Deadly Comparisons

I’ve been anxious to post an addendum to my last entry. Though I imagine this goes without saying, it has nonetheless felt very important that I don’t inadvertently imply that most people dealing with breast cancer feel the way I (and many of the women at last week’s support group) feel. For example, I know women who, unlike what I’ve shared, can’t or couldn’t get back to their pre-breast-cancer lives fast enough. Which of course makes another kind of perfect sense!

My problem is that I’ve compared myself to these women—just as I’ve compared myself to women who happily, gratefully work(ed) as much as possible through treatment. comparisonAnd I’ve let the discrepancies between our approaches trigger my what-is-wrong-with-me? voice. What I don’t want to do is trigger anyone else’s what-is-wrong-with-me? voice! Or to lead people without breast cancer to assume their friend, sister, mother, daughter will feel as I do under similar circumstances.

Oh the deadliness of comparison! How can we let ourselves find comfort in shared experience without then also thinking we are less-than—or better-than, for that matter—when our experiences differ?

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