Tag: social media

Of Envy: Comparisons and stress

pexels-photo-477685.jpegThis is going to be another uncomfortable post to write, but I am gonna write it anyway. I’m like the car on the left, in case you’re wondering!

So, in my last therapy session, one of the things I narrowed down as one of the greatest and most consistent stress evoking factors for me was comparing my life to others. I guess I’ve known this for a while now, as whenever I sit down to think about what is upsetting me, I’ve always found that I’ve been sulking over my life, thinking how pathetic it is compared to the lives of the people I know.

Yes, it’s envy. We all feel that pang every now and then. Isn’t it normal for us humans to compare ourselves to others? It certainly isn’t abnormal, yet it can damage us in ways we don’t realize.

My mother always says, if you compare your lives to those who have more than you, you’ll always be sad, but if you look at those who have less than you, you’ll realize how lucky you are. I know there is wisdom in her words but I’m not so wise, yet…

What comparing my life to others does to me is send my thoughts into a negative spiral, thinking of what all I’m missing out on and what all I’ll never have.. I just add on a pity party to the mix and end up feeling miserable. Every time I see one of my college friends getting married (there are only a couple of ’em left btw), every time someone posts their kid’s photo on Facebook or every time I see my friends enjoy a great holiday with their husband and kids, or when one of my cousins bags a great job, I’m like well I’m I the only one who’s left out? The truth is I am. I am thirty years old and I know age is just a number, and I really want to believe that it is, ┬ábut still, seeing other thirty year olds sends me into panic mode.

The funny thing is I am not even sure I want all of that stuff. Or may be I do and I don’t want to admit it because if I do, then I have to live with the pain of not having what I want or need or whatever. I live in a society torn between the modern and the traditional. Somewhere between trying to preserve the tradition and embracing the modern, I am stuck, in no man’s land, with no where to go. It’s a curse really. Most of you would think, it’s my own fault that I am not willing to chose one and stick with it. I wish it were that simple. May be it is but I haven’t figured it out yet.

So while I figure out what I want in life, I decided to take out of some of the sources of this stress in my life, no points for guessing – Facebook and Instagram. I figured these things weren’t really adding anything to my life but stress at the moment. I wasn’t very active on Facebook but I had about a hundred friends, yet when I needed to, I had not a single soul I could talk to. So I thought what good is it, watching these people’s happy or happily portrayed lives when I have nothing to do with them. They weren’t really my “friends”. I permanently deleted my Facebook account. Instagram however took more effort because I use it frequently and I love seeing all the great nature photos and book posts, but there are other things that pop up and upset me there too.

Anyway, I am going to focus on my own life and my own journey without being distracted by what others are up to. My life’s curve is different, yes it scares the hell out of me when I see how much different but I’m going to live my life according to its own timeline. I will work on dealing with other people’s successes and happiness in a much healthier way and countering my own negativity, but I am going to need to be away from all that for a while. I cannot let this comparison and its effects add on to my depression. This was one thing I could control in a temporary way to help myself and I am glad I did it.

P.S. I thought of quitting blogging too, considering this is social media, but since I do this anonymously and because it helps me clear my mind and process some of my feelings in a positive manner, I decided against it. This blog is actually turning out to be a great help for me in coping with my depression.