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Sadness in others happiness


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Dealing with an illness involves ALOT of emotions. Alot of them unwanted because I am no longer the person I was....

Have any of you experienced sadness in someone else's happiness?

My husband's friend's wife has been feeling sick for about 9 months and for some reason during that time I felt more content knowing that my husband has someone to talk to and our families could some what relate. She had thyroid problems but I'm unsure the extent. I felt no so alone. But I did feel bad for her hoped she would overcome this.

Well she's better. 100% better and for some reason I'm depressed. Why can't I be the one getting better? Or better yet why can't we both get better. I feel awful about myself that I am depressed instead of jumping with joy for her.

Have any of you experienced anything like this? I've been sick for almost 1yr. (Aug 23) and am still sooooosooooosooooo sad about it. If a friend has a baby or moves into a new house or has any accomplishments I express happiness but inside I feel sad and angry that I'm left in limbo trying to find any kind of balance in my life while I watch others excel in theirs.

I know this is a subject for a counselor but mine *****. I'm finally going to try zoloft on Mon when I meet with a psychiatrist.

Do any of you feel this way or have early in your illness or am I just a mean person?

Mean Girl Dayna

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Dayna, unfortunately, this is a twist of emotions that happen when you're living with chronic illness, and cycling through the grief process.

I remember crying out of sadness the last few times friends have announced to me that they were pregnant. All I can say is thank goodness I was on the phone each time so they couldn't see my totally sad face. I've always wanted kids, but other than adoption, they're not in my future.

Don't be too hard on yourself. There will be good days when you can celebrate happiness with others, and there will be the bad days when you'll envy what others are able to do... it will pass.

For me, counselling did help. I also try to read things that are uplifting for my spirit, and listen to music and watch tv and movies that do that for me too. Sometimes I just want to watch something really silly to make me laugh, and other times, I like sci fi, because it's such an escape from reality. Okay, so now that you know I'm a star trek geek at heart, I must sign off before I divulge more secrets!

Nina :)

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No you are not a mean person! In my opinion as long as you recognize that its not 'nice' behaviour then i would not consider you a mean person (if i really have a right to judge you without knowing you in the first place). 'Mean people' tend not to notice that thier thoughts are mean. I think most humans go through these emotions at some stage or another. You may be broken hearted and your friend gets married, you know you should be happy for them but your own pain hurts so much that it tends to overpower the happy feelings.

I know i use to get really upset when people got into university. As thats all i really wanted for years and years and years but my illness was making it difficult. The strange thing is when i finally got over being so upset i actually got into uni :)

You are going through a grieving process made all the more complicated by the uncertain nature of your future. If someone dies you know that they are dead, however with health its so hard to know how to feel as you could be better in a year or you could be worse and that uncertainty is a real struggle to deal with.

I remember when i was really bad people would think that telling me stories of people they knew who got better would make me feel better. Yet it didnt, it just made me feel like they really didnt understand. Just because somebody else got better does that mean i will? what about all the people who dont? it use to make me so mad.

I personally found that knowing i could handle the WORST CASE SENARIO helped me the most. If i could deal with that then anything extra is a bonus. Everyone is different so im not sure what the best method of dealing with your emotions are. I hope zoloft helps you. Best wishes!

You are not alone in these feelings. Most people just never admit to them :)

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This is so normal to feel this way. I have also felt this way, and felt terrible and confused about feeling this way. It was so new to me to be unhappy for others' happiness, as I am sure it is for you or anyone with a chronic condition that affects ability to do normal things.

I often get more than a tinge of sadness or jealousy in particular when friends announce second pregnancies. Nina is right--it will pass. I think it is healthy to recognize your reponse and feelings and seek ways to move forward with these feelings.

Take Care,


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Probably everyone experiences these feelings at one time or another. You are definately not a bad person, but those emotions can make you feel pretty bad! I'm happy that you are able to talk about it and express your feelings, especially the ones that don't make you feel very nice. Those are the hardest feelings to talk about. Go easy on yourself! :) You've had lots of losses with your illness, and your going to have lots of emotions to go with it. Try to keep plugging through them and remember what a great person you are. Laura

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Guest Julia59

Yes, Dayna they are right----it is normal to feel this way. I feel terrible also when i'm sad in others happiness.

I'm another one who likes funny movies to cheer me up, and also those mystery crime shows----now you know how weird I am---LOL :) . And I love the re-runs of M*A*S*H*------and Hawkeye's sarcasm----because I am often on the same page as his character is.

I'm jealous of all the old ladies who can walk fast in the mall. I just want to go up to them and tell them how lucky they are to be in good enough health to do that at their age. After I get over my bitterness---I end up happy for them that they are older and still having a good quality of life.

Living with chronic illness is hard, and these emotions are bound to come out at one point or another. I feel terrible too when these kind of emotions spring up.

Don't be too hard on yourself----I know you aren't a bad person, just frustrated and tired of dealing with the ups and downs of chronic illness.

Sending you hugs------------------- :)

Julie :0)

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i've experienced these feelings too, and they are really unavoidable, and they dont mean you are bad, so try not to be so hard on yourself, there are no right or wrong feelings, and no one can tell us how to feel since they are not going thru what we have to, like the others said, the fact that you think you might be mean, shows that you are just the opposite, take care


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What you are feeling is really tough. I felt something similar recently. A co-worker of mine used to be in the same position as me at work. This summer though, I spent three months in bed sick while she spent three months finishing her degree, completing a successful internship in california, and presenting her research at two national meetings. When she sent me pictures of her hot air balloon ride to "cheer me up," i just cried. It's hard, but Michigan Jan is right, our feelings can't be helped. We can only choose how we respond. Nina and Julie are right on the money-- we just have to focus on what we can do to uplift ourselves. Just wanted to say you aren't bad and you aren't alone.


