Comparing yourself to others is a losing battle. Being a young adult in this modern world, I find myself in this trap often. But being a young adult with a chronic illness makes falling victim to comparison ten times easier. The use of social media specifically has fueled the art of comparison and causes many teens and young adults to be depressed. This article confirms that comparison is the “thief of joy.”
Not only do I experience jealousy of my friends who seem to be a few steps ahead of me in life, I am jealous that they get to do things a “normal person” would be able to do. Not a sick person like myself. I often get caught up in the mindset of “I’m not a normal person, nor will I ever be.” I know this is not a healthy habit, but having a chronic illness at such a young age can really but a damper on long-term life plans.
I tend to propose invisible limits by putting myself in a box, when in reality I am much stronger than I think. Like this past weekend, I got my second COVID vaccine (Moderna) and the nurse told me I would not have a good immune response to it. Luckily, I only had a few side effects that night and felt better the next day. I was pleasantly surprised! My body is so much stronger than I think it is, and that is because I place the utmost importance on taking care of it.
Truth is, everyone’s definition of “normal” is different. My new normal is navigating young adulthood with a chronic disease, and I am okay with that. It makes me unique and gives me a story to tell. I know I will not hit every milestone at the same time as my friends and I accept that too. All I care about now is taking care of myself first and living a healthy and successful lifestyle that I am satisfied with.
I found this article with some alternative things to do instead of comparing yourself to others. Often times, traumatic events can make us realize what we need to change in our lives, especially in our behaviors and attitudes. My favorite tip in this article is to embrace your journey. Sometimes, we don’t give ourselves enough credit. Your beginning could be someone else’s middle. No one’s journey is linear and we all face roadblocks that change our plans. Stay focused on your goals and what you want for your life. There is only one of YOU in the world, don’t waste time comparing yourself to others. Instead, make it count!
How do you avoid falling victim to comparison?