If you hear yourself say, “I am such a burden to _________ [my family, friends, loved ones, the world],” you are in danger. Your mind will go to very dark places, and you are developing immunity to the encouragement of both other people and Scripture. For example, you will hear others say that they are happy to serve you, yet you do not believe it. Instead, you believe their lives would be much easier and, therefore, better if you were gone.
If people are not telling you that you are a burden, why do you feel that way?
Being needy is hard
Consider reframing “I am such a burden” to “I hate needing help.”
No one likes needing help.. We are happy to be needed, but no one likes being needy. We are, of course, needy everyday. Independence is a myth. We rely on others for food, utilities, technology and companionship. The problem is that we aim for balance in these relationships. If you give me food, I pay you. If you help me move furniture, my last words to you are, “whenever you need help moving, let me know.” Most of us don’t even like to ask for prayer from other people, because we feel like we are asking too much. The burden you feel is the growing imbalance between being needy and being needed.
When we feel needy and cannot carry our own weight, we feel as though we have lost purpose and meaning. We have been created to work and serve, and when we are less able to do these things, we feel diminished as a person—we feel like a burden.
So be clear with your loved ones. The problem is not that you burden them. It is that you were accustomed to relationships where giving and receiving were balanced. Now, the balance is gone and the change has been hard. Instead of saying you are burden, you might say:
It is so hard for me to inconvenience you. I wish you could just get on with your life and not have to bother with me. All my life I have been able to help other people. I never thought the day would come when I need help more than I can give. It is hard to be needy. Sometimes it makes me feel useless.