It could be worse

Someone at the next table is doing math problems with a tutor. I remember when I had to do math problems with a tutor. I am grateful that today I am NOT the one doing math problems with a tutor. (My long list of former counselors would be so proud of me, listing the things I’m grateful for). Let’s try a few more. I am NOT bleeding uncontrollably from a major artery NOR do I have gangrene.

I feel like this is not quite what they had in mind. They had in mind a lovely little list of everything I HAVE that I’m grateful for, like sunny days and kittens, not a list of every horrible thing that is not currently happening to me. But I feel like sometimes you have to remind yourself that it could always be worse. You COULD be suffering MORE. That doesn’t make you lucky, or mean you are obligated to be grateful. It’s just there, like a tiny life-raft.

Today, I am thinking, it HAS been worse. It has been MUCH worse. I have been that little moon-faced forgettable in a hospital bed, asking for updates on how long the doctor will be. Today I am not that little girl, shivering and terrified, anonymous with all the other young people in blue cotton dresses eating food from a tray. (Unfortunately for me, Ontario hospitals are worse than nothing. They actively made things worse.)

So I steer clear of them now, and keep my thoughts to myself, and wait and bide my time and fix my eyes on a certain point in the future at which potentially there will be help, genuine help. And today I think, it could be worse.




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I'm a former student of English literature, an editor and a creative writer who has been attempting to live with body dysmorphic disorder as well as severe anxiety and a recent diagnosis of Bipolar II. I believe that struggles with mental health are often lifelong and people in these situations need comfort, support and occasional moments of peace granted to them in order to survive.

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