I tend to get stuck in comparisons. At bad times, but even in rather good times, moodwise, I can wake up feeling thoroughly unhappy because I have not won a prize in my field of work, because I haven't saved lives, I don't live in Mexico and because I am not rescuing any orphans.
This is based on some very high standards I seem to have set for myself, and a nagging feeling that I am not living life to the fullest. That I could and should be more. I can't shake it off.
I have never been intimidated by famous people and their looks or wealth, but there is a select group of people who seem to do all these worthwhile things. Not just Bono and Angelina, some are friends of friends and I admire them when I see their progress on Facebook. Doctors, journalists, politicians who really do win prizes, write books, travel all the time, go to refugee camps, make things a little better there. Apart from admiration, they can make me feel angry too, when I'm vulnerable. I bet they had easier lives, brilliant upbringings, that they are not held back by periods of low mood, grrr, hmppff, etc.
It's a simple fact that I am not making life better for orphans or refugees. But it's important for me to realise that I am not making it worse either. Constantly comparing myself to the absolute top layer of society, feeling inadequate to have not risen to their level, doesn't help anyone. It doesn't push me into action, it just makes me feel bad and even worse because I can see how childish it is.
As far as comparisons go, I am in a better place than 90 percent of the world population. I am healthy. I am loved. I have a happy toddler and seem to be a good mum. I'm ok work wise. I feel safe. I never have to worry about feeding my child or keeping her warm. If I really want to compare myself, I should look at the whole range of lives and destinies and wake up feeling thoroughly grateful with my life. And then I should donate some money to people who help orphans in refugee camps.
A Moodscope member.