Autoimmune Life: The Guilt of Recovery

When I first started my autoimmune healing journey, there was nothing I wanted more than to feel better. In October 2013, I was suffering from a lupus flare, stomach ulcer, inflamed hiatal hernia, pockets of inflammation throughout my intestines and colon, various psoriatic rashes and lesions, joint pain, hair loss, mouth ulcers and gum bleeding, weight gain from prednisone, and an uptick in my vitiligo symptoms, which caused it to spread to my face. I was completely miserable.

Autoimmune Life: The Guilt of Recovery by Tara Perillo
Autoimmune Life: The Guilt of Recovery

Almost two years later, I am happy to have reached remission in my lupus, vitiligo and psoriasis symptoms. My latest blood test have revealed exceptional improvement in my inflammation markers. I have no active rashes or lesions. All of my IBD and gastrointestinal issues have been resolved. I have discovered many of my triggers, and have learned how to cope with them in a more effective way. So then, why am I not screaming about my great news over every mountaintop?

I feel guilty.

If anyone would have told me, when I first began this journey, that I would feel guilt for getting better, I would have said they were nuts. But, here I am, all better, feeling bad that I’m healthy, while so many others are still suffering. It’s like I feel as though I don’t want to shove it in people’s faces. Even though I put in the work and sacrifice over the last two years, and I know I deserve to feel better because of it, I just feel bad for those who are still experiencing flares.

Honestly, I’m not sure if anyone else has ever felt this way. Most people are quick to shout out about their healing triumphs, especially in the autoimmune community. But, I’m sure I can’t be the only one that’s ever felt this way. The feeling is so great, it’s affecting my sleep. Every night, I have dreams, which feel like I’m awake, of my symptoms returning. I feel everything from severe joint pain to nausea, migraines, itching and sore throat. As I sleep, I feel like I’m suffering. Then, when I wake, I’m perfectly fine! I have no pain, no nausea, no anything! Weird, right?

Autoimmune Life- Before photo 10/2013   After photo 9/2015
Autoimmune Life- Before photo 10/2013 After photo 9/2015

So, that’s why I’m coming clean today. This is my mountaintop to shout it from. I AM IN REMISSION!

Hopefully, I can get some sleep tonight……without painful dreams!

Over the weekend, I will be changing some of the pages on my blog to reflect my new status. I encourage any of you who have not been with me from the beginning to check out some of the older posts I’ve written. I’ve actually written about many of the struggles of living on the AIP. I still do maintain a mostly AIP with reintroductions diet because of my various food allergies. Many of those I’ve had for years. They’re not going anywhere. Here are a few of my favorite posts:

Traumatic Stress and Autoimmune- Is There A Link?

Living With Autoimmune- The Bad Days

The Loneliness of Autoimmune Disease

Staying Positive on The Autoimmune Protocol

Also, let’s not forget how I got here. I don’t believe I could have ever healed without The Paleo Approach. Had I not followed the diet and lifestyle changes outlined in this protocol by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, I would not have been able to put my autoimmunity into remission.

I’m also thankful to all of The Paleo Approach Approved autoimmune bloggers and authors who have provided such wonderful resources and recipes to help me heal. You can find all of them here: Autoimmune Bloggers & Sites.

Here are a few of my favorite resources and cookbooks:

The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook

Nourish

He Won’t Know It’s Paleo Cookbook

28 Days of AIP

28 Days of One Pot AIP

Reintroducing Foods On the Autoimmune Protocol

85 Amazing AIP Breakfast Recipes

AIP Paleo Cajun Cookbook

Know that I’m praying for all of y’all who are still suffering. I sincerely hope you all, one day, feel as good as I do right now. I know the journey is long and hard. Even I had doubts throughout these two years. But, now I feel as though all things are possible. I’ll be right here, to help get you there too!

As always, I wish you all good health……..and, good food!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of these links, I may receive compensation. Thank you for helping to support my blogging efforts, here at Paleo Cajun Lady.- Tara Perillo

Tara Perillo

Welcome all. I am Tara Perillo, herbalist, homeopath, yoga and fitness instructor, and healthy foodie . After successfully reaching remission of my lupus symptoms, through changes in my diet, exercise, and lifestyle, I wrote the ebook, Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide. I am also honored to have my paleo and AIP recipes featured in Paleo Magazine, Paleo Living Magazine, Shape Magazine Online, 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts, The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, and blogs by The Paleo Mom, Kris Kresser, Whole New Mom and many others. My focus is to help others become stronger in every facet of their lives. Join me to become stronger in health, mind, body, and spirit, together!

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9 Replies to “Autoimmune Life: The Guilt of Recovery”

  1. Tara, I think that is a very common reaction, a bit like “survivors guilt”. When you got through something that can be as traumatic as autoimmune disease, you have literally been fighting for your life and you are keenly aware of how many are still suffering.

    Shout out your remission Tara! We all need hope and inspiration to keep going forward. Congratulations! You are amazing.

    1. Thank you so very much, Kerry! I honestly never thought about my reaction as “survivors guilt”, until a few of you mentioned it. I guess I never realized I was a survivor; but, you are right on point. This community is such an amazing resource of clarity, inspiration, and encouragement. I feel blessed to be among you. I appreciate your words and enlightenment! You are amazing, too!

      Smooches,
      Tara

  2. Hi Tara,

    Congratulations. I’ve not been following you since the beginning but started reading your blog close to a year ago. Several things are very apparent. 1. Your willingness to go to any lengths to achieve wellness. 2. Your openness about your feelings whether it’s been a good day or a day that’s had many challenges. 3. Your willingness to share your talent for cooking. 4. Your encouraging spirit. Those are just a few things.

    One thing that I found that was really true for me is that each time I’ve been blessed to read about someone’s remission, it gave me enormous hope that I, too, would someday reap the rewards that I was working so hard to get to. And through persistance I’m there and have been for the past two years. Each time one of us gets there and shares it, we give hope to those who are coming after us and proving that the AIP protocol works if you work 100 percent. We each have to also be vigilant because some things that are allowed may not work for us and may be the reason we haven’t seen some results we’d hoped for.

    Like you I tend to stick to AIP with just a very few additions and with your experience I’ve been able to track why some food worked and then they didn’t. We can all learn from each other.

    The only thing we can be assured of in life is that things will change, just as we have been really ill, now we are in remission. And so we move on. I look forward to seeing the changes you’re making to the blog and eagerly await the unveiling of your fitness program.

    Smooches
    Cookie

    1. Bless you, Cookie, for your kind words. As usual, you brought a smile to my face. I always strive to report about the good, and the bad.To know that my frankness is appreciated means the world to me. We truly do all learn from each other. Sharing our stories of triumph and defeat help us to connect in a truly healing way. I feel so blessed by this community. I’m excited to share this new phase in my journey with you. Cheers to us and our success! There are still so many out there who need our help and encouragement. I may not be able to help them all; but, I’ll be darned if I don’t try to.

      Smooches,
      Tara

  3. I have felt guilty too over getting better when others have still struggled. Felt guilt over getting healthy and stronger while others my age are getting old. And unfortunately, I have lost friends and incurred jealousy. But on the other hand, I have encountered more admiration and respect than the negative and encouraged those younger than me to take care of themselves.

    You are now the person I look to to show me how to get even more physically fit. Keep doing what you are doing please. For those of us who are getting better, you help to keep us going from strength to strength.

    1. Thank you so much Katherine. I so love our community of warriors for your sharing and encouragement. It is so comforting to know others have experienced some of the same feelings and struggles. I appreciate you sharing your story with me. I will continue on, and I hope you will do the same.

      Smooches,
      Tara

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