A Hashtag Struggle

I wasn’t a frequent user of hashtags.  It’s only recently that I’ve understood the importance (if you’re interested in this kind of thing) of using hashtags on social media.  My favourite is #firstworldproblems not because of the fact that people will find my tweet, blog or picture, but because I get to effectively disclaim the struggle I have with something that isn’t really a significant problem but is still something I’d like to complain about.

My most recent was this weekend with a pizza order.  The best thing about takeaway pizza (other than the fact it’s delivered and you don’t have to cook it, the same as all takeaway) is that you don’t have to use anything from the kitchen to eat it.

However, something that annoys me is when you’re sat there with your open box on the table / floor / sofa / your knee with a drink in one hand.  You go to pick up a slice of cheesy-doughy goodness and IT’S ALL STUCK TOGETHER! The people at Domino’s haven’t suitably sliced the pizza all the way through, meaning that you have to put the drink down and use two hands to do the job yourself.  You then get food on your clean hand, which in turn goes on your glass…

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the fact that they can’t make the slices equal sizes.  The struggle when your pizza eating companion just so happens to get their timing perfect and get both of the massive slices… OH FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD!

#firstworldproblems indeed.

I think most people realise when a particular struggle of theirs isn’t really a struggle at all, especially when compared to things like hunger and war.

Where we have a genuine problem, though, however small, I don’t think it’s fair to ignore it.  I remember talking to someone who told me that they rang a friend to discuss one of their problems, and the friend ended up discussing one of theirs instead, completely ignoring the original importance and reason of the call.  The caller was disappointed and nearly angry, but it was an example of two people not understanding the importance of someone else’s problem because they were predisposed with the importance of their own.

I learnt myself recently that I shouldn’t just assume that my struggle is unimportant, because keeping hold of such a problem can affect mental health.  A professional counselor asked me why I bottled up a problem and hadn’t discussed it with friends or family.  My answer was that it wasn’t important because other people had bigger problems (in my opinion).

And I now realise how much I hate the fact I answered in that way.  I said it because it was honest, but if I had have spoken to someone and they said to me “Pfft! Get over it, other people have problems too,” I realise how annoyed I would have been with them at how easily they dismissed me.

Because it wasn’t the problem that they would have been dismissing, it would have been dismissing me because of the effect the struggle was having on me.

If someone had a physical problem, we’d tell them to go to the doctor.  We wouldn’t tell them to get over their dislocated finger because someone else has cancer.  If someone has a mental problem, we shouldn’t be telling them to get over it because someone has it worse.  Just because it’s not a problem we can see doesn’t make it unimportant.

No struggle is insurmountable and, as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved.  Don’t be afraid to share your struggle and don’t be afraid to help.

Oh, razorblade, that’s what I call love
I bet you’d pick it up and mess around with it
If I put it down, it gets extremely complicated
Anything to forget everything

You’ve got to take me out at least once a week
Whether I’m in your arms or I’m at your feet
I know exactly what you’re thinking
You won’t say it now but in your heart it’s loud

Oh no, my feelings are more important than yours
Oh, drop dead, I don’t care, I won’t worry, let it go

Oh, the razorblade, wish it would snap this rope
The world is in your hands or it’s at your throat
At times it’s not that complicated
Anything to forget everything

He would never talk but he was not shy
She was a street smart girl but she could not lie
They were perfect for each other, say it now
‘Cause in your heart it’s loud

Oh no, my feelings are more important than yours
Oh, drop dead, I don’t care, I won’t worry, hey

Sweetheart, your feelings are more important of course, of course
Everyone that wanted everything that we would take from them
I don’t wanna know, I don’t wanna know, tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me
No, don’t, okay

Razorblade by The Strokes

Comments 2

  1. Marianne

    Well said. Hope a lot of folks see this. Especially the line about not being able to see mental illness but that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant.

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