Acute Guilt Syndrome

It happens to me very often me. It happens to me almost every time, unfailingly. It grips me tightly and its tentacles suffocate me sometimes. I wonder if it happens to me and only me or if it is a constant companion of others like me also. I seem to be having this acute guilt syndrome.  I feel guilty for things normal people don’t care two hoots about. I feel guilty about feeling pleasure and being happy. I don’t know how this whole thing started. But little moments of pleasure always come with accompanying bouts of guilt.

I feel guilty about enjoying a piece of cake. I feel like I am cheating somehow on my self-imposed diet vow.

I feel guilty about missing my workout.

I feel guilty about eating rice
P.S. I love rice, but I feel it will make me fat almost immediately.

I feel guilty about being vain, about spending some insane amount on a cosmetic product. My mind immediately goes into a calculation mode and calculates how that much money could easily have been some poor family’s food budget for a week. Last week, I felt like pampering myself and thought that I deserved a hair spa. Now, I work hard and I am sincere and I earn my own money. So if I decide to spend some not-so-small amount on pampering myself once in a long while, its rational right? It doesn’t harm right? After all, I am not that vain. I spend judiciously. I think wisely. I prioritize. The hair spa should have given me a high. And high, it did. But almost next moment, I felt a pang of guilt. I immediately thought that I could have bought a dozen poor kids a nice meal with that money. Wouldn’t that have been a better thing to do with money? Such thoughts leave me high and dry. Is it really bad to spend money on vain things? Why does this always happen with me?

Then I also feel guilty sometimes about doing hardly anything for a social cause, thinking beyond self and family. Sometimes I wonder am I really shallow? Am I really indifferent to pains and poverty around me? Isn’t it everyone’s moral obligation to do something for the society? To give back to the society in someway? To have a higher cause? But, then immediately on the other hand, i realize that unless it comes from within its useless. If I don’t enjoy what I am doing, it wont take me too long.

Okay moving on, another example.

I feel guilty about not reading newspapers daily. Ya, I am silly that way. Now this may be due to the mental conditioning. Our teachers in school imbibed this habit of reading papers every day. So this guilt finds its roots in that school time habit.

I feel guilty about not finding enough time to read. Read enough. As much as I would like to.

I feel guilty about having that occasional scoop of ice cream on a whim. Ya, ya that same calorie-calculation mode in my brain gets activated. And I am not even fat really. Sigh

I feel guilty about not spending enough time with parents, due to work, and gym and many other commitments. I feel i am failing my responsibilities as a daughter.

I feel guilty about sleeping in the afternoon on weekends. I think how many pending things I could have ticked off my never ending to-do list if I wouldn’t have slept.  Now tell me, is this abnormal? Who doesn’t enjoy lazying? Who doesn’t enjoy a good afternoon siesta?

So you get a drift of what I am trying to say right? I feel guilty about almost everything that brings pleasure. Be it those two pieces of chocolate that give me a high; be it an occasional expensive thing I buy myself, be it things like lazying and sleeping. Not wholly, but this feeling is somewhat similar to survivor’s guilt. I feel guilty about enjoying too much, because I quickly think that some other less fortunate people are living in misery.

And now to add to my guilt list, there is one more. I feel guilty about not finding enough time to write my blogs. Sigh!

Everything that I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening 😛

Do I need to see a shrink? What you think? Such things happen with you? Do you suppose this is an unusual case?

I feel like I want to take care of everyone and I also feel this terrible guilt if I am unable to. And I have felt this way ever since all this success started.
– Jim Carrey


30 thoughts on “Acute Guilt Syndrome

  1. Awesome thought but dont kill your pleasure with guilt is what I would say!! There is no meaning of pleasure if you go in the thought process of guilt!! Enjoy what you have and what you do!!!
    But this is nothing abnormal as some of the feelings are exactly what I and many others would feel..
    In all, nice one, I shuld say!! 🙂

    • Hey Sonal,
      On the outset, thank you so much for stopping by and taking some time out to read and comment 🙂
      You are right, may be i should not think too much. I need to let lose.

  2. hey first of all good blog yaar. And Dont worry even I feel guilty for a long list of stuff. Be it the after spending money on shopping or eating high calorie stuff especially about not being able to spend enough time with family……I am with you:-P
    But i guess its true, whatever we do comes with some guilt in it…

  3. Ghosh!!!!!! Zee our group is full of people with Guilt Syndrome!!! How I know I overhear the whole discussion!!!! lol
    So relate to your thoughts.. Thumps up.

  4. its happened to every one zee.. always people think that how they can finish their pending works in free time bt rather that they would prefer to watch tv or to play favorite games… i also feel guilty when i keep fast and thinking about my fav food the whole day…

  5. welcome to the group girl!!! i keep an alarm of 0700 hrs since the past six months and snooze it aleast 5 times n still have made it just for 1 day in all 6 months to the GYM!!! n i still have tht ALARM!!! 😉 so u wanna name this syndrome or thrs some other name to it!!!

  6. hi…tats a nice post but looks like people take life too seriously..its not needed realy..i nevr feel guilty in taking a bite of a cupcake nor do i feel guilty for takin a nap in d noon..evryone has a destiny v cant change d world nor d poverty realy..yes v can do our bit..n mk thinx bettr around..but followin d heart n doing wat v realy wish gets a great pleasure..n tat moment shud b njoied to d fullest..look around thr r so many unfotunate..v r d lucky ones to hav it al..v shud respect d pleasures tat v can buy n njoy it..its jus abt changin d outlook…v shud b tat satisfied wid life tat it doesnt mk us feel guilty..tats wat i feel n tats how i live.. 🙂

  7. Great thoughts. But honestly, I do not think this way, it’s because I am yet to taste the real success. 🙂 So I can break all the rules to do what I feel right. 🙂 I go and meet my parent, when ever they want me near. I can get part of a social cause which I feel important.
    But as you have said, things change once a person get that success. Success brings responsibility. So sometimes that responsibility does not allow us to do what ever we want to do in life.

    • Thanks for reading this Arindam 🙂
      Hmm.. there is always some gap between whet we do and what we wish we’d do.
      Usually guilt comes into play when you are unable to meet a benchmark that your subconscious has set for you.

  8. I feel a lot better after reading this. I feel the same types of guilt and assumed I’m the only one who goes through this. I work hard and earn my money, but feel bad about shopping. I’m not at all a girly girl and my closet isn’t overflowing with the latest fashions. Yet when I buy something new I not only feel bad about the cost, but also the vanity. I get mad st myself for liking the way I look in a trendier/more fitted /flattering outfit. And I’m not buying designer stuff or at retail prices! I also feel bad about liking myself more when I look good, as if I should already feel confident and not need a pick me up from my butt looking nicer in a new pair if jeans! I feel like a phony and like I’m trying too hard. I get mad at myself for being vain, and sometimes in the store after all the time shopping and finding something nice, I just get so frustrated with my emotions that I lea r,having bought nothing at all, feeling worse about.the time I wasted, and could have done things like read the paper. I know it is irrational, but I can’t help the guilt cycle!

  9. Pingback: Know your Self-Worth!! | all things worldly...

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