“It could have been worse” is not the best way of looking at things. It is a coping mechanism to soften trauma, a way to process something bad by comparing it to something cataclysmic. Welcome to my 2016:
Pumpkin was bitten by another animal, the bite got infected and she almost bled to death before I could get her to the veterinary emergency room. She then spent 3 weeks recuperating with a plastic cone around her neck and more than a dozen stitches in her leg. It could have been worse, she could have died.
Ghost was in two fights, neither of which were serious, but resulted in my deciding he would no longer be allowed outside. He started overgrooming because he is unhappy, but I am not okay letting him back outside because he could be injured or killed. It could have been worse, he could have contracted rabies and have to be put down.
After going above and beyond my job responsibilities for more than three years for a boss I truly believed in, I was passed over for multiple promotions and transferred to another part of our office where the work is not nearly as interesting or important. It could have been worse, you still have a job.
I seriously injured my knee and could not exercise for almost two months. Even now, I am limited to 20-30 minutes on an exercise bike. Meanwhile, I have gained 10 pounds and get more depressed the longer my rehabilitation takes. It could have been worse, you could have blown out your knee ligaments and required surgery and a year’s worth of rehab.
My mother was diagnosed with cancer. It could have been worse, they caught it before it became terminal.
My sister criticized me for not spending enough time with my mom when she was in the hospital even though I came down on weekends but live 3 hours away, have a full-time job, and no one here to help me take care of my home or cats. It could have been worse, you could have sunk to your sister’s level and reminded her you have lived in New Jersey for 13 years and she has never visited you.
Some highlights from dates I went on in 2016: (1) the woman who shared (in graphic detail) the particulars of her first anal orgasm (10 minutes after we met); (2) the woman who said, with a straight face, that Hillary’s use of a private email server should land her in Guantanamo (you know, where we hold the terrorists); (3) the woman whose dating profile said she was single with no kids and turned out to be married with two kids; and (4) the woman who showed up to Starbucks wearing a “cat ears” headband. It could have been worse, you could have married one of them.
I am now 46 years old, have not been in a serious relationship in more than three years, have no children, no family near me, and few close friends. And oh yeah, Donald Fucking Trump is going to be our President on January 20, 2017. Not a good year.
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