Who is worst off?

"There is always someone worst off than you." Now is that supposed to help you when you hear it?

I have found that since people have started to find out about Mum's diagnosis, many of them share stories of people they know who are terminally ill too or living with some chronic illness who are in a worst state.  And I find myself wondering why this is? My perception is they share these stories to make me feel better - that by knowing other people are having a harder time, you can appreciate what you have.


Can't immediately say it was working for me that way!  

What I do find is that I now find myself thinking about all those people whose situations are terribly sad - and those thoughts don't not help ANYONE!  So when a client came to me whose medical condition is hindering their mobility and leading to depression, I found myself talking about how there were many people who had lost their legs who were leading a fulfilling life.  Perhaps a tad hypocritical that I am serving out something I didnt like to take myself!

So time for another re-think.  And what I have come to acknowledge is that everyone's fears are personal to them.  My fear of losing Mum I think is greater than her own fear of dieing.  My client's fear of their future mobility is worse  for him, than someone who has lost all mobility.  And perhaps the only truly fair comparison, is how our own thoughts are today compared to yesterday! Deciding if we are going to let ourselves spiral downwards, or upwards!

I am now making every effort not to draw comparisons in my work - unless it is a positive one!  The big positive comparison I have decided to focus on is that Mum's tumours were found due to a routine scan and so we have got treatment earlier that will hopefully extend her life.  For other people, their disease is not picked up until the symptoms are felt which is often much further down the line.  So I am likely to have Mum around for longer than would have otherwise happened and that is a much nicer thought to have kicking around in my head!

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