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?