Dear Guilt … (A Conversation)

Dear Guilt,

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and have decided that it’s high time for you and me to part company. I’ve been carrying you around like a large basket of groceries for many years, and you’re getting too heavy for me to manage anymore, so I finally made the decision to break up with you.

You can’t do that! You can’t manage without me in your life. I’ve always been with you, and you need me; you know you do!

No! I don’t need you anymore. Whether you like it or not, it’s time for us to go our separate ways. I won’t be held back by you; you’ve had me chained to your judgements and doubts for far too long.

But, please, don’t do this to us. We can’t survive without each other.

There is no us! I can survive quite happily without you pulling me down day after day, week in, week out. I don’t want you in my life now. It’s time for pastures new. I refuse to be dragged back to the past whenever you feel morose or emotional.

But what will you do without me to remind you of all those years you were abused … those years when you didn’t tell anyone? You know you should have told, don’t you!? Why did you keep it so quiet?  It’s such a massive part of you and a part of you that deserves not to be forgotten. Surely …

Now, listen here, Guilt, you’ve been reminding me of that for decades. Just stop it!! I know it wasn’t my fault – I was just a small child and too young to comprehend what was happening to me. I’m not going to feel bad about it any longer. I’ve discussed all this in my last lot of therapy. You continually pulled me down even then. I don’t know why I listened to you.

I thought you said you wanted to continue to discuss your past experiences with your new therapist when you get one. After all, why else go to see a therapist if not to deal with your past?

Look, I’ve done all that! I’ve thought it through thoroughly in the break. I don’t need to keep dragging it up from the past! Just because you want to cling to the pain and awful memories doesn’t mean I want to do that again. I’ve been there, done that, and worn the t-shirt. When I see a new therapist, it will be with a view to moving forwards, not to keep harping on about the past.

What about all those years you were an addict? You remember; when you’d get off your face with drugs and alcohol? You were hopeless without it, just like you’ll be hopeless without me. You know how worried and cross you made your family and friends. No one wanted to know you back then – only me – there was only you and me together. I never let you down. I was always there to remind you of how good I was to you, that I was the only one who stuck by your side.

My family and friends understand that I was ill back then. We’ve spoken about those times over the last few years. I was very mentally ill. They knew that, but they didn’t know what to do to help me. I had to sort myself out with help from the hospitals and doctors. And I did. And I didn’t need you lurking in my mind all day and night, trying to suck me back down. I do not want you in my life anymore! Do you hear me? Can’t you get this through your thick head? I’ve had enough of walking hand and hand with you.

But … you can’t do this to me. You can’t do this to us. I … we …. Listen, we can start again. I’ll be good to you. Honestly, I will.

Really? Seriously, Guilt??  Just go away!!

What do you mean, go away? You’ve always held me so close and told me how much you needed me. I needed you, too. I still do. You need me, too. Who will you be without me? Who would we be if we were not together? How would we live without each other? You can’t do this to me. I’ll die without you.

Look, Guilt, I’m not going to say this again. I’m sick to death of having you hanging around my neck. I don’t need you – do you get that!? You’re going whether you like it or not. You’re out. We’re over. I’m not going to feed you anymore. You can go and shrivel up in a corner and disappear. I don’t care, I do not care. Get it?

But … please, think again. You know you …


Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

Author: Ellie Thompson

Writing my memoirs, musings, a little fiction and a lot of poetry as a way of exploring and making the most of my life ... ... Having had a break from writing my blog for more than three years, I decided to return to write my memoirs, some day-to-day observations, views and feelings. My passion is non-fiction poetry. I have a disability and use an electric powerchair called Alfie and let nothing get in the way of living life to the full. I believe that you can never do a kindness too soon and should give credit where credit is due. A smile or a kind word could make the difference between a good or bad day for a person - we never know what's going on for another soul. Those little things, perhaps, practised daily like a mantra, could mean so much to someone else. Thank you for visiting my blog and reading a little more about me. Please, make yourself at home here. You are very welcome. Ellie x 😊

69 thoughts on “Dear Guilt … (A Conversation)”

        1. I am ready. I have a different journey ahead of me now—a better one. I’m not being naive; I’ll know I’ll have down days as we all do, but I don’t want to go to those dark places where I was in so much agony again. Thanks for being by my side, my friend. 💛💚🤗💚💛

    1. Thank you, Richard. I’m glad it might have helped you a bit. It’s taken me years to get to this point. I know everything won’t be plain sailing all the time, but I’m going to do my best to keep positive and not to be guilt-ridden like I have been for my whole life. I’m in a good place today, and making the most of it. X 😊💓🤗

        1. Oh, thank you, Richard. I am very humbled. I’m just glad if I can help anyone who reads about my journey. It’s been a very long one and isn’t finished yet, not by a long way. X 💛💛

  1. Lovely writing, Ellie. You deserve freedom from it, we all do. Easier said than done, but this conversation is a good start to getting rid of it for good. Sending you so much love 🥰❤️💐🌸

    1. Thank you, Jenn. That’s kind of you to say. It’s not easy but I’m going to work at it until it becomes second nature. How are you? I haven’t seen you on WP much lately. Sending much love to you, also. Xx 🤗💖🌷💕

        1. I’m glad you’re well, Jenn, albeit very busy. Sometimes busy is a good thing, although too much of anything is a bit exhausting. Have a wonderful day, lovely Xx 🥰💞

  2. 🤩🥰🤩🥰 the amazing thing about deciding to let go of baggage, when we realize it is no longer shielding us from what we don’t want to look at, is we discover that the only thing it was actually shielding us from was our ability to like ourselves! Bravo! I love this new step!

