I'm not ok and I'm sorry

Whenever my best friend and I get together and we're not doing ok for whatever reason we go through a list of why we know our problems are insignificant compared to what some have to go through:

- I know some people have cancer or some sort of other terrible illness or have a loved one living through an illness
- I know some people don't have a roof of over their head or food on their table
- I know some people are born into poverty and have little chance of ever getting out of it
- I know some people live in a war-torn country and fear for their lives every day
- (....)
- I'm grateful my problems are so insignificant and I'm sorry I'm complaining about them....

So yes of course, it's important to remember that we are lucky to have the comforts, opportunities, love, food.... everything that we have  but sometimes the pain or sadness we feel is real and it needs to be acknowledged and not just apologized for.

The thing about pain is that it's so personal  no one can really know another person's pain because they can't feel it. If you're upset because of a breakup or because you failed a final thermodynamics exam.... you're not saying you don't sympathize with other people's pain or that yours is the worst type of pain, you're simply saying right now I'm also in pain.

Of course there are different types of pains and their associated recovery times, and no one who just failed an exam would compare themselves to a cancer patient, but they would also appreciate no one else doing it either.  It's  like being very hungry and wanting to eat and someone telling you 'Well count yourself lucky you ate today already and that you will be able to eat, in some places in the world people go hungry for days'.  So yes OK how does a comment like this help?  You're still hungry and you feel like shit.

When someone is in pain, for whatever reason, it's not the reason that should be important, it's the pain the person feels.  Pain or sadness is bad enough without adding guilt to the equation.... yet we still do it....


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