Tuesday, April 21, 2020

We've all heard the phrases in pick-me-up chats where someone will, for reasons beyond me, think that what you need to hear is that other people have it worse. Sometimes even siting circumstances in which your life could be harder prefixed with a "at least you're not --" You even hear it in popular music. Remember the controversial lyric in the bandaid song "well tonight thank god it's them instead of you" sung by Bono? It's a really harmful way to look at things and to comfort anyone. It doesn't help and it's essentially insinuating that their feelings are not valid.

Of course, it's important to recognise your privilege and to think about the bigger picture but our emotional responses to any given situation are very personal and something that has a huge impact on one person, may not on another. And that's okay. Sam Smith going viral after posting about a breakdown- in his mansion or not- is okay. People starting threads to share their Amazon Wishlists to send out a few gifts- whether there's charities in need of donations or not- is also okay. We've never experienced anything like this in our lifetime and so how we help ourselves and in turn decide to help others isn't something to be policed.

The reality is even when your intentions are good, there will be someone somewhere waiting to jump on the opportunity to tare it apart. People love to tell you that you aren't doing enough or remind you that there are "bigger problems" than the one you're trying to tackle. The problem with that is that it leaves people sat on a fence in no man's land not wanting to contribute to or get involved in anything for fear of it 'not being enough'.

I really miss ice hockey. It's been an outlet for me for a while now. No matter how much I was struggling with my health I knew if I could just get myself out to a game then I'd get so lost in what was going on and everything would fade away. Even if only for a couple of hours. I am allowed to feel lost and upset that the season was cut short due to the virus without demeaning the suffering of other people. I am allowed to send people gifts if I think it might help them get through this time and I'm sure as hell allowed to miss my family whilst recognising that I am lucky to be quarantined with my partner.

This idea that you cannot mourn that you miss of normality whilst also empathising with those who may have it 'worse' is ridiculous.

We have the issue of individual battles that we're tackling throughout this global pandemic and the general consensus seems to be that unless you're suffering from the virus itself you have no right to complain. Now, please make no mistake, it's a horrible situation the world is in right now but we can't let that take away from the suffering of others directly affected by the restrictions and challenges forced on us by the lockdown of several countries. One thing to note is that there are a lot of people out there struggling with mental health issues and their usual support systems and coping mechanisms are no longer available to them. Feeling stressed, anxious and hopeless in these times is completely understandable and having to disrupt a routine can be detrimental to a lot of people.

On the flip side, it's equally okay if you're coping with lockdown by eating your body weight in digestives, binge-watching an entire Netflix series in one sitting and even if you signed up for a TikTok account- I can forgive you (my boyfriend has had an account for 2 days and I already have various remixes of 2000's hits stuck in my head).

What I am trying to say is, no matter how you're feeling through this difficult time your feelings are valid and you deserve both your struggles and your triumphs to be acknowledged.

As long as people aren't putting anyone in danger and they're following government guidelines, stop being so hard on people trying to help. Allow yourself to feel whatever you need to and do whatever the hell you need to do to get through this.

Share your opinion:

  1. Ecbc Manchester24 April, 2020

    Thank you for this - let's shout about self love because people are way too hard on themselves. So true about how we survive through this in our own way, be kinder to ourselves and also to others who are trying to help. Thank you for sharing. Emma x

    1. Hey Emma, thanks for reading. It's imperative that we look after ourselves around this time for sure!

  2. Delilah Em @ TRL24 April, 2020

    This is truly beautiful and I love your way of writing. One thing I've noticed during this pandemic so far is that no one goes untouched. Sure, you may not contract the virus or know of someone personally who does, but still watching other fellow humans go through such trauma is more than enough to make one feel on edge. Humans aren't the best at seeing a bigger picture and accepting that everyone is unique and deals with situations differently, but we are getting better as a collective and having people like you who allow others to feel safe in their choices, means we can embrace those aspects a lot faster. Thank you for such a lovely post. Delilah.

    1. Absolutely. The situation is changing all of us, I just hope in the end that it's for the better. Thanks so much Delilah for such a thoughtful response. I'm glad you liked it!

  3. I love this post! So true. I feel different everyday and I don’t really know until I start the day. But each feeling is valid and everyone has their own way of coping with things. So no matter how you feel, it’s totally valid. I’m just hoping things will get back to normal soon!

    1. Thank you so much for reading. I couldn't agree more. How I'm feeling about the situation AND in myself changes day by day.

  4. Thank you for this post, I absolutely agree with you that everyone's struggles and feelings are valid, no matter how they 'compare' to other peoples'. Let's all keep being kind and supporting each other! x

  5. SpookyMrsGreen24 April, 2020

    Thank you for saying what we are all feeling. I grew up being told that there are other people far worse off than me and therefore I should never feel sorry for myself. But it turns out I do have very valid reasons for being upset or feeling sad, and that's ok. We all do what we can to get by.

  6. Tunrayo Adigun24 April, 2020

    Thank you so much, this is exactly what we need. We always tell people that other people have it worse which invalidates you own feelings. It’s honestly unfair treating people that way. I’m glad you pointed that out. Your feels are valid no matter the circumstances, we should all learn to be kind to one another.


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