Mental Health, Mind

Recognising guilt

The below is a post I made on facebook a little while ago. I wanted to include it here as it is an important part of my journey and I think these feelings are going to affect how I progress over the next weeks and months.

Today I’m sad. I’m safe and loved but I’m sad.

I just watched a video on YouTube and it was not an easy watch. It started as a timelapse of Hurricane Irma, then it went on to show the immediate impact, and downright devastation, that it caused. It brought back the pain of beginning to discover quite how bad things were this time 3 weeks ago. It is all still so raw.

The BVI stole my heart. And my heart is still there, and as broken as my beautiful Islands.

At times it feels like I will never recover, and that the road to recovery for the islands themselves is too long. I feel guilty I’m not currently there, battling on and trying to help make something better, however small, each day. I feel guilty that I can eat and shower and sleep with such ease when others are struggling. When I go out and have fun or enjoy myself I get terrible pangs of pain for those who are just trying to survive.

However the logical part of me knows, and I have to keep telling myself, that the BVI is still in a desperate place. They need to focus on getting some basic infrastructure in place in order to move forward. They need to focus on supporting those who must stay on island rather than people like me.

I need to tell myself that moving away for now isn’t running away. I’m in a position to provide for myself, so I must, in order that others can be provided for. But it still hurts.

Although the BVI, nor I, will ever quite be the same again, I know the BVI will rebuild stronger than before. So I just gotta work out how to rebuild me.

#BVIstrong #oneBVI #BVIforever


Coming to terms with ‘survivor guilt’ as it is termed is hard, and also moving beyond it to continue with your life. I know people who are on island who resent those off island for continuing with their lives and posting about it. And I know that those off island feel guilty, like I do, about trying to get on with things and ‘be normal’ when there are those who can’t. You can’t win either way.

However a sensible friend told me that suffering is not like a “finite resource” – there is enough for everyone unfortunately. So this also means that you suffering does not mean someone else won’t suffer – you can’t take their pain away. Similarly feeling joy doesn’t mean someone else has to suffer.

So I’m trying to enjoy things – which I’ll tell you more about in my next post – even though sometimes you feel like you shouldn’t. You have to find that light in the darkness, and move towards it.


Photo by Bhushan Sadani on Unsplash – Thanks!

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