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Gaining a genuine understanding of a specific experience often necessitates direct personal involvement. A thought-provoking question posed by a participant in an online forum sparks intrigue: “What’s an aspect of life you believed was exaggerated until you lived it yourself?” The ensuing responses reveal a diverse tapestry of personal anecdotes, illuminating how individuals have shifted their perspectives on various situations and behaviors through firsthand experience. This collective endeavor aims to dispel doubts and misconceptions, providing a valuable insight into the world of lived experiences.
1. Constant Noise (Tinnitus)
Someone shares that tinnitus, a constant ringing in the ears, is pure torture. Tinnitus can make it hard to focus and quickly affect mental health. Another writer shares his least favorite part, “Every time you think about it, it gets louder.”
2. Kidney Stones
We all know that kidney stones are uncomfortable, but it can be hard to fathom for anyone that hasn’t experienced them. One writer shares, “Most people expect it to hurt the most when passing a stone through the urethra. Nothing prepared me for the pain as it passed through my kidney/ ureter.
One second I would be fine, carrying on conversations, prancing around nimbly-bimbly. The next second I would be keeled over, crying in agony, losing my lunch due to the sudden onset of crippling pain.”
3. Arthritis and Weather Predictions
Arthritis symptoms can be exacerbated by changes in atmospheric pressure, such as an incoming storm. Young or uninjured folks may roll their eyes at someone complaining about the weather. However, many have had to eat their words later in life.
A user writes, “I ripped my kneecap out in a bad bicycle accident in high school. I’m 40 now and can barely walk before a big thunderstorm rolls in.”
4. Humidity and Heat
More than one person shared their surprise at the major difference between humid heat and dry heat. Most agreed that they’d take dry heat any day over humid heat. “I’d take dry heat every day of the week over humidity. You can’t escape humidity,” shares a user.
A full-on toothache, regardless of the cause, can be miserable. One woman shares, “Tooth abscess. Never seen my husband cry till those three days when we couldn’t access doctor for pain relief/antibiotics etc.” Plus, a few people commented that tooth problems always seem to happen on the weekend when it’s often impossible to find a dentist, requiring a lot of suffering until Monday.
6. Hot Flashes
A man shares his sympathy for any woman going through menopause and hot flashes with his story: “Hot Flashes. I didn’t think they were this bad. I’m a 31 year old man who took Wellbutrin for the past month and hot flashes are a side effect.
I thought you just thought you were hot. No m*****f***** you are. You’re super hot legitimately, and you have to do something about it or you’ll go insane. It’s not in your head. It’s your brain raising your temps until you can’t focus on anything else.” Many women in the thread fully agreed that it sucks.
7. Chronic Illness
“Chronic illness, there is absolutely no way you can truly understand the impact unless you experience it,” writes someone. Another person shares, “Just that idea of always being sick and you will NEVER not be sick again. AND you’re expected to participate in society just the same as everyone else…” It’s hard to put ourselves in these shoes without firsthand experience, for sure. Unfortunately, chronic illness if often highly stigmatized.
Addiction is another highly stigmatized issue. Many people not affected think, why can’t they just stop? A man shares his revelations: “When I was in junior high my dad had an injury at work that ultimately resulted in a pretty bad opiate addiction. I didn’t understand how someone could prioritize a pill to such an extent or how awful they could be if they didn’t have it.
And then I grew into a person with crippling anxiety who discovered Xanax. The rest is a decade-long story of how I learned empathy and a lot of other hard lessons. But to have been so naive. sigh.”
9. Getting Older
Someone shares that getting old is not for the faint of heart. While a few people complain about the physical changes and possible pains, another person shares, “The emotional pain too. I get so nostalgic and teary over the past and how much has changed. It’s a weird grieving process over losing your youth and the way things were.”
10. The Speed of Time
“How fast time feels like it goes, every year feels like it’s going faster,” shares a Redditor. Many people joke about time flying by, but it does seem to disappear before our eyes, sometimes without our realization.
11. The Taste of Home-Grown Produce
This long story from a Redditor perfectly explains the difference between store-bought and home-grown produce:
“I figured that was just gardener talk justifying their time-consuming hobby. Then I bought a house where the previous owner had a vegetable garden and orchard. That spring, I saw these things coming up out of the ground and thought “is that asparagus?”. Cut them and cooked them and they were incredible. Then, the plums ripened. I never even liked plums, but I thought I’d try one so I pulled it off the tree and bit into it – “well, that’s not bad. Pretty juicy” (fresh picked fruit is far juicier than the stuff in stores). So anyway I ate another plum and then another and the next thing I know I’ve been standing there eating plums for like five minutes, and the juice is literally – I mean literally – running down my arms and dripping off my elbows. And those hard and sour strawberries you buy in stores are nothing like soft sweet strawberries slightly warm from the sun that never make it into the house because you just sit in the garden eating them as fast as you pick them. And, of course… tomatoes. OMG. Once you start growing your own, you will never be able to buy another one in a supermarket.”
12. Sequoia Trees
Sequoia trees in California are known for their immense size. Someone writes, “When I finally saw them in person, they looked fake. I could not comprehend a tree of that size.” Another person writes, “Everything is so much quieter under them and the air is cooler, too.”
13. Desert Heat
If you live in the mountains or anywhere cooler in the world, you may not fully comprehend what a day that average 130 degrees F feels like. Until you experience it for yourself, it’s very hard to understand the wave of hot air that hits the skin and leaves it sticky no matter what you do.
14. Wearing Many Hats as an Entrepreneur
The challenges, risks, and emotional rollercoaster of starting and running a business are hard to grasp until becoming an entrepreneur.
15. The Enormity of Nature
Whether it’s the sweeping Grand Canyon views, big open blue skies of Montana, or the old Sequoia giants in California- these jaw-dropping beauties of nature are hard to fathom.
34 Common and Petty Frustrations That Are So First World
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