Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Am I addicted to guilt?

Caitlin’s post yesterday about guilt really got my brain wheels turning. Am I addicted to guilt? How much of the day do I spent feeling guilty about things?

Part of my concussion recovery is tracking how I feel physically and emotionally. I have a symptoms journal where I note when I have a headache or dizzy spell and how bad it is on a scale of 1-10. After guilt came up a couple of times during my last doctor appointment, I also record when and why I feel guilty. Egad! Talk about opening a can of worms.

I have food related guilt: I ate too much; I didn’t eat enough; I could’ve made better choices. I have activity guilt: I didn’t do enough today; I did too much today. I have concussion guilt: I should be healing faster; I’m not a contributing member of society; I’m inconveniencing people. And a million other small things that add up to a whole lotta time wasted on feeling bad.

Even the guilt journal makes me feel guilty because I don’t write everything down. You know things are out of hand when you feel guilty about your guilt journal. Fairly counterproductive, no?

I’ve always been a perfectionist who aims to exceed expectation. This begs the question: is guilt what drives me? I don’t think so, and yet there’s no denying that I spent a large portion of my day worrying that I could’ve done any number of things better.

I believe self-analysis is healthy; by examining our actions and choices we are better equipped for the future. That said, often times my self-reflection focuses on the negative instead of the positive, which leads to – you guessed it – guilt. It turns out I’m the biggest bully in my life! I need to stop beating myself up.

To get a handle on guilt, I’m going to try Caitlin’s four steps. It’s time to focus more energy on the positive!

SOTS wonders… what role does guilt play in your life?


  1. Guilt is such a sticky topic for me. I have a lot of guilt over everything!! With eating I still have periods of time where I wish I hadn't eaten a certain food. I have to make a conscious effort to push the guilt away and just know that I have to make better choices next time.

    It sounds like you are really thinking through all of this.

  2. It "just" is what it is....
    The hard part is letting it just be what it is...

  3. I am a drug addict/alcoholic/porn addict. I turned my life around for the most part, marriage, kids etc. But i still sneak a few painers every now and then, and i still have an all night jack party every 6months or so, something just isnt right unless i feel like i am getting away with something or am feeling guilty about something i have done, it almost seems to set me straight again for another few months....wtf?