Instead of Comparison Stealing My Joy, I Choose to Celebrate
Spring is in the air. With flowers blooming and birds chirping, this time of year is filled with new life and new beginnings. It’s also graduation season, a time that brings hope. Families share loved ones’ accomplishments and celebrate the end of one season and the beginning of the next. While it is lovely to see families enjoy the moment, not all of them are encouraged at this time of year.
Graduating high school is the expectation for many. However, some students struggle to pass their classes and earn their diplomas. Sometimes getting a diploma is more of a relief than a celebration. For them, the barrage of posts on social media celebrating the accolades of a loved one can create heavy hearts. In these moments, the enemy of comparison comes to visit.
In the world of bleeding disorders, comparison can bring a heaviness to what is already a difficult journey. As an example, I vividly remember sitting in a rap session at a conference. The discussion focused on living with inhibitors, and one parent commented on their son’s third port. The conversation continued with an interesting bent: It turned into whose child had the most ports. It felt like a competition to see whose child had the more complex medical case.
It was bewildering. Hearing parents talk about their children with significant medical needs showed me that the enemy of comparison rears its ugly head and brings out the worst in people, even in the worst situation.
My youngest son, Caeleb, is completing his sophomore year of high school. I’m doing my best not to consider what may or may not happen over the next two years. Will he have the grades needed to get into a good college? Will he be eligible for scholarships?
I choose to celebrate that my son attends school every day. Despite his physical limitations, Caeleb has figured out how to participate in school activities such as band. Several years ago, he missed more school days than he attended in a single year. He couldn’t even walk.
Comparison is often the thief of joy. Time is too precious to spend worrying about the future. Instead, I choose to celebrate the victories in my life and my son’s life. Worry and comparison can only bring a heaviness to my heart, and that’s something I don’t want to experience by my own doing.
Today, I celebrate my son and all the other kids with bleeding disorders going to school and finishing the year on their own two feet. Instead of comparing him to others, I’ll think about where he came from and where he has yet to travel. The future is bright, and that’s what I’ll look forward to with joy.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.