As some of you know, I have this ongoing fight with myself that I “should” have a job or I “should” do more around the house. I walk around feeling like I am doing something wrong because these shoulds are all over me.
This afternoon, I was sitting doing a jigsaw puzzle on my iPad when some of those “should” thoughts came up. I stopped working on the puzzle and just had a frank discussion with myself. I am retired and I am disabled. I can’t work. I’ve tried. I crash and burn every time with my illness escalating with each cycle. I am also 53, my husband who is 16 years older is retired and he wants me home with him. So, I am retired.
I told myself: Enough! I am not having this conversation or feeling this guilt ever again.
Forget retirement for a minute. None of us with serious illnesses should feel guilty over not working at a job. We are criticizing ourselves much more harshly than a friend or loved one would. I know my husband feels better when I am relaxing and enjoying myself rather than working like crazy and flaring up my disease.
Frankly, I tell people I am retired because I am not considered disabled by the government. I had a tough judge and extenuating circumstances that blocked me from being disabled through Social Security. However, I do have a handicap placard and anyone who knows me would say I am disabled by my illness.
I am ending the conversation in my head and doing my best not to feel guilty any longer.
And, by the way, it is no one’s business regarding the reason you aren’t working. Guilt is a useless emotion. At least in this situation.