What Happened When I Compared Myself to Someone with the Same Disease
Inside: My unconventional answer to the question, “How to stop comparing yourself to others.” As well as tips for you to avoid the comparison trap.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt
We all know that comparison is a dangerous game, yet it feels like one most of us can not get away from.
Having any chronic illness is not easy.
Add in guilt, insecurity and a stubborn view and it can be downright brutal on your psyche.
For a while, I was the only person I knew with the same autoimmune disease as I had. Then I met a few other people that were living a whole lot more life (at least that what was it seemed to me) than I was that also had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I remember being baffled at the fact that we were so different.
The comparison trap really got me when I met a specific person. Now it wasn’t just one or two people, it was three. This final person just put me over the edge and to the comparison trap I went.
That person just seemed so energetic and together. Fit and traveling for work.
It was like a giant spotlight onto all of my insecurities.
It didn’t help that I met this person at my lowest of lows.
Mind you- I did all the comparing here. This person never once compared our differences or hinted that I was less than in some way. I simply found out that we had the same disease as a simple form of connection.
For months, I wondered if I was:
Making it all up in my head.
Being over dramatic.
Then one day, we started to chat about what our “numbers” were. Just as the blood test numbers that are checked yearly to make sure that our body is working in a normal range, we have numbers that monitor the severity of our disease.
My numbers were dramatically more severe than the person that I was comparing myself to.
We weren’t even running the same race they were so different!
After learning that fact, a relief broke the tension I had been carrying in my shoulders since our initial conversation.
I had “proof” that it was okay to feel worse than this person.
What if our numbers had been the same? Would I still be comparing and feeling terrible about myself? I hope not, but probably.
I think the only way to break the cycle of comparing is to catch yourself when you are in comparison mode.
I wish that I could give you some secret trick that will cause you to never attempt to compare yourself to anyone again. But that is not realistic. Life happens, we will compare ourselves.
What I can help you with, is how fast you recognize the behavior and pull yourself out of it.
Remind yourself that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.
When you focus on looking for your weakness as a strength in others, you will feel terrible about yourself 100% of the time.
You never know the true full struggle that someone else has, so it is just so silly to compare yourself to someone else!
Stay in your lane, be grateful for your situation. Struggles and all and know that the person you are comparing yourself to has their own set of struggles that they are feeling “less than” about.
i would love to hear of a time that you compared yourself to something or someone and you later realized just how silly it was. Have you been able to catch yourself quicker?
I’m loud. This was the only picture I could find with my mouth not wide open. I’m an eternal optimist, looker on the bright side, I love living life with the 50,000 ft view in mind at all times. My favorite pastime is to look for the God in my day. Don’t tell me you can’t because I’ll find a million ways that you can.