One of the defining characteristics of humans is the desire to achieve. Zebras everywhere are trying to answer the question of how to do so while living with chronic pain. Whether we bring it on ourselves or others call us lazy, our mental state can be greatly impacted by guilt. No amount of assurances from others will remove the guilt until we deal with it ourselves.
How to deal with guilt:
The easier-said-than-done answer is you have to become friends with yourself. If you were to be taking care of someone who you cared deeply for and they were in pain all of the time, how would you treat them? You have to show yourself the same kindness and patience that you would to someone else. You have to learn to love yourself and choose the positive over the abundantly negative. It’s hard, especially as the person who sees all of your mistakes and regrets. And it may seem hokey but it’s a powerful thing. Know what you can and can’t do, and start showing yourself grace. Laugh when you do something ridiculous (I do this a lot, especially when my hips pop out), do things that bring you joy, keep pushing yourself on days that you can, take care of others when you can, and know that failure is only failure if you don’t keep trying.
What people call you is a reflection of themselves. Their insecurities should not and cannot determine your mental well being. You and only you can determine how their comments will affect you.
Don’t let guilt define you. You are more than the limitations others set for you.