This pandemic has stirred up so much emotion in people. From fear to sadness, frustration to depression. However one of the feelings I was not prepared for as a counsellor was overwhelming guilt.
So as I sat down this morning to write a blog, I felt compelled to address these feelings of guilt and unpack them with you a little.
So what do I mean by guilt- I think this description puts it very nicely:
Now of course if you know that you have purposely caused harm to another person then guilt would be an appropriate feeling to experience, but what I am hearing is people feeling guilty for things totally out of their control and thus taking over responsibility for others.
The guilt I am hearing about is the belief that they are responsibly for giving someone the virus. This often happens when someone has tested positive and then feelings of guilt and shame overwhelm them. With questions such as 'what did I do wrong?' 'People will now be angry at me because I gave them the virus.' Or 'now other people have to self isolate because of me.'
Now it is not to say you wont have those thoughts and feelings, however it is important to look at the reality of the situation. We are dealing with a highly contagious virus that even with all the right precautions it is still going to be passed around.
If you get the virus it is not 'your fault' or something you need to feel ashamed or guilty about- Most people are passing the virus without having any symptoms or knowledge they are infectious.
So what can you do if you find yourself suffering with Corona Virus guilt? Here are a few steps that may help.
Acknowledge that you have thoughts and feelings of guilt.
Speak kindly to yourself and check if you are taking over responsibility for the situation.
Talk to a loved one about how you feel so you don't bottle it up.
Recognise that we are in a global pandemic and you did not do anything wrong to catch it.
If you are struggling with feelings of guilt or any other emotional distress then please contact me via my website www.honeysettcounselling.co.uk or call 07889026560