Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When life hands you lemons, you freak the f*ck out and don't compare yourself to the third world

I am all for gratitude.  I know where my bread is buttered, and I am thankful my life is as easy (in the grand scheme of things) as it is.

But I am struggling in the midst of a rough spell, and I have to remind myself that it does me absolutely no good to compare my struggles to those of a person in the Philippines or Haiti or anywhere else where the problems are those of survival, of meeting basic needs of food, water or shelter.

I hate standardized testing in public schools because the tests compare what totally different sets of kids from totally different backgrounds in totally different years learn from totally different teachers.  The expectation is for everyone to be proficient in spite of these differences.  To know the same stuff with the same level of understanding.

Why, then, would it make any sense to compare my stress and/or suffering with someone who is completely different from a totally different background in a completely different culture under totally different life/economic circumstances and say whose problem is better or worse?

It makes me feel like shit, and I don't need to feel guilt-like shit on top of feeling overwhelmed-like shit because of the stress life is throwing at me.

Because of my personality, because of my OCD, because of my GAD, I do a piss-poor job handling things.  Period.  Whether I'm here or somewhere else.  Whether I'm rich or poor.  I could drop myself into any situation, and I would handle stress suckily.

My stressors are what they are, and I tire of knowing that I handle things poorly and feeling guilty that I handle things poorly over issues that are of no "real" consequence anyway.

If I believe my life is of value, then I have to give value to not only what I experience but how I experience it.  My life has to be as valuable as the value, the seriousness I put on the struggles of those whose struggles are different than mine.

To discount my own struggle is setting myself up for nihilism.

And OCD, GAD and nihilism seem like a very, very bad mix.

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