to guilt.

  1. simplywendi says:

    I feel every single one of your words………..

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Miriam says:

    Hi Sandra, I was so glad to see your name and post pop up, it’s been so long. I’m sorry you’re feeling the weight of all this guilt, you know we all have it to a certain degree. You could always ‘fake it till you make it’. Sending hugs from afar xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi. 🙂 I wish I was better at faking it. I guess in a way it’s good that I’m not good at that… does that make me more real? Being terrible at faking it? I don’t know… but I find pretending to be exhausting…


  3. I’m proud of you for posting this. I’m also sorry I’m one of those people that offers those stupid simple answers without a how. Sigh…I feel like such a dumb ass because I know I do it. I don’t realize I’m doing it when I’m doing it but this post hit me like a ton of bricks. I get it. I’m so sorry. You know I adore you and I’ll try to be better and just listen. Hugs Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my god! I was not thinking of you AT ALL when I wrote this post! You say a lot more to me than simple answers! And I know that you are actually trying to help me, not just throwing some cliches at me and moving on.

      As far as the listening part, you already do that. When someone comes to me, my instinct is always to listen, but also to try to fix everything. Some people only want the listening part, but me? I’d be thrilled if someone could fix everything for me. Probably because I know I can’t fix it on my own. Which makes me feel weakness… and guilt.


  4. Ogden Fahey says:

    Weird, I didn’t feel guilty reading it, I’d feel guilty about my lack of guilt if I thought about it I’m sure! Guilt is a wasted emotion you know! XX

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so pleased whenever I see your posts pop up Sandra, and for a minute I thought you were going to break into rhyme when you wrote:
    “No matter how good I feel… no matter how bad… how hopeless… how sad… ”

    I’m not going to offer any platitudes. I know they are useless and only make you mad.
    I will just offer hugs as usual and ask you not to leave it so long until you post again.


    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not so much mad as frustrated when I hear the same old cliches. Obviously if they were helpful I would have been ‘helped’ a long time ago.
      Anyway… good to see you. I am trying to post more but all the posts come out kind of like this one… talking about my emotions and all that stuff again and again. I don’t see how that’s entertaining anyone…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. M says:

    I second what Peter said. I love it when I see your name pop up in my notifications. No cliches for me because I dislike them too. Sometimes when you feel like ish, you just have to ride the ish, even if it may be a while. Hugs as always 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mydangblog says:

    I feel guilty about everything all the time–it’s exhausting. I want to retire but I feel guilty leaving my team, I think I was a pretty good mom but I feel incredible mom guilt over the smallest stuff….you name it. Hugs to you, and know you’re not alone:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. That actually makes me feel better to some extent. I mean, I already know I’m not the only one, but sometimes, it sure feels like it. I know what you mean about the small stuff… one little thing happened three days ago that I still feel guilty about. Everyone else has moved on. but I’m still tormented by it. Feels like I’m never going to get over it.

      Liked by 1 person

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