    1. Thank you so much, Tamara. I am learning as I go along. I’m trying to let go of my emotional baggage as, as I said in my writing, I’ve been carrying it around with me for most of my life. I don’t need it hanging around my neck anymore. I still have a way to go, but I feel more confident about getting there now. I haven’t got my rose-coloured spectacles on; I’m realistic and know that not all days will be easy, but at least, I’m taking another step nearer to inner peace. Thank you for your endless encouragement. I’ve learned so much from you. Xx 🤗💖🥰💕

      1. It has-been my absolute pleasure to watch your transformation and growth! It’s absolutely amazing what we can do for ourselves, isn’t it?!

  3. It’s great you are letting go of things that no longer serve you Ellie. This piece was so instructive in its format, I’m sure you will help someone else to see they may have parts of them that have over stayed their welcome. Sending you love 💕

    1. Thank you very much, Kate. I do hope that someone else will be encouraged to take a step in the right direction regarding their healing journey.

      I’m way behind with reading your posts but will try to catch up very soon. I love what you’re writing lately. Are you back on dry land yet? It’s been lovely to have an insight into your travels via your writing. I felt like I was there with you through the journey. Much love to you, also. Xx 💖

      1. Dry land today Ellie, actually it seems to be raining, not to worry. And a seven hour car drive ahead, but at some stage I will reach home. I’m looking forward to it, and a little overwhelmed by all I will have to do – emails and texts coming in now I’m off the ships wifi.

        1. That’s a long drive home. I can imagine how much there will be to do when you reach home after being away. I’m sure you’ll catch up with it all before too long. I know what it’s like to be inundated with emails and messages. When I have to spend a day at the hospital with very poor signal and WiFi, it’s not till I get home that all the rings and beeps start going off. I’m so glad you have such a lovely trip. Welcome back to dry land again. X 💐

  4. I’ve read, and probably heard, that guilt, at its essence, is the thought that “I did something bad” (which can, at times be instructive), whereas shame is the thought “I am bad”. In your writing, I see a bit of a crossover between the two, slanting toward shame. I applaud your self-awareness and your endeavor to part ways with *unwarranted* guilt. What you “did wrong” was *done to you*, presumably by someone who was supposed to be trustworthy and who had power over you. So it’s absolutely NOT your fault and NOT your burden to bear! Another way to say it is: You did nothing wrong, so any guilt you may feel is entirely misplaced! And if I’m reading it right, the shame, which is so closely attached to the guilt, is *certainly* not yours. You *are not* bad!

    You have been an encouragement to me, through your blog writing and your interaction on my blogs. I really appreciate you, Ellie! And while you may not be “seeing a therapist” right now, you are still obviously doing the work! That’s awesome!!

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, David. Yes, I think you could be right – guilt and shame are very closely linked. It’s an interesting way of thinking about it. The blame belonged to my abuser and not me. I was only a young child at those times. However, my resulting ‘behaviours’, such as addictions, were my responsibility, and although indirectly connected to the abuse, no one was forcing me to take a drink or a drug. It was just my way of seeking oblivion from the pain and trauma. I really wrecked my family relationships and friendships at the time and caused people a lot of worry and hurt. I’ve been clean and sober for over ten years now and have, fortunately, rebuilt my relationships with my family and some friends; plus, I have made some lovely new friends along the way.

      I’m so glad and feel moved that you feel I’ve encouraged you through my writing. I am very humbled. Thank you. I’m still waiting for a new therapist, but it’ll be months until a place becomes available. When it does, I want to work on improving my present and future rather than just dwelling on the past. I also need to deal with the grief from losing my Mum a few years ago.

      I also feel very blessed to have had the support of so many of my blogging friends here on WP. So many of you have stuck by me through all the pain, fear and trauma over the years, and those same people, and some new ones (such as you), are, thankfully, part of my new journey now. Thanks again, David, for your kind words and continuing encouragement. It’s very much appreciated 😊.

      1. I get it. Addiction wasn’t “forced” on me either… it was my adaptive approach to deal with my trauma and navigate the world around me. In a real sense, it worked! Until it didn’t… adaptive eventually becomes maladaptive. And then we figure out our poorly constructed treehouse isn’t meant to house us for our entire lives… 😏

        1. You are so right, David. I’m sorry you’ve been through a lot of trauma leading to your addictions, too. I know I coped in exactly the same way. I love the words about the tree house. What a lovely metaphor, though.

