Throughout my journey of chronic illness, I’ve needed to address the multiple dangers inherent in engaging in multiple different forms of comparison.
I must admit that I have, more than once, unfavorably compared myself to others, who are approximately my same age. I longingly look at their financial resources, their career achievements, and their enduring relationships.
In doing so, I invariably fall short. I feel, less than, on multiple levels. This really does not achieve anything positive, obviously! It’s so very easy to observe the external picture of someone else’s life, not realizing that they, too, are struggling in unseen ways.
Social media posts disproportionately highlight the most favorable aspects of other’s lives. At best, this is an incomplete picture of their lived experience.
A more insidious comparison with which I wrestle involves comparing my current self to the self I imagine would exist, if not for the existence of my chronic illnesses. This comparison also yields nothing positive. It simply results in increased levels of depression, frustration, and anxiety.