Healing and the Comparison Game

Everyone’s life is different.
It’s just the truth.
It seems that there are just as many disabilities as abilities and we see story after story of people overcoming obstacles.

I just saw that someone- that I admit I was not particularly fond of in high school- has become a model. She has always had a peculiarity with her arm. To be honest, I’m sure I at one time knew, but now it’s escaped me, what is actually, “wrong” with it. Regardless, it doesn’t fit with the typical set of identifiable factors for overall beauty. Sure, the rest of her does, but in a world as air brushed as modelling things like that can be dis-qualifiers.

I am in a whole book of people overcoming the perceived norms of life, American Scar Stories. And trust, when I read it instead of seeing myself among other people making a difference I saw myself as a weird patched on figure of what not to do. “What the hell am I doing in there?”, was a question I asked a lot.

When you have a disability it is difficult to not live a comparative life.

“I could do that if I wasn’t ______”
“I can’t do that because I’m _____”
“______ keeps me from everything I love like _____”

We can always look to other’s lives to see what we are “missing out on”.

I’ll be real with you. There is a lot that I can’t do.

  1. Travel to unfamiliar places, especially not alone.
  2.  Work a 9 to 5 job. As much as I would love to be able to. I have held jobs that I adored. Not kidding, I liked going to work at those places. But I lost both because of PTSD.
  3. I can’t have a baby and when I do, I won’t be able to breastfeed. So undoubtedly, I will become one of those women that La Leche League makes feel guilty because formula is brain poison and I won’t have properly bonded with my child because s/he won’t have suckled and snuggled. I know that’s not true. But if feelings listened to reason we’d have no insecurity.
  4. The list goes on a while and includes things like cardio and sleeping and making friends and seeing movies and reading books and swimming in the ocean.

But I know that in my life there are things of which other people could be envious.

  • My awesome husband
  • My ability to keep houseplants alive
  • My bookstore
  • My status as a (self) published poet
  • My blog followers, clearly they are awesome people
  • My ability to bake chicken and have it remain moist
  • My distinguished beer pallet

See? My life looks pretty sweet from the outside.

How do we keep a balance of being inspired by others instead of being bogged down by their success?
How do we celebrate our small victories like getting out of bed or making it through a week without getting fired for getting caught too many times crying under our desk and celebrate other’s larger victories like running a marathon or becoming a model?

First, we have to stop thinking of them as large or small victories. Then, we have to ignore things that make us feel crappy about ourselves. If watching a reality show or reading someone’s Facebook posts or hanging out with a certain friend makes you feel crappy about your situation :STOP.
Change your outlook. I know I’m not going to be Miss America or even Mrs. America. I know that I’m probably never going to win the Oscar I always dreamed of winning. I may even never be published or taken seriously as a writer, but I keep doing it.

GOD has plans for my life. I know this, because despite everything, I’m still alive. 

Jealousy is too easy. Defeat is too easy. Embracing mediocre is too easy. So I refuse.

I am going to run after whatever GOD tells me to as hard as I can. Even when my pace is slowed to a dead stop I will imagine myself further. That’s all I’ve got.
There quite literally should be no space in your life for comparison. The fact that I made it out of bed today and accomplished things doesn’t pale the straight up slam dunk that getting out of bed and making it to the couch was a year ago and that doesn’t pale the year before that when I didn’t make it out of bed at all but just kept breathing.

If you are still in bed, try to get up.
If you are out of bed, take a shower, eat some food.
If you are trying for that next thing, keep trying!
If you do it today but not tomorrow, you still made progress.

“I could do that if I wasn’t taking care of business today
“I can’t do that because I’m healing

No, I have never run a marathon or won an award for something more than being a team player.
BUT I have been muscling my way through therapy for three years.
I have been taking my medication regularly for two years.
I have been seeking healing and treatment as a priority for three years.

I have been wearing PTSD as well as a runway model at Fashion Week and have been doing werk on healing.
*Snaps in Z-Formation*
Cause this girl don’t play.

In the words of my inner drag queen that I have been channeling for the last few minutes:
“Run yo bidness cause nobody can do it for you. Put on your fierce and make. it. work.”

You got this, girl.

 

 

 

Start/Finish Line photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewhurley/6254407253/”>Andrew_D_Hurley</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Runway photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/tfangel/13025350615/”>tfangel</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

 

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