I am sure many of you do this – I see comments all the time and hear it in conversation – you are struggling or feeling overwhelmed or have an illness, but you discount it when you realise others have it tougher. As if your own difficulties or pain were no longer valid or allowed to be mentioned.
“Why am I complaining when I only have 1 child and she has 3 children/ a child with special needs / no support and handles it just fine.”
“My illness is nothing, she is battling cancer/ chronic fatigue / infertility.”
“So what if my marriage sucks, at least I still have a husband, she is on her own now.”
It is like there is a system of trumps that goes on and if ours is not the worst there is then we apologise for even complaining or looking for support or just beat ourselves up quietly in our own heads – no one the wiser. Oh but I can see your thoughts. You are putting pressure on yourself to get on with it because it is not as bad as it could be.
I want you to stop that.
I caught myself just the other day when I posted my grateful (which usually only has a limited readership each week) and found it being read in large numbers and an outpouring of support at my admission of needing to go back on medication after years med-free. One of my friends in Sydney offered support in the comments and I found myself uncomfortable replying – embarrassed that she was offering me support and strength all while she battles breast cancer. I caught myself denying her support and feeling bad and stopped it. I have my own troubles and I know she was not thinking me weak for crumbling over “less than cancer” so to speak.
All pain, difficulty and suffering is not equal, but it is all valid.
We each are deserving of support, encouragement, help and understanding – no matter what. No judgement, no comparisons, no shame.
There is no “should” about it – no “should be able to”, no “should keep it to myself”, no “should know what I am doing”.
I hope that if you need help or someone to cut you some slack or in need of some space that you will ask for it or take it no matter what. Only you know what is too much for you to handle and when something is too much for you accept help, seek support and guidance, look for a shoulder or a hand and know that you are doing what you need – it does not matter what anyone else would do in your shoes because they never will be exactly in your shoes.
Whatever you feel and need is valid
Find your simple,