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Keeping a Healthy Perspective

While I was going through treatment, I used to get messages from people all the time saying something along the lines of, “I was having a really bad day but then I thought about what you’re going through and it made me feel much better about what I’m dealing with.” Some people said it with much more tactfully than that, but it was that same general message that I would get multiple times a week.

This statement has always made me a little uncomfortable and it took some time for me to figure out why. I’m not one to get easily offended, but these comments actually did offend me. I didn’t like the idea of people using my cancer diagnosis as a way to feel better about what was going on in their own lives. I mean, on one hand, I was happy that these people were able to put their problems into perspective, but at the same time, it just never sat quite right with me.

We’re all going through something

Here’s the thing… we all know that everybody is going through something.

Maybe you’re in high school and just had your heart broken for the first time.

Maybe you’re going through a divorce and are about to be a single parent to 3 kids.

Maybe one of your loved ones just got diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Or maybe you’re a 3 year old who didn’t get the toy you wanted.

In all 4 of these situations, the person probably feels like their world is ending. Obviously, a 3-year-old’s toy getting taken away may seem very insignificant to us as adults, but that’s because circumstances change, priorities change, and everyone is in a different stage of life.

You’re allowed to be upset over anything

Each of these issues are relative to one specific person and what’s going on in their life. Nobody has the right to judge how someone is dealing with something. You’re allowed to be upset over anything, no matter what anyone else is going through. I do believe it’s always good to keep things in perspective, but there’s a difference between doing that and minimizing what you are going through based off of what others are going through.

It’s okay if someone else has it worse than you

Don’t ever think that your problems are insignificant because someone else has it worse. Instead, always take time to be grateful about what you have and the things that are going well in your life.

The life lesson here is that you shouldn’t base your happiness on someone else’s life. Take time every day to be grateful for what you have despite anything bad going on. Even in the worst moments of your life, I’d bet you can think of something to be grateful for. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it certainly is possible.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Ann Harper moderator
    3 months ago

    @crystal_hu A long time ago I found out that I had to base my happiness on me. Comparing yourself to another will never make you happy – at least that’s been the case for me. I agree we have so much to be grateful for and that’s what we should focus on.

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    3 months ago

    @crystal_hu Dealing with 30 years of RA and then lymphoma recently, I have been getting this for years. “Oh, listen to me complaining to you, I’m such an idiot.” I say the same thing to everyone – “your stuff is your stuff, and your stuff to you is just as important as my stuff is to me.” In other words, exactly what you said, everyone has stuff. Just because someone else in the world has things worse (or what appears to be worse – it isn’t always the case), doesn’t mean what you are going through is any less awful to you. We live this human life through one perspective mainly – our own. So if it’s something to you, then it’s something! I then usually proceed to tell them that they should never be worried about offending me by complaining about things, if anything, I have tons of experience in dealing with things so I can probably help! 🙂 A great topic, keep on keepin’ on, DPM

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