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I Feel like a burden

DanBarton Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi everyone, I am 35 living with chronic lower back pain, there are days I can barely move and I feel like a burden to my wife and family as I am unable to provide an income or even do house work. This is the first time I am opening up about this and looking to chat with people who have or had gone through similar situations and how to manage.

Thank you for your time reading this



  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello there @DanBarton and welcome to the community, I hope it can be a welcoming and supportive place for you.

    Well done for reaching out and posting about how you've been feeling, it's a difficult thing to do, but talking about it is often more helpful than we first expect.

    Living with disabilities and chronic health conditions often brings up a lot of different feelings and emotions, which everyone processes differently. There are times when we can feel like a burden, times we can feel frustrated and angry, and other times when we feel like we're not being heard or understood.

    I have cerebral palsy, and can sometimes feel guilty for "not doing enough" to support with housework etc. It can be difficult, as it helps to understand that my body can only do so much, this is acceptable, this is okay, and it's not anyone's fault. Often this comes from comparing myself to my friends without disabilities, and this isn't realistic.

    Are these feelings something you've discussed with your family? Are there ways you're supporting them that you haven't mentioned here?

    Can I ask what support you're getting from your GP to help manage your back pain at the moment? If you are struggling to manage things day to day, you could always talk to them about a needs assessment for extra support.

    If you feel we can help with anything, please do let us know, and enjoy your time on the community :)

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  • SueHeath
    SueHeath Community member Posts: 12,420 Disability Gamechanger
    Afternoon @DanBarton welcome to our fantastic group.
    Sorry to hear things are not good at the moment, 
    when you get chance have a look around the site you will find lots of interesting chats/threads/debates
    plenty of advice and games that i find help with distraction.

    Look forward to seeing you around.
  • allisonnixon27
    allisonnixon27 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hello Dan.i have massive issues talking about about my health issues as I feel ashamed and disgusted with how much it has affected every aspect of my life or should I say what it has become.i used to have a life and friends,I worked full time and my partner works away and when home we went out and enjoyed myself but now I’m scared to go out incase get spasms or collapse.i avoid seeing people and won’t answer the door.the constant pain is the thing we will openly admit to but it’s the mental health that drags you down.i can only assume that like me you try your best to hide it but sometimes the smile slips.the guilt of not “doing our share” it’s hard to live with and makes that big black hole easier to fall into.try to remember your wife and children love you or let’s be honest,they wouldn’t be there.on a bright side,you know you’re still alive when it’s still hurting😉.sorry that’s just something I always say
  • Thunderfinch
    Thunderfinch Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    edited May 2022
    Hi Dan. 
    I'm a few years older than you - 47 - but have been housebound since 36. I won't argue with you that it's hard. As a man I  felt that I had to provide for my family, and when I couldn't it removed some of my  manliness. I was brought up to provide and be strong, at least that's how it was for me. I went from managing 100 staff, and volunteering for the police in the evenings, to being unable to leave the house in a matter of months. I tried suicide and all that stuff - none of which worked. 
    What helped me was acceptance. This is my life now, and what could I do to make it easier. I was open with my wife about how I felt, and luckily she understood and helped my journey.
    I can't advise you on dealing with pain, as I wasn't in any. My issue was complex PTSD and other stuff. All I can say is that hobbies helped me, as well as signing up for Open Uni courses. Writing, drawing, etc are all activities that keep the mind active and help stop obsessing about how rubbish life is, they can also be put down when you're in too much pain. 
    Mindfulness and meditation helped me more than CBT, and apparently can help with pain - but I don't know how you keep a calm mind when in pain! 

    It sounds like your condition is variable. So, do what you can, when you can, and try not to beat yourself up when you can't. I used to hate myself on the days I couldn't face anything. It was accepting that it was temporary, and would pass that helped me. It's not a straight road though. It's like two steps forward and one and a half back!

    My wife said something to me a few years ago that has stuck with me. It was just after she'd called the men in white coats after finding me trying to (Removed, potentially triggering content). We sat waiting for them - and the police....- and she asked me why. I said I didn't want to be a burden on society, or hold her back any more. Her reply was simple. She didn't care. I wasn't a burden, I was me. She would sooner have me here, in any form, than not. I'm sure your family feel the same way.  

    Best of luck. 
  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
    Totally agree @Thunderfinch, acceptance of who we are is really important otherwise we’re battling reality and that’s well...unrealistic. families would rather have you as you are than not at all, that’s a definite. 

    Its also possible that sometimes our situation improves over time, certainly mentally things can improve after all impermanence is all around us. It’s a cosmic fact. 

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,817 Disability Gamechanger
    hi @DanBarton hello Dan, it's great that you have opened up, I found myself in a similar situation when at 38 I started to have seizures after my second stroke and had to stop working, I felt useless. 
    It took time to adapt, I had some counselling which was helpful and eventually some anti depressants which also help.
    I would also say when things change we have to accept who we have become, I wish you luck and we are here if you want to talk.
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

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