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Go Compare Dot Com

It’s no secret that life becomes infinitely easier when we focus on making ourselves happy and stop comparing ourselves to others. Even more so in this modern age of constant and often overwhelming social media outlets. Every time we pick up our phones, or open up a laptop we are met with friends, friends of friends and strangers, all looking beautiful (and filtered to within an inch of their lives). We can’t help but compare our looks, and lives to those we see in the little box on our phone.

We see people we went to school with on glamorous holidays we can’t afford, eating meals containing ingredients we can’t pronounce, getting married, having babies, getting promotions. Regardless of where we are in life there will always be some element we pick up on that makes us feel like a bowl of Gazpacho on a Winters Day. (That’s a cold soup by the way, losers who can’t pronounce stuff).

It is often impossible to ignore; the seeming success and perfection in the lives of our peers. Of course it’s also easy to forget that most likely that perfection is surface only; for what we show on social media is merely a snapshot; what we want people to see. That usually doesn’t contain those moments where we are crying over a gas bill or eating microwave macaroni cheese from the packet.

There are many issues with comparing yourself to others; self-esteem drooping further than your Great Aunts’ bosom, mental health taking a battering, overspending/overacting to compete, losing self-confidence, becoming obsessed with appearance. None of these sound great let’s be honest, but I don’t doubt many of us have experienced at least one of those issues at some point of another.

When chronic illness is thrown into the mix it can create an extra level of internal turmoil. Here we are likely to compare our illness to others; this can in many cases be absolutely terrifying.

I personally tend to steer clear of forums on my illness because I don’t find them helpful; I find them a little intimidating. Mainly because there are always people willing to tear one another down; that sadly doesn’t stop just because someone is diagnosed with an incurable illness. Some people are just Gazpacho, mate.

I’ve found myself shamed for not being ‘ill’ enough, for not having knowledge on certain procedures or medications, for not talking about my disease too much, for talking about it too much. None of it is necessary. When we are ill we need support, inclusivity and care. We need to feel confident to discuss our concerns with those who know what we are going through and can educate us without stirring in any additional spoonfuls of humiliation. They do not help the medicine go down.

So when comparing our lives, be they healthy or otherwise, to others, try to remember that it doesn’t serve to make us feel better, often just bitter. Choose kindness when interacting with vulnerable people/ANYONE and if your mood is dipping after spending time online then rethink your internet activates. There is porn on there instead you know! And Gazpacho recipes… xo

 

Kathleen NichollsComment