Teddy Roosevelt said comparison is the thief of joy. I remember reading that well-known quote last year around the time of my diagnosis. It really resonated with me. Since that time, I’ve found myself feeling more compassionate and less judgmental of other people. You don’t know just by looking at someone what they are dealing with.
A friend of mine at work recently had surgery. It’s taking her some time to bounce back, but she’s plugging away at physical therapy and is doing well. She confided in me last week that some people at work were making comments to her about someone they knew who had the same surgery and recovered faster and was back to work sooner. She was feeling bad about those comments. But those judgments aren’t fair. The same surgery is different for everyone.
I recently heard a presentation about how to support a loved one going through cancer treatment. One of the speaker’s tips was to never compare that person’s situation to someone else’s, even if they have or had the same cancer. Even if they are going through the same treatment. It’s different for everyone. Those comparisons can diminish the feelings of the person telling you about his or her own experience. Just listen.
It’s different for everyone. That statement certainly applies to fibromyalgia. Doesn’t it also apply to everything? Getting through high school, being married, working … just life itself? Don’t compare yourself or others. Life is different for everyone.