One of the greatest causes of dissatisfaction in people is the popular misbelief that other people are doing a better job at life than they are. I see this over and over again, when we suffer we seem utterly convinced that we are the only ones going through this.
Sure, intellectually we may know that other people suffer from depression, have money problems or unhappy relationships but in the middle of our struggles, it usually feels like we are all alone and no-one could possibly understand what we are going through.
“Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
I love this quote. Most people come to therapy not because they are having a battle but because they believe they are losing their battle. They look around and it seems like everyone else is winning theirs.
But that simply isn’t true.
A couple of years after my mother died, a close friend said to me that she doesn’t believe she will cope when her mother dies, not like I did. She told me that she wasn’t strong like me. She believed I had coped well and kept it all together. What she didn’t see at the time was my broken heart, how lost and alone I felt and my descent into an eating disorder that made me not want to exist. She doesn’t see the waves of sadness, which still come occasionally, catching me off guard even years later.
My point is, we tend to hide our struggles and it is exactly this that creates feelings of isolation and aloneness, not the struggle itself. More people than ever are speaking out about their inner battles and this is exciting. There are now online support groups for almost anything you can think of. If you’re feeling stuck or alone, you are not the only one and thanks to people being willing to talk about their experiences, you can find someone who knows.
Suffering might be an unavoidable part of life but suffering alone definitely isn’t.