When dealing with chronic illness comparing oneself to others with the same illness is a normal thing to do as is comparing one’s illness to other illnesses. But just as no two snowflakes are alike no two people are alike either. Realizing we are a combination of our unique genetic make up, environmental factors, diet and lifestyle and that all these things contribute to how we respond to what we are going through is important.
Early on in my floxing I often thought to myself that I got off easy. Sure I had pain and a whole lot more in the way of symptoms but I wasn’t as bad off as others. As time wore on however that viewpoint began to change. I saw others worse off than me recover quicker and become more active again as I continued to worsen. I was trying all the different therapies that I could afford, eating healthy, had some things improve and yet I continued to decline. I kept a positive attitude and continued trying to address my worst health problems and yet I got weaker.
Comparing oneself to others is a very common and normal thing to do especially early on when one is trying to understand what’s happened and why. That being said there comes a point when one needs to let go of that and focus on their personal situation. It doesn’t mean one can’t celebrate with a friend who’s made progress or sympathize with one who’s struggling. It’s a simple step of accepting what’s happened to one’s own self, addressing it, and looking toward your future and purpose in life. It’s saying; I’m here for a reason, identifying that reason, and then living life to the best of your ability. Focusing on oneself is a necessary part of the process. Taking time out of your day to meditate on what you’ve learned from your current situation, how you want to deal with what you learned and how you want to proceed in life is an important step.
Eventually you will realize that you are unique and that comparing yourself to others even those with the same illness as you isn’t always helpful. There will always be some who are worse off and some that are better off. It’s best to focus on your individual situation and what you can do about it. It’s very normal to compare but when it becomes upsetting to do so it’s time to ask yourself if it’s something you should be doing. That’s when you know it’s time to look within and focus on yourself. And when doing so I’ve found it’s best to face each day with a positive outlook as sometimes that can be the difference between a good day and one that isn't.
Yours in Health,
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