Rough days happen. Rough moments happen. A couple of weeks ago, I was having a notably bad day, in the sense where stupid things kept happening and it felt like everything was just going wrong.
I had a bad night, woke up on the wrong side of the bed, then after a trip to the park with Ben, returned home to one of his new toys ripped and ruined by our dog who decided to attack it while we were out, and then Ben was woken up early from his nap by some loud construction work that was going on right outside and he was cranky and I couldn’t get any work done. By noon, I was exhausted and fed up of the day. And then I stopped to think about how petty I was being.
There are women literally giving birth in bomb shelters. Babies are being woken up by the sound of bombs and alarms. Not safe and sound in their beds woken up by the inconvenience of an excavator. Families are being torn apart. People are dying of starvation. Of illness. Homelessness. Heartbreak. The list goes on, and on, and on.
But then I stopped to think some more. Does the fact that other people have it worse, make my moods or issues (albeit sometimes petty in comparison) invalid?
Too often in life are we told to “suck it up, it could be worse” – and while it’s good and even important to have some perspective and stay humble, it’s also important to acknowledge what we are feeling. Because no matter what, it is valid.
It doesn’t make you a bad person to not consider everyone else in the world. It doesn’t make you a selfish person to momentarily not care about anything else other than your own problems.
The world and life as we know it are currently pretty shit. A pandemic, wars (many, constantly, though one is currently closer to home and more “in our face” than others), global warming, politics… It’s exhausting to even think about it. And yes, even thinking of it all while in the safety and comfort of your own home can be incredibly stress inducing.
So whether you’re going through a rough patch, dealing with bad news, processing trauma, mourning the loss of something or someone, having a generally shitty day, or suffering with your mental health even if for seemingly no reason, your feelings are real, and they are valid. And I just wanted to remind you that.
And also if anyone you know is going through a hard time, trivial or insignificant as it may seem, please – I beg you – don’t tell them to “cheer up because it could be worse.” or “just be grateful.” That is literally the worst thing you could say. It doesn’t help. It doesn’t provide perspective, or solace. It adds guilt, frustration, and makes the person feel unseen and invalidated.
Someone always has it worse. But life is not a competition. Let’s keep that in mind. And let’s always stay kind.
Until next time,