"Well, it could be worse." 

I can't tell you how many times I've had people say this about me. Either from healthy/able bodied people or from other sick/disabled people. Illness shaming is a very real and harmful phenomenon. Why are we stuck justifying our pain to others? 

I've gotten a lot of messages recently from people saying how they don't believe they deserve to complain since they don't have "X Condition" (which they think of as being much worse). Well, I'm a firm believer in therapeutic complaining. It's better to get it out somehow rather than keep it bottled up inside. I believe you all have every right to complain even if you don't have "X Condition". 

Suffering is subjective. Pain is not universal. Some one else's 7 might be my 4. Does that make what they feel any less horrible or real? No. Just different. How we experience a phenomenon is not universal. I may have a 7 pain, but act like I am experiencing a 4 for a variety of reasons such as distraction, tolerance build up, or I'm just awesome at hiding it. Does that mean my pain is not a 7 though? Does that mean I actually feel good? No. Does that mean people should compare how I experience my 7 to how someone else experiences their 7? No. Because everyone is different. Suffering is subjective. 

One of my favorite books is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. There are just so many quotable moments in it, including this one, "And if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have. Good and bad." To me this really sums it up.

Getting into the compare game is a slippery slope with no winner. 


Sick Chick