“Pain is not a competition. Just because someone, somewhere may have had worse in their life, it doesn’t excuse or erase your pain.”
This quote has meant so much to me over the past couple of years. I feel it applies to everyone, no matter what kind of physical, mental, or emotional pain they may have.
Pain is pain
If you are affected by depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, you may have a tendency to feel your condition isn’t as bad compared to other people. In fact, I had no idea how bad my depression had gotten this last time. I slowly got used to the “new normal” of each decline farther into depression, and compared myself to others who I saw as “worse off”. Given those goal posts, I just didn’t think my depression was that bad. People struggling with mental illness or emotional pain can also feel their struggles aren’t important because they are told so. Have you been told to suck it up, because others are worse off? The fact is, everyone’s feelings and thoughts matter. Even though there may be people worse off, it doesn’t negate your struggle.
People with chronic pain or illnesses find themselves in the same position. Their friends and/or family, not to mention society, are not very supportive. So many people in this position are demoralized by being told their pain isn’t enough. They are told to “suck it up” because someone else judges their condition to not be severe enough.
It isn’t an exclusive membership
As a member of both groups, I’m telling you that your pain counts even if you aren’t in either group. The only person you should ever compare yourself to is yourself. Even then, sometimes you should just focus on how you feel in the moment. If you think it is bad, then it is, and you should have compassion for yourself, and care for yourself.
This is why comparing pain can be so detrimental to your health. If it leads you to putting off care, that is a bad thing. Please don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Your health and happiness is important. It is just as important as the next person.
Do you have a quote that means a lot to you, or has gotten you through hard times? Please feel free to share in the comments. I would love to hear from you. ❤