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Guilt about doing well

Hey Everyone,

It's been a while since I've been on here and hopefully you'll understand why momentarily. I really needed a place to vent and hopefully some of you can relate. I probably should be writing a university assignment right now but yolo (I can't believe I just typed those four letters). 

So, this year began with a rough start. I had some family members in and out of hospital and beginning university caused me to relapse into depression and anxiety. Last year, I dreamed of the moment I'd be freed of the shackles of Year 12, the world was going to be my oyster (can someone please explain that metaphor) but it didn't really feel that way. I felt like I was floating in a meaningless void without any proper purpose and that was something I hadn't needed to deal with in a long time. In High school I knew my place, I knew my people, I knew who I was, but to be thrust into an environment where everyone was so competitive and I felt minuscule in comparison was overwhelming. I avoided so much (including visiting reach out)  because I feared not doing well. To top it all off, my mum also relapsed into anxiety and started drinking to cope, increasing the burden on me. If my life didn't see m enough like a tragic dramatic movie, one of my close friends was diagnosed with terminal illness. 

My saving grace throughout all of this was a relationship, and it was no doubt the light amongst the darkness (so many cliche metaphors oh my lord). I invested so much time an energy into it, because I knew it was the thing that was constant and made me happiest. I think you can tell where this is going. My dad also found out about my sexuality, which didn't end well, leading to me moving out of home and into a toxic environment with my mum. My significant other is a year younger than me, meaning he is enduring the stresses of year twelve. We were in two different environments and it was difficult to find time for each other so we ended up letting go before the happy, incredible memories were replaced with darker ones evoked by strain and stress. Obviously, having your (what I believed to be at the time) single fall back almost destroyed me. I think that was rock bottom and there was no way I could see a future. 


There is this really rad speech made by JK Rowling (QUEEEN) and a line has always stuck out to me 'rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I built my life). I can't remember what moment it was, or what brought it about, but I literally looked myself in the mirror and said 'fuck it'. Since I was young, I have been someone who meticulously planned and overthought every facet of my life - but I allowed myself to let it go. I stopped searching for answers, for clarity, for rigid certainty and I began to live by one single cliche motto 'Go with the flow'. I don't recommend this for everyone - I expected my life to fall apart, but the exact opposite happened. I FORCED myself to find a bright side, that bright side was my ability to immerse myself into other aspects of life. Since beginning university I had one toe in my comfort zone where I didn't have to deal with uncertainty or fear (and the rest of my toes in a relationship) while my other foot was in this new experience. When I began to go with the flow I had both feet in every experience that came my way - I started doing better in university, I had more time to spend with friends, I could be the support my terminally ill friend needed, I had incredible experiences I would have said no to in the past and I enriched so many parts of my life. 

But this one feeling lingers, and its going to come across as big headed - I dont know. I constantly feel this perpetual guilt, because it feels as though me doing well has compelled me to leave so many others behind. There are different parts of this so bear with me. 

The first is my ex - like I feel guilty that I have been able to move on and no longer feel the same constant pain I did before. To be completely honest I feel nothing but faint happiness and the desire to smile whenever I think of memories. But I feel as though I should feel something else, like I owe him something else, like maybe I should have waited like he was going to? 


The second is my terminally ill friend. I think that one speaks for itself. I'm living life while she remains confined to a bed with an unclear understanding of how many days she has left. If you put yourself in my shoes, you could imagine yourself sitting by their bed side each day, soaking in every moment with them. That isn't reality, at least not for me. That person still remains the same, she is my close friend, but she has bad days - she can be selfish, rude, angry, overbearing. I love her with all my heart, but to spend every spare minute with her wouldn't be realistic. I know she doesn't expect that, but I feel so guilty. The guilt isnt just derived frm the fact I can't be with her, but that I can't be with her while I'm doing so well? 

The third is all the other people I have left behind. Especially my family. I think that one speaks for itself.

I don't know what I'm trying to get out of this. Maybe just validation that what I'm feeling is okay, even if it isn't normal? I hope you're all doing well. 

Re: Guilt about doing well

@beesting Gosh you're an amazing writer with a very philosophical self-reflective edge. BTW love all of the metaphor's and I also would like someone to explain the oyster metaphor thank you!


Guilt is a really interesting emotion. The way I perceive it now is this, guilt essentially means that you care. It does not mean you're a bad person. You care about someone enough that you have managed to conjure up the feeling of guilt, we have our own moral compass that sometimes adds uneeded pressure on ourselves. To me you sound like a very well rounded and good human being. Also, it sounds like you've let go. This is amazing. And naturally yes people get left behind. As we begin to take care of ourselves more, some people need to slow fade; and that is okay. You don't need to feel like an elitist it is a part of  life Smiley Happy This has reminded me of this Gary Vee video I saw the other day.. I definitely think what you're feeling is okay, I think you're very strong and self aware; and I am so stoked you shared this journey with us Heart

Re: Guilt about doing well

@beesting, I think you are a very persistent person for being able to overcome all that you have despite the challenges that you've faced and also a very compassionate and kind hearted person for thinking about others who aren't doing so well. I'm sorry to hear that one of your close friends has a terminal illness. For me personally, I tend to look at life as a road trip and each one of us drives a bus... sometimes we have an option to take a short cut or the scenic route, each will have their pros and cons. The passengers on the bus are the people who are in our lives. Some will stay on the bus for the whole trip, others only for a part. But sometimes, in order to make room for more passengers who'll broaden your horizons, sometimes you have to say goodbye to some of your existing passengers. I hope you find the metaphor helpful Smiley Happy
You are always entitled to feel the way you feel and no one should tell you that it's not ok. I understand the feeling of guilt, but I think that goes to show what a sensitive, caring and empathetic person you are as @Bree-RO said. I hope everything works out for you and the people you care about in your life. Smiley Happy

Re: Guilt about doing well

@beesting wow thank you for sharing this story. Sorry to hear about all the difficult times you have been going through Smiley Sad Finishing school and the years following can be an extremely difficult time - going from having such an intense structure in your life to having the complete freedom to essentially do whatever you want to do is really scary. After having a strict routine for so long it can be really difficult to let go and go with the flow as you said but it sounds like you have been doing a pretty good job at it Smiley Happy

I agree with @Bree-RO and @LadyMacbeth00 that your feelings of guilt really does reveal your compassion and your desire to be a good person and a good friend to others Smiley Happy