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Feeling Like You Don’t Deserve to Relax

Do you ever feel like you don’t deserve to actually relax? I know that is a strange question but the more I try and analyze some of my health issues, the more I think that deep down, I truly feel this way. I wrote an article about how suffering from a form of inflammatory bowel disease can make a person feel lazy and I guess this sort of goes hand in hand with that to some degree.

I struggle enormously with sleeping and never feel a sense of calm. Even if I am alone with my dogs watching television, I rarely feel relaxed. There is a part of me that feels like I should be doing something productive. Given I can’t work and therefore, have to be dependent on my family for far too many things, I guess I am never satisfied that I have done enough.

I always want to make my parents proud. I always want to be an equal partner and contributor in my family. I always want to be improving myself and doing more to help people. I just want so much for myself and since ulcerative colitis has held me back so much, it is very frustrating to say the least. I am sure I am not telling you all anything you cannot relate to yourself. I know many people who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) struggle with some of the things I mentioned above.

I often wonder if all of this internal pressure and guilt of not being enough is part of the reason I never feel like I can let go and sleep or rest. My brain is always going because there is so much I I want to accomplish and so many things I want for my life. It is devastating when you have so much drive but your body has other plans. It is like we don’t have the physical ability to design our own life. We are at the mercy of our bodies which is an awful way to live. Lack of control is truly one of the worst feelings that go alongside an unpredictable chronic illness like inflammatory bowel disease.

Anyway, given insomnia and anxiety are so common for many of us who suffer from Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, I wonder if anyone else feels this way. I know there are a ton of reasons why many IBDers suffer from anxiety and have trouble sleeping but…

I am curious if you feel like in some ways, you haven’t done enough that day or do enough in general, to warrant you to take time out and rest your body/brain?

I do think a lot of this is subconscious because even on a busy day when I did manage to tackle some chores and things I needed to accomplish for myself and/or family, I still have trouble letting my guard down when the nighttime rolls around. I feel like I run on adrenaline 98% of my life.

Has anyone ever given this topic some thought? I know it is hard for many of us to analyze ourselves but I think it is an interesting thing to at least think about. I could, of course, be in the minority with this. But in the off chance I am not, I wanted to share how I felt about this subject, so you know you are not alone.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    1 year ago

    Yes, you are definitely not alone in feeling this way, I too struggle with these thoughts. But I must say, I have gotten really good with not kicking myself down about this lately because I know I am trying my best. As long as you are trying your best then relax, relax, relax! Your body needs it. Press on, warriors!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • 3 years ago

    very well explained, at the moment I too am belting myself up over this brain/ body issue . Most days my brain is on hyper drive but my body just says No,No,No.
    As a mother of two 19 and 12 and a partner I feel so not worthy some days and yes my anxiety rises and I drop like a fly , emotional roller coaster indeed.
    It can last from hours to weeks I get little sleep have other issues as many of us do, arthritis,lady problems and now menopause grrr , so many tablets and brain fog I feel like I’m slipping in to a place that’s hard to get up from.
    I have counciling and see a phycologist, but even so I still feel so unworthy.
    The good days are few and even outings,and shopping I avoid ,so over letting all down this adds to the anxiety too.
    But most importantly is that yes it’s our body’s and we constantly battle pain ,fatigue, and anxiety. We know when to rest and we all have to tell others ill do what I can when I can , even though I have lost many friends and family due to there lack of compassion
    . I’m starting to realise this is me and I’ll be the best I can on the day , and that alone is truly the 1 st step in expecting reality as we see it.
    I wish you all some peace and better Heath my fellow bumbys,and thanks to each and everyone here for there story’s as here I am normal as the next person sending hugs from ya crazy Aussie Bundy xoxo

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