Feeling Bad for Myself Is Part of Healing

Wendy Caroline avatar

by Wendy Caroline |

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positive, healing

I have been in a huge rut for quite a while due to my health. I think people often have the perception that I’m always positive and happy. It’s probably because I often take a step back or hide when I’m not feeling so happy.

Social media gives us these strange glimpses into peoples’ lives. It’s like the ultimate Mad Lib: We provide an outline of our lives with key words missing and leave it for other people to fill in. The truth is, I haven’t been as cheerful or motivated as I once was. Life has been difficult, and progression with cystic fibrosis is a hard pill to swallow (pun intended). 

We tend to look up to those who seem like they are always smiling and have their lives together. However, it’s important to take a step back and acknowledge that no one can be like that all the time. If you need to feel bad for yourself a little, then you should do that. It’s an important part of the healing process. I was in a rut for so long because I tried so hard to brush it off. I wanted to keep going at a regular pace and ignore the need to acknowledge my sadness over the loss of my abilities.

It’s funny to me that I write a column now. I used to read columns and think that the people behind them were so wise and put together. Heck, during the last several months, it’s been hard for me to write because I felt so uninspired by myself and my life. I didn’t think I had anything worthwhile to share, and I was struggling.

The feedback on my writing was always raving about my positivity, and I thought that came from being happy. I took some time to acknowledge my sadness. It made me realize that I can’t be the only one going through this. I can’t be the only one who took pride in being productive and ambitious and then had a hard time when that was taken away from me. Instead, I can share the struggles of living with a progressive disease while still encouraging growth. So, yes, I feel bad for myself, but that doesn’t take away the pride I feel because of what I have accomplished.

Now that I have acknowledged my sadness, I am beginning to move past my inabilities and focus on my abilities. Although feeling sad is not fun, it’s an important lesson I have had to learn while living with a progressive disease. We all handle our emotions differently. If you are like me and have a difficult time allowing yourself to feel bad about the limitations CF has presented you with, remember this: Just because you take a little time to feel bad for yourself doesn’t mean you will feel like that forever. In fact, it will probably let you heal and move past it faster.

Note: If you are struggling and are more than just a little down or feel like you would benefit from speaking to a professional, please seek out that help. I, personally, spoke with my social worker and found it both incredibly helpful and comforting.

» Follow my journey at The Living, Breathing Wendy «


Note: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cystic Fibrosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cystic fibrosis.


Paul avatar


Acknowledging your feelings is always a good thing.
Being your feelings is another. My approach after 55 years is to not identify with the disease or the feelings from it, either positive or negative. They come and go. They don't really mean anything. I just let them do their thing in the corner of my mind, but do not ever focus on them. Taking pride in accomplishments sounds good, but the shadow of that is feeling bad when things don't work out as planned.
I have found that the most important thing in life is to be. Just that. And things always happen, of course. If I don't loose myself in them, I can enjoy life as it comes. I try to stay as much as possible in that background place, where there is peace of mind. It is much deeper and wider than the feelings, either good or bad, I experience due to the occasional happenings in life. It's a place where I don't have to try to be anything specifically, I can just be myself. It is effortless. It requires a good deal of awareness, but in time, it becomes second nature, or indeed, first nature.


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