I get what you're saying. Totally.
When I was in various music departments and training to be a violinist, I learned VERY hard not to compare myself to others. It's great to be motivated, and to work hard, but you can only compare you to you. I was playing Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole, and I had to play it right after another person -- who I considered to be much better than myself -- had to play it. Not only was the judge going to hear it twice in a row, but he was going to hear the best version first -- man did I think I was dead in teh water. Big time. But afterwards, not only did I get the highest marks, but people were telling me that they liked both of our performances equally; where they felt hers was weak mine was stronger and vice versa.
Doesn't keep me from being a total over achiever. I'm afraid that will never change.
But you made another good point. Crohn's CAN be a positive, even though I would never have believed that a few years ago. My perspective on life has definitely changed. When Kerry and I run into problems, remembering how rough things were when I was on TPN and in the hospital and all that is sort of a reality check. Things have, indeed, been worse. We can figure whatever problem is in front of us out. And it helps me take a long view of things. Yeah, the phone got shut off. In a few years will we even remember? Will it be important in the grand scheme of our lives? Probably not. So you deal wtih things as you can and do your best, and keep your perspective about the problems you run into in life.
Back to things that never change. Crohn's also made me accept myself for who and what I am. Between my first and second flares, I spent a lot of time stressing and worrying over how to control my temper and anxiety and that very driven-ness that seem to be inherent to my nature. During the second flare, I realized that all the effort I put into changing WHO I am was probably a mistake. Instead, I needed to learn how to handle those tendencies and channel them in a positive way.
"Let me light my lamp,"
Says the star,
"And never debate
If it will help to remove the darkness."
-- Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore