I know it's not about me, but I still feel guilty

This is mostly thinking out loud, but it is something that bothers me.

My life is going well, which feels like a relief and also like it is about time. I’m pleased and less anxious and feeling like I am making progress. All of which is great… but now it suddenly seems like as my life is taking a turn for the better, my friends’ lives are suffering setbacks. The worst being a close friend being diagnosed with breast cancer and another friend texting me from the hospital about having colon cancer. Other friends are having difficulties as well and the timing makes me feel like if I had just been content to keep suffering in my old situation, they wouldn’t be suffering now.
I know it’s egocentric and I know it’s confirmation bias and I know everything isn’t about me, but I still feel guilty because this isn’t the first time. The thing that sort of cemented this idea was back in my 30s I had finally achieved a job I wanted, an apartment I loved, and a significant other who I adored and I was feeling pretty good. Then my dad got terminally ill, and things went sour at the job. I couldn’t afford to stay where I was living, and my SO broke up with me over the phone. I felt like I was being punished for wanting good things in my life, which then all fell apart anyway. So I went back to being mostly miserable, but at least my friend’s lives were going well. They were buying houses and getting married and I felt like ok, I can be happy for them and if I have to suffer for them to do well, I can do that. I lost track of that thought, though, in my depression. Eventually I started trying to improve my life again but now once more I can’t shake the feeling that I’m doing so at the expense of others, and the worry that I think things are going well but underneath somehow they are already falling apart.

Thanks for listening/reading this far. Mostly I just wanted to see if things still felt like they were my fault if I tried to write it out logically. I can see the error in my thinking but not a good way to really correct it. I suppose the best thing is to try and be aware of any attempts to self-sabotage, and focus on all that stuff about how you can’t pour out of an empty cup and it’s okay to take care of yourself and I deserve good things, and how I can look at it as my life gets to go well so I can have the strength and capability to help others… It does feel better to share it though, so that’s a good thing.

Hi there OrphanFrequently! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

I totally know how you feel in that you feel guilty for having and enjoying wonderful blessings in your life while the people you love and care about are suffering.

I know that it can feel like it’s your fault that your friends are now suffering because you’re doing good due to your experience with this in the past.

But it’s kind of like that one example where the number of ice cream sales at the beach are super high, but so is the murder rate.
Those two things are happening at the same time, but it doesn’t mean that higher ice cream sales are causing the murders.
Correlation does not equal causation.
And so you being in a good place in life right now is not causing your friends to suddenly be in a bad place.
I feel like it’s just…you know, just life and the universe doing it’s thing. ( ̄▽ ̄)

You are absolutely deserving of good and wonderful things! We all are and you should totally savour and enjoy being in a good place in your life right now after all of the progress you’ve made.
And as you said:

“… how I can look at it as my life gets to go well so I can have the strength and capability to help others…”

Yes! Exactly! You can’t help others if you don’t take care of yourself first.
And once you’ve taken care of you, then you can use your extra strength and blessings to help others however you can. :sparkling_heart:

And maybe life (or God, if you believe) worked things out perfectly so that you could be blessed enough to be there for your friends in their time of need! ( ´ ▽ ` )


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Hey OrphanFrequently,
Please don’t feel guilty for your life getting better. You deserve to feel amazing and you deserve everything going right (sorry shit phrasing but I have no idea how to reword it :grimacing:)

Think about it the sense that because you’re in a good place, you are more able to help! Being positive on its own is already a massive help because being happy can help others be happy.

I really hope all your friends get better soon, I wish them all the best.

Hold fast friend,
Luna <3