The Sad Society: Our Social Competition of Suffering

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This is a post I've wanted to write since before I launched TCFL. I made an attempt at writing it a month ago, but I couldn't get the words to come out right. This is something that has lingered in my consciousness over the last few years, starting as emotional responses to observations I made, and then the thought slowly taking shape as I pondered and wondered. I've figured out what I'm observing, but even now, I don't know how to confront it, change it, end it.

It's like... there's this competitive sadness that creeps around us. Do you know what I mean? We seem to have developed this culture where people are trying to constantly one-up each other on inconveniences, bummers, sad childhoods, anxieties, depressive episodes, tragedies, family kerfuffles, and every little gosh darn it. All of life's suffering is being measured on a scale of bad to worst.

If you're dealing with X, well, someone else is dealing Y and Z. Like, bruh?

And don't get me wrong, there's totally sharing an experience to help relate to the person sharing and establish a sort of mutual understanding of the situation, but one-uppers find a way to make light of what someone is sharing to make it about them. Look at me, I'm sadder.

And whyyy?

Why is there this desire for the attention being the saddest, most unfortunate person brings? Why do people ache for sympathy, pity, sad looks? Why are people chasing suffering and treating it like a competition?

I know for a 100% fact this is something I used to do. I mean, can ya blame me? Everyone is doing it. I could string together some sad justifications, but it's irrelevant to the point: I did this too, so I'm not looking down my nose at anyone at all.

Through a series of events and epiphanies, I (think I) changed and stopped seeking attention for being a sad, sad girl. I decided I didn't want to be the girl with a rain cloud over her head or who let her fears control her. I decided I wanted to choose happiness because my choice was the only thing stopping me. *

I want to live a life that inspires people. I want people to see me and say I want to do that too or I want to be like that. I want to encourage people and make them feel motivated to succeed. I want to show and be my best and not let my worst define me. 

I made that choice, but I can't make everyone do the same. I can't make everyone decide to grab life's hand and say we're going for a ride. Everyone has to go on their own journey and find that choice for themselves. It's bittersweet, I suppose. I figure the best I can do is do the best I can and hope it helps someone, but I think it would also be worthwhile to pose a simple question:

If suffering is a competition, why do you want to win?

How do you try to be your best?
Tell me in the comments! 💭

*: It was a choice for me. I'm not some douchebag who thinks it's as simple as deciding for everyone. I know it's a lot more complex than that when mental illness comes into play. xx


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