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sorry it took me awhile to respond....your posting "hit home" with me right away but it set me pondering and then i never came back to it as i was afraid i would write too much...not that i'm usually stopped by that!

first, you are not a mean person.

like others have already said, you are simply being more honest than some.

i can definitely relate to your feelings and after being an old hat at the illness thing for someone my age still have my moments. probably more often than i let on or admit. i don't let them consume me, but i definitely get jealous of others and what they can do at times. i get jealous of my brother & his adventures. i get jealous of random people running down the street for goodness sake! and then of course i'm at "that age" where all my college cohorts are getting married, having kids, etc. and that's just not where i am. and yet as i'm about to embark on the grad school thing in a few weeks i'm torn....excited on one hand but also scared of the emotions being around so many peers will bring out in me b/c i know i'll have limitations that they don't have. and yep, that hurts.

recently i've struggled a lot with having a tough time "hearing" friends complain about things that seem so trite to me. in theory i don't want to feel that way...it makes me feel like a real brat...but there have been times when, after a day of doctor appointments and having to cath myself & hours on the phone with insurance folks and meds not coming in the mail and whatnot, that i simply can't bring myself around to empathizing with someone who thinks the world is going to end b/c of__________. any number of things, such as a run-in with a co-worker at work, etc....things i know from experience can be horribly stressful but inside i'm shouting "what i would give to be able to be going to work right now!!" i can't stand myself for feeling that way b/c i don't want friends to not be real with me but it's something i've been struggling with this year.

so...in years past i tried to make the hurt go away by ignoring it. or by stuffing it or by dealing with it in other ways that i would not recommend.

for me it's best to acknowledge it....depending on the situation, maybe with the person it involves, maybe not, but definitely to myself. i have my cries, my woe is me moments, and i move on. sometimes more quickly than others, but i do. sometimes when i need to cry it out i'm more of a melodrama/lifetime movie gal. other times i'm a comedy gal too. and when i'm physically up for it i can be quite the journaler. and i have seen a therapist on & off to vent as well...doesn't fix anything but at times has been an okay thing for me.

so...bottom line is don't beat yourself up about your feelings. they only seem natural and not mean...just honest.

hang in there,


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Dear Dayna, you are not a mean person. It is so extremely hard to be chronically ill. You are not mad at your friend for getting better, but mad that you are not better. It is natural to feel sorry for yourself feeling as you do(ask anyone that is ill for so long). We all want life to be "normal" and when it isn't, it is hard to be happy for someone else. When we face the loss of a loved one, you look around and see people going on with their lives normally and wonder how. When we are hurting inside(either physically or mentally), it is hard and almost impossible to see things normally and be happy for others. You are not mad that your friend got better, just mad that you aren't. Don't be so hard on yourself-you have enough on your plate right now-your feelings are justified. Keep us posted. Linda

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Thank you everyone for your posts and reassuring me that I'm not mean. I discussed this with my husband and he even said when his friend gave him the update he felt angry and disappointed that it wasn't our family on the finish line.

He knew I was upset if he would have told me he felt the same way I would have realized that this is probally a normal reaction. But I'm over it now, shed my tears and sent her a beautiful card today telling her she gives me hope.

who knows it could be me getting better next, or one of you, or better yet ALL OF US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So thanks again for the emotional support (hardest part for me). I can always count on you ladies to get me over the hump.

Have any of you ever thought about being a psychologist? You make way more sense than the ones I've paid.


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LOL,...i have wondered at times how on earth some mental "health" professionals qualify for their respective positions and agree that much of the insight on here is much more helpful &/or profound!

i'm not going the psychology route but will be doing some counseling with the medical social work program that starts in - eeks - two weeks. not sure whether it's something i'll stick with (as opposed to patient advocacy or other areas), but we'll see...i'm definitely strongly considering working in the realm of illness/disability.

i'm so glad that you had the talk you did with your hubby & that you're on the up end of the tough spots that we ALL go through (whether we admit it or not).


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See Dayna... the consensus is that you are completely normal! hehe :) Not meanie at all!

I was thinking of writting a book about all the nasty emotions that come along with illness. The jealousy, the bitterness, the feelings of isolation etc.... Even the feelings for those around you that may feel jealous of the extra attention a sick person may recieve. Its all so complicated. (i think about alot of things ... hopefully one day i will actually get around to it)

I also was thinking of doing the psychology route. I did start psychology but i could not handle the hours (5 hours of class each week opposed to 3 for Humanities). sounds like a small difference but it adds up with multiple classes. I also struggle with accepting that psychology is scientific. Although i realise you have to learn all the principles from iside a field before you can tear them apart. I wanted to help young adults with illnesses as i felt that it was really tough being a teenager with a non lifethreatening illness. People tend not to aknowledge lifestyle-threatening illnesses. Or they do for a while but think after a few months you should 'get on with it' (easier said than done many times).

Melissa, I think thats wonderful that you are going down the counseling or advocacy path. So many people just fall through the cracks with the support systems. I always wonder how people who dont have a supportive family or friendship network could survive this.

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