Validating Your Own Suffering

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Raise your hand if you’ve told yourself one of these statements (or something along these lines):

  • I don’t deserve to feel the way I do about this person/situation.
  • Everyone else has it way worse than me.
  • My feelings don’t matter.
  • My feelings are irrational.
  • I shouldn’t be feeling this way.

What if I told you that your feelings matter too? What if I told you that this is your anxiety telling you lies?

Because it is. These, and more, are lies your anxiety tells you that make you feel “less than” everyone else.

Many people don’t realize that people who have Anxiety Disorders have difficulty validating their own suffering. Including me. Anxiety sufferers see someone who has it worse, and they think it’s somehow supposed to negate their own pain.

Today, I want to let everyone in on a little secret: suffering is not a competition. Your pain and suffering are your own, and no one has the right to tell you how to feel about your experiences. You’re the only one who truly understands the depth of your suffering.

Once I learned this, it was freeing! For years, despite the hardships I’ve gone through, I struggled to validate my suffering. It’s still hard for me to validate my suffering, but it’s getting easier.

If you struggle with validating your suffering, it will get easier. It’ll be hard, but it will get easier. Don’t compare your journey and experiences to anyone else’s. Remember that you are the only one who’s going on your journey.

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