Most of the time I doubt that what I feel is real. There is that thing, always in the back of my mind informing me that I am a hypochondriac. That really I could do a lot more than I do, I am lazy, without drive.

If I say I feel sad, I think I must probably be unworthy of the feeling. If I feel overwhelmed, I am painfully aware that I am just weak. If I feel trapped, I know I have trapped myself, because if I just pulled myself together, pushed through the pain, I would probably be fine. 

I don’t trust what I feel, as I know that often, what I feel is not what is real. However, that means that the impact of those feelings is often dismissed and ignored. I don’t really know how to find the balance, where I trust that the emotions I feel are real, even if they are there due to illness not circumstance.

My years with depression though, seem to have led me to distrust every feeling I have. The non emotional ones too. So currently, I feel a constant weight of guilt that I am not exercising, working and staying active. The reality is that when I do, I get dizzy, lose coordination in my arms and legs and start slurring my words, but all of this surely could be overcome if I just pulled myself together?

I don’t really know how to move past this inability to trust my body and feelings. To cut myself some slack for my current largely inactive state of being. Perhaps it is the deep and somewhat desperate desire to be able to live a more active life that is turning my illness into a weight of guilt. Perhaps it is the ongoing journey of recovery from depression, the decade long habit of guilt being the predominant response to any perceived failure I see in my life.

I feel though that something has to give. I would like my health, physically to be the thing that does – that energy would suddenly appear, but I suspect it may in fact be how I respond to myself that needs to change.
Perhaps really, I need to just let go of the life I think I ought to have now, and find the joy in the life I am living. But saying ‘just’ seems to trivialise the enormity of that task.
A friend once said to me ‘don’t should on yourself’ and I find that it was possibly the best and hardest advice I have ever been offered. So, my new adventure of attempting to let go of the ‘ought’ and ‘should’ parts of my life is going to begin.
It ought to be fun….


  • I’ve been waiting for you to post again, you manage to put down exactly how I feel but for some reason can’t vocalise. A constant battle of battle of mine is the feeling of ‘Am I just making it up? Am I just feeling what everyone else does and if so whats wrong with me? I’m forever telling myself to ‘get on with it’ but can’t find the energy to do so. I wouldn’t normally comment on things like this but I just wanted to thank you for writing exactly how I feel, I know it doesn’t help you but you definitely help me feel less isolated. I pray your new ‘adventure’ is a good one 🙂

  • “If I say I feel sad, I think I must probably be unworthy of the feeling. If I feel overwhelmed, I am painfully aware that I am just weak. If I feel trapped, I know I have trapped myself, because if I just pulled myself together, pushed through the pain, I would probably be fine.” – THIS. Yes. I totally get it. It’s so hard to allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. (But also with depression, knowing when not to trust what you are feeling??) That’s why depression sucks, because it teaches you that your mind and body are not to be trusted.

    I love the way you always say it so perfectly.

  • Katherine you express exactly how I have been feeling for a long time. Wishing I could “get up and go” but just haven’t the energy to do anything. It is good in a way to know that I am not the only one and I hope it helps you a little to know that you are not alone. God bless you and may He give you peace. Ann

  • Katharine,

    Perhaps flippantly I might say that it could be something to do with the weather ? We all seem to be operating lackadaisically at the moment.

    But I’ve just been alerted to an inspiring site run by Rachel Kelly who you may know … it’s http://www.thewordsdoctor.com . The ‘Healing Quote’ which nourished her in the lowest times is 2 Corinthians 12, vs 9 – “My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

    God bless you,


  • Thank you so much. You put into words exactly how I feel and what I say to myself. You make me feel like I can breathe because it’s not “just me”. Take care.

  • Hi Katharine,
    I have only just stumbled on to you and your writings (one of the blessings of social media and its tentacles) and I feel as though I have found a real treasure. Your health and the way you are making it work for you (and for everyone else) allows us to acknowledge our own underlying vulnerability. The same global web and its tentacles also give us access to those “you can be anything you want to be” messages which make us feel that perfection is the norm and anything else is inadequacy. In fact, the only perfection that has ever existed in human form is Christ, and the gift God gives us is to be able to see and understand perfection. Our aspiring to be perfect – mentally, physically, spiritually etc is not so much a standard that we must attain, but rather a calling by God for us to love and nurture that which is Holy and beautiful. If we didn’t recognise perfection, we would never be able to praise God, and God’s gift to us is to love and grow the little-old humans that we are. I tried for years to be perfect because I is was brought up by parents who survived and conquered huge impediments in their lives, and then I married into a family where everyone just gets everything right. That was my dark path, borne out of negativity.

    I don’t think I shall ever lose the vulnerability, but then, scratch anyone and I suspect we will find a vulnerability somewhere, including the aforesaid “you can be anything you want to be” gods and goddesses. Thank you for you openness and your reminding me once again, in our weakness is his strength. Keep going – you are on a wonderful path and wherever it leads, know that others are getting somewhere because of you. To put it bluntly – when sh*t happens, spread it around and watch the potatoes grow! You’ll create a wonderful crop in all our lives!

  • Have you ever tried journal prayer? The Intercessors of the Lamb’s Hearing the Voice of God AKA Formation II, available on their website, is a great introduction. What I do is prayerfully ask God where the feeling of guilt originated–try to pay attention to the memory that surfaces & ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth about the guilt/what is happening, not because I’m stupid and I don’t intellectually know the difference between shame (wound) and real guilt (something I need to ask forgiveness for) but because when God reveals, when we listen in prayer or however we perceive God, he also heals the wound–so it doesn’t keep coming up again and again in daily life. Guilt is one of those things that is often rooted in something that happened way back when–but we don’t even know what it is. God does; He can reveal it–and heal it.

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