Obsessive Comparison Disorder

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I’ve been through this.

Moved out.

Met a girl.

Got married.

House.

Kids.

Career.

Typical white picket fence kinda stuff.  People DREAM of my life.

But then I looked at other people.

This guy has a degree.

That one has a BMW.

That one as a flat screen TV.

So I worked harder.  Started some businesses on the side, while I worked full-time, volunteered for my Church about 20+ hours a week, while trying to maintain my family relationship.

Eventually I broke.  Emotionally, spiritually, and sadly, in debt.

What I just found is that I kept looking at people on Facebook, and at people on TV with these nice fancy cars and houses.  For some dumb reason, I compared myself to people who were, or had the image of affluence.  I had even noticed that some of the people I followed on Twitter and Instagram, who I’ve never met, would even post their fancy nightlife, vacations, gadgets, and whatnot for other people on the internet to see!

It was ridiculous!

I wasn’t one of those people who had a silver spoon in my mouth!  We weren’t rich when we got to Canada.  Even though I didn’t have a college degree, I still made enough money to live comfortably.

I was missing gratitude and humility.

“Thank you!  I’m still alive.”  “Thank you!  My children are healthy.”  “Thank you!  My wife loves me.”  “Thank you!  I have a job that treats me well, and pays me enough to take care of our needs.”

So what do I do now?  Well, I stopped caring what other people have.  I don’t care about the fancy cars, newest computer/gadget.  I want to spend more time with my family, and I want to spend more time at church, because those are grounding and enhances my spirit.

I also let go of all the negative influence that caused these irrational behaviours.  I let go of nearly 3,000 followers on Twitter, all of whom just enjoyed horrible jokes.  I let go of 350+ facebook “friends”, who just bitched and whined when they didn’t get their way, or showed their new watch or gadget.  I let go of 350 Instagram followers who basically adjusted their jokes on twitter, to visual ridiculousness using photos and videos.  It was all fun, but what I truly lost was my real spirit.  This spirit that helps keep me in track, take care of my family, and live a good life, eating well and expressing love and kindness.

Stuff means nothing at the end.  You can’t take anything with you when you die, and if you’re in an unfortunate predicament to get in a divorce, you’re just going to lose half of it anyway.

So now what do we do?

  1. Turn off Facebook, and other social media sites!  It’s just a source for us to see what our “friends” are doing, or having this “awesome” life that just adds to our frustration and comparison disorder.  Easier said than done, right?  Actually, you really have far fewer friends than you think you do.  But seriously, not many people will miss you, and you’ll miss even less.  But you’ll find that those who actually do care about you, might actually call you on the phone or go for coffee with you.  Those are real friends.
  2. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  You live your own life, and so any progress you’ve made is something worth celebrating!  You got a raise?  That’s awesome!  YOU did it!  You saved your money and bought that 50″ TV WITH CASH?  Look at you, saving wisely!  Awesome!  If you’re working hard and smart, living within your means, spend time outdoors, exercise, cook with whole food and not canned, and hang out with friends and family, you’re farther ahead than so many people on the planet.

Be grateful, and enjoy your life.  It’s not too late to make these changes!  Don’t wait until you get a nervous breakdown.  Do it now!

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