Anxiety, Uncategorized

“A Blessing In Disguise”

blessing

If you read my last post or two, you probably heard about my husband’s car accident. It totalled our car, caused a lot of anxiety for me (obviously), and made our already busy lives even busier. Thankfully, my husband came out of it without a scratch. Warning: this is going to be one of my ranty posts. 

Some very well-meaning people in my life decided to tell me that this accident was a “blessing in disguise.” Ah yes, whether you are from the Christian community or not, I’m sure some well-meaning person has said this to you at some point in your life.

Why was it a “blessing in disguise?” Because although I was extremely upset about the accident, I actually hated that car. It was my husband’s car from before we met, and it was a decent car. A Toyota Corolla. Reliable. Simple. You know, a car.

But the thing is, I am tiny and I hate cars. Cars are so low to the ground, I have trouble seeing my surroundings when I drive one. The SUV I purchased two years ago was now 12 years old and basically un-drivable. So we were stuck with the car.

But now, the car was gone. We were free from his car loan and could buy whatever we wanted! New (well…new to us) SUV, here we come!

And that’s what we did. We bought a Toyota RAV4, a sporty little SUV. And we got it in black. Honestly, it was pretty much my dream car. And car shopping was actually fun too.

But…how was this a “blessing in disguise?” Alright, I guess I may be getting a bit technical here, but I have a huge issue with this term. Did something good come out of something bad? Yes. The car I hated was gone, and we got a new SUV for pretty much the same price as our old one. Is my new SUV a blessing? Maybe. But the fact remains, that accident was in no way a blessing.

caraccident

Does this look like a blessing to you? 

Like I said, I know I’m being technical about the phrase. It’s true, I already admitted that something good came from something bad. But we must realize the words we use are important and meaningful. This phrase bothers me because I’ve found it’s often used to diminish a struggle or a problem or a negative event that someone is dealing with.

Something bad also came from something bad. My anxiety has been significantly worse since the accident. We’ve had to deal with insurance companies, banks, the police, and various others who are all somehow involved with this and it’s cost us money, energy, and time.

By calling this accident a blessing in disguise, you are ignoring the fact that it was also a really crappy thing not in disguise. It just sucked. It was bad. Sometimes crappy things happen and, well, that’s life! Not everything has to be a “blessing in disguise,” because not everything is.

I believe that God can make awesome stuff happen from terrible things, but I also believe that life is just life and sometimes crap happens and no one said we’re always going to have a happy ending or be #blessed every time we encounter hardships.

I also believe that yeah, it’s totally okay to look at the positives in a negative situation. It’s great that through this all, I was able to enjoy our new SUV and realize that if this accident hadn’t happened, we would have had to wait years before we could have afforded a new SUV.

But this accident was not a blessing. It was a horrible thing that happened and it was scary and it was dangerous and it was just plain bad. Accidents are not blessings. Sickness is not a blessing. Mental illness is not a blessing. Unemployment is not a blessing. Poverty is not a blessing.

Let’s not pretend that any of these things are. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that people are totally okay because something good may have come from something bad. It’s okay to tell someone, “I’m sorry that happened to you. It must have been hard.” Instead of, “Well, look, some good stuff come out of all that horrible, painful, scary, stuff you just experienced!” It’s okay to acknowledge the bad. And sometimes, that’s all a suffering person wants to hear.

6 thoughts on ““A Blessing In Disguise””

  1. Glad to read your husband was not badly hurt, sorry to read about all the subsequent hassle.
    Life throws ‘stuff’ at us and ‘stuff’ happens.
    Sometimes we manage to ‘make the best of a bad job’ other times we end up flat on…well whatever part of our allegorical anatomy suits.
    Whichever way, this was a thoroughly incisive and balanced post.
    Thanks.
    Roger

  2. I am so relieved to read this. I’ve often felt the same way. I mean, there were some things that really can be a blessing in disguise. I’ve heard stories of someone going in for an injury or illness and the process of diagnosing it reveals another problem that’s very treatable and was caught in plenty of time. So, yes, an injury or illness may have happened, but the good so vastly outweighed the bad that, yes, it turned out to be a blessing in the end. That does happen.

    In situations like yours, there’s a lot more to it than just getting rid of the hated car. If it just up and died on you one day, that might be better. Something breaks when you’re safely at home and the cost to repair it is more than it’s worth. Even that’s not a blessing in disguise, but it’s so much less stressful. What you went through is so much greater than that.

    I can’t help but think this is part of the minimalizing people do with mental health issues. They write it off as something that can be gotten over by just thinking about the silver lining. Instead they’re ignoring the very real dark cloud at the center of it all that really needs to be paid attention to as well. Sunshine and roses don’t fix everything.

    Good for you for standing up and speaking your mind!

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment! I totally agree – there really can be true “blessings in disguise,” I just think the term is sooo overused and definitely does not apply to every situation. I also agree that this happens a lot when speaking about mental illness! Anyway, thanks again :)

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