People like to know all the answers. They like knowing the who, the what, the where, the when, the why, and the how about everything. They like when things make sense.
And it’s fine to like these things. It’s fine to like knowing the answers, the who’s, the what’s, the where’s, the when’s, they why’s and the how’s. It’s fine to like it when everything makes sense.
But the problem is, that as people, most of us get so used to having these things that we begin to expect them. Anytime something happens, we expect an explanation. An excuse. Some strand of logic that will make us understand exactly what’s happening and why.
When our food takes forever at a restaurant, we think of whose fault it could have been. Was the chef behind on orders, or did the waiter forget about our meal? When we take a take a test on a subject that wasn’t taught well, we blame the teacher. It was their responsibility to teach us the material. When a friend is upset about something, we try and pinpoint who could have hurt them. Was it a mean text? A hurtful comment?
Whether we realize it or not, whenever we are hit with a problem, the first thing we try and do is blame someone. Find out whose fault it was. Make an excuse for why things went wrong.
But this isn’t okay because there are things in life that are nobody’s fault. There are problems caused by things we don’t know and can’t control. The point is, not every problem happens because someone or something messed up.
When someone has a cold and sits next to you and you wake up with one the next day, it’s not unreasonable to blame them for getting you sick. But it seems ridiculous to yell at your immune system for getting sick, right? Because even though you could have washed your hands a few more times, catching a cold is pretty much out of your control.
Of course, some things in life are somebody’s fault. But expecting an explanation for every issue you face is not a good mindset to have because eventually, you are going to encounter a problem that is out of your control. A problem that is nobody’s fault. And often times when we can’t blame somebody else, we blame ourselves. But blaming yourself for something you aren’t guilty of only makes it harder to cope.
So, what can we do to avoid this downward spiral of unfair blame?
The answer is simple: acceptance. If we can learn to accept that not all problems have causes or cures, we cant stop blaming people for things they aren’t guilty of.
When you live with an incurable illness like IBD, it’s easy to blame yourself for your disease. After all, it is your own body that isn’t working right. But the thing about these illnesses is that they are not your fault. They are not your family’s fault or your friend’s fault. And even though doctors may know some of their causes, they are still nobody’s fault.
This idea can be hard to understand. It can be hard to accept because it forces you to admit that you don’t have 100% control. And as people, we want control. We want clarity. But even though we sometimes feel like it, life is never 100% in our control. Life does not make sense for anyone, IBD or not.
And even though it’s hard to realize that some things don’t come with explanations, we will never be able to accept them if we don’t stop blaming people for problems they didn’t cause. IBD is not my fault. It is not my parent’s fault. It is not my doctor’s fault. It is not anyone’s fault. Because by definition, being at fault means that you are guilty. But none of the people I mentioned above are guilty of causing of my illness. I didn’t choose my immune system. My parent didn’t choose their genes. My doctor didn’t choose my diagnosis. Nobody is guilty of my disease. And blaming any of those people for something they aren’t guilty of is wrong.
So rather than wasting time and energy to find the root of a problem that has thousands of unknown causes, focus instead on coping with it. Focus instead on finding people who will support you.
In the scope of chronic illness, blaming doesn’t work. Even if there was a person who was responsible for our diseases, tracking them down and yelling in their face wouldn’t change our condition.
Blaming someone for your illness won’t make it go away. Blaming yourself for having problems won’t make them any easier to deal with. So instead of trying to find all the faults, search for support. Find ways to help yourself cope. Accept the fact that you do not have control of everything, and instead of blaming your body for being broken, celebrate the things you can do.
Because some things are nobody’s fault.
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t real. And it doesn’t mean we should lose hope.