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Better Off With You

Community Manager

What does 'feeling like a burden' mean to you?

Hey all. Whilst it can feel a bit heavy to share our journey of burden whilst we manage our mental health, I think it's still a super important conversation to have.
 
There's potential that if we break down some of the thoughts we hold around what makes us "feel like a burden" to those in our lives, that we may be able to re-frame some of those views and have a little more clarity on the overall picture.
 
For some, feeling like a burden might be having a really severe episode and upsetting a loved one. For others it is withdrawing and feeling as though we're not showing up for our friends, family or colleagues.
 
What does it mean to you? What are some ways you have been able to challenge this perception of burden? In those moments, what kind of things have helped or could help to shift out of that? Has a friend said something that really resonated once? Have you done an activity that has helped break that cycle of thinking?

22 REPLIES 22
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Re: What does 'feeling like a burden' mean to you?

Hi @nashy and all.

When I think about the word burden and what it means to me I think about times I've felt like I'm dragging my family and friends down and the times I've been distant or so caught up in my own stuff that I haven't been able to give them the love or time or energy they deserve. I think about the toll it has taken on them to support me when they have. Sometimes I can feel like a burden on my professional supports too. In my darker moments it feels like I might never get better so I'm wasting their time. I can also feel as if I am a burden on society - like I have taken too much and that I don't deserve or am not worthy of the support I receive. I can also feel like others deserve it more.

That felt hard to write. It's really hard to feel like that.

I'm not totally sure what helps me, aside from believing that things always change and feelings will eventually pass or at least shift. For me it's usually a matter of riding it out until it eases a bit. Sometimes connecting with people who accept me where I am can also help. Reaching out to people who sit with me through those times, who don't try and fix it or change things and who just listen (even listening to the silence), can make a difference.

Really interested in hearing what others have found helpful.
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Re: What does 'feeling like a burden' mean to you?

Very tough question @nashy 

I have had lots of similar thoughts and feelings as @CheerBear - described a hard thing very well.

Times when I feel like this not a lot helps. When the feeling shifts a bit then I can refelct. I try and focus on the give and take nature of life, and how everyone experiences being dependent on others at times. 'Feeling like a burden' is very heavy but Interdependence is part of being human.

Feeling like I've let people down is pretty crushing and I don't have any answers on that one.

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Re: What does 'feeling like a burden' mean to you?

This is a challenging thing to think about isn't it - but what both of you @frog @CheerBear have shared is really helpful in itself to face that this is sometimes just a hard thing that we have to sit with. And wait until it passes. 

 

Sitting in the discomfort of these thoughts can be the biggest challenge and sometimes not much helps it but using all the strength you can to stay as present in possible, and keep faith that it can and will shift in time. Its inspiring to know that you have both been able to shift past those times. I like the flag around connecting with others that 'get it' and just listen too. Very powerful to remember that - also for others supporting you when they aren't sure what to do. Listening without judgement is a big one I think?

 

 

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Re: What does 'feeling like a burden' mean to you?

@Lauz , @nashy 

@frog , @CheerBear  Mr shaz know totally how you feels as he feels like that all the time 

With me I feel like a burden with all my physical problems

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Re: What does 'feeling like a burden' mean to you?

Thanks so much for writing that up @CheerBear  especially as no doubt it has churned some heaviness up. We really appreciate you sharing your story Heart I relate to "Sitting in the silence". Sometimes there's a message in the silence, even just allowing yourself to be human and truly integrating the notion that we are all worthy - no matter our struggles, we all have a place here Smiley Happy Thank you @CheerBear 

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Re: What does 'feeling like a burden' mean to you?

@frog I guess a part of being human, and the human-ness you refer to - is letting people down. It's an inevitable part of life as imperfect humans, even those without complex mental health will let down loved ones at some point. It can be a catch 22 as sometimes the mental health issues can result in us being a bit harder on ourselves too. Thank you for sharing this @frog, it is true that interdependence is part of being human - what a brilliant point!

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Re: What does 'feeling like a burden' mean to you?

Hey @Shaz51 thanks for sharing, I am sorry to hear the physical problems have you feeling that way from time to time. We're all here to listen if you ever need Smiley Happy 

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Re: What does 'feeling like a burden' mean to you?

This jumps out so much for me. Struggling with the challenge part of this topic and reframing aspect. Have never had such a long period of time where everything seems so hopeless or like such a burden. I don't have family but I am a single mum. It's so hard balancing what you know your children need and not being able to fix yourself for them to not be a burden. Have had increasing issues at work and the boss has said it would be better for me and the type of work I need to be able to do to relocate. My absence and difficulties is a burden on them. My only current support who  is an OT in public health walked out on our appt two weeks ago when I saw her and became shutdown and frozen. Saying that she wasn't wasrting her time with someone who wasnt communicabatim(verbatim). Hence feeling like a burden to my support. My gp is away but the receptionist constantly tells me to watch the time and remember appt lengths when I book an appt. I've stopped booking unless needed for work certificates and find myself more anxious than ever to try to speak when there. So feeling like a burden there too.  I guess I can reframe some of this by saying its systems that are stretched beyond capacity. That it is not "just me" probably. But adds to the hopelessness in other ways. Telling myself I'm doing "the best I can" feels like an excuse or a way off saying. Letting my kids down is somehow ok/acceptable. But at the same time is all I can do.

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Re: What does 'feeling like a burden' mean to you?

This thread is a little close to home and has been for a few years. I wanted to put my big girl pants on though and share for others who may be going through similar. I think feeling like a burden is possibly one of the hardest and heaviest feelings. I think maybe it is wrapped up in shame as well.

I still struggle very much with the feeling like I am being a burden to those I love and the truth is that I do impact their lives. Financially and often practically (needing help to do some things) I am a 'burden' to them. I've had sessions recently with my psych talking about this. For me I often think they would all be 'better off without me'. My psych and others keep telling me if I asked them all they'd all say they would be better off with me here. 

I'm still working through much of this. I guess for me one of the things that helps those feelings lessen is when I can do something for them or someone else (pay it forward type thing) that I feel like I'm giving back a bit. In my mind finding something that helps make you feel like you have some value helps lessen the burden feelings as well. 

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