  5. It is evident that many people have cared and accompanied you in spirit during difficult times. Armed with your writing you have fought many battles. I guess I have only known you through wordpress for a short time and as such have only seen the new Ellie, the victor of her own destiny. I salute the strength and courage you have shown during this voyage towards the light.

    1. Yes, I have been extremely fortunate that lots of my blogging friends have been a wonderful support to me over the years I’ve been blogging, especially during the last year or so after taking a three year break from my blog. I have been through some very tough times, but the help and encouragement I’ve had here is paramount to none. I’m extremely grateful to each and every person who has been on my journey with me. Thank you very much, too, for your very kind and encouraging words, Geoff. I’m glad that we have ‘met’ 😊.

    1. I certainly will do that, Mick 😉. I love your words, and they are quite true, too. Thank you for being part of my journey, Mick. We go back a long way now, and out of all my readers, I think you’ve stuck with me for the longest time. I’m very grateful and happy about that. Hope you and yours are all well. X

    1. Thanks very much, Jeff. I will be on the lookout as I know not every day will be a bunch of roses. I’m positive (for now and hopefully going onwards) but am still realistic in that life throws plenty of curveballs and we don’t often see them coming. I know I’m not immune to guilt. I’m sure there will be some in the future, but I hope I’ll be able to deal with it slightly differently.

    1. Thank you so much, Pamelap. That’s so kind of you and much appreciated. It makes me happy to know you are happy, too. Sending love and peace your way, my friend. Xx 🥰🌼💞

  6. This is beautiful. Processing a change in your life with conversation. Setting boundaries for yourself. I realized that this is important. Knowing that you are important enough to take care of.
    Each step you take has value. The big steps like breaking up with guilt and the small steps that follow. The reminders that you are making the right decisions for yourself.
    This is a very valuable piece of writing. I am so glad you shared it with us. Thank you, Ellie.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words, Allie. I’ve never been great with setting boundaries due to having mine smashed so many times during my life. It’s something I still struggle with. I’m also being realistic in knowing that every day isn’t going to be perfect. I’ve carried a heck of a lot of guilt around with me for my whole life. Writing this was very cathartic. I also know that not every step will be this huge, but I’m happy to take smaller ones as I journey into the rest of my life. I’m so fortunate that I have so much wonderful support from all my blogging friends. You all share a part of my life I find difficult to share with people in my non-blogging world. I know we haven’t known each other for very long, but I do feel we have something in common. I appreciate your caring words very much and thank you for being one of those lovely friends. Much love to you Xx 🥰💕

    1. Thanks so much, Granny. You being happy makes me happy, too. You mean a lot to me. I will reply to your email later. I also want to read your post from yesterday again. I love the photo of the lovely dog, too. Love you Xxx 🥰🌹💞

    1. Thank you so much, Aaysid. I appreciate your very kind words. I am trying very hard to look at life more positively now. To do that, I have to look at myself first. There is only me responsible for myself. If I don’t sort myself out, nobody else can, albeit we all need a little bit of help sometimes. I hope you are well. Xx 💐💞

        1. Thank you very much, Aaysid. That’s kind of you to say. Hope you are well. I’ve got a busy week ahead, but all good things. Have a wonderful week, too, my friend. Xx 🤗🌼💞

  7. Yes, get rid of the guilt! It just drags you down and there’s no reason for it. The past is over and done with, you’ve faced it and dealt with it. You have nothing to feel guilty about! You’re a terrific person, Ellie……your honesty, kindness and determination are an inspiration to all of us who read your blog. Thank you for that!

    1. Thanks, Ann. I’m certainly doing that to the best of my ability. I’ve spent most of my life feeling guilty, but it’s time to let go of it now. I want to move forwards rather than backwards now, and not before time. Thank you so much for your kind and generous words about me. I feel very humbled. When I write, I always hope my words will touch someone else and perhaps, make them feel less alone with their feelings. Have a lovely day, Ann. Xx 💕

  8. Okay wow!!
    This is interesting.
    This is deep self talk.
    I love reading it.
    It takes a lot of courage to think about it and write it, and you are surely very bold.
    What happened in the end???
    Who won?

    1. Thanks for reading my post, Devang. I’m glad you enjoyed it. It took a lot of courage for me to write it, but I’m pleased I did. It did me good. In the end, I stopped feeling guilty about things in my past that weren’t my fault in the first place. Who won? I did, and not my guilt. The guilt lost big time! 😊

  9. Yes! What a seriously powerful and impactful letter. Breaking off a relationship with guilt is a huge step forward. I’m so proud of you.❤️❤️❤️

    1. Thank you very much for your appreciation, Bridgette. It’s not an easy thing to do, but I felt it was necessary to enable me to move on with my life. I’ve spent far too many years riddled with guilt and didn’t want to continue to live with that. Thank you for being proud of me. I’m very humbled. Love to you Xx 💖❣💕

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