I can always tell when things are going off track when the good ol’ “Why me?” question comes sneaking back in my mind! And honestly, it’s probably been around for as long as my depression. Why me? Why did these bad things have to happen to me? Why do bad things always happen to me? It’s such an agonizing sometimes angry or whiny “why me?” too, oppose to a more contemplative or self-reflective gentle “why me?”
Sometimes I even look at the stats, i.e. 2% of the population with this illness (not a real stat) or have experienced this trauma and I just feel like what the f*ck? Why do I have to be that 2%?
It can go beyond personal battles, for example as far as questioning the timing of the 2008 recession (don’t laugh). The recession I took personally (LOL), I know! Why did I have to graduate during the recession (which struck me even harder because I took a year off after high school, i.e. if I didn’t I would have graduated a year before the economy came crashing down)? That one still pops up in my mind from time to time. But the mature, reflective, therapy/CBT taking me, is like come on seriously? The recession literally hit millions of people, some losing their homes others losing the ability to support their family. I was irrefutably not alone in any sense of the word nor did the cosmos have some sort of vendetta against me deciding to punish me in the form of a great economic recession. It’s all rather big-headed of me actually.
“Why me” also discounts ALL the positive things that have happened to me! Now let’s not go as far as Beyonce did in this video, but hell this applies to so much from your basic needs being met, being born in a first world country, to the smaller wins and blessings in your life. The thought pattern is a tad bit useless to be honest and lets you wallow. Okay, fine, we all need a bit of wallowing but really think about this line of thinking carefully and examine where it takes you and why.
Sidenote: I hope using this story isn’t crossing the line but I remember when a old high school classmate of mine passed away from cancer while I was in university and someone told me she had said from her hospital bed that she would rather it happen to her than wish it on someone else. Still to this day I think about that nobility. Even in her last days, she was not thinking “why me?” but instead faced her reality with a courage I’m not sure many of us would have had.