Problems. We all have them, and in one way or another, we all handle them. Some of us avoid them, some of us tackle them head on, and some of us go about it at more of a leisurely pace, thinking “it will all work out in the end.” Whatever your technique, problems are inevitable and we must deal with them in order to move on with our lives. However, there is one big problem about problems (hahahah) and that is this:
It’s important to look at the problem in your life, but your problem shouldn’t BE your life
Let me elaborate: Dealing with your problems is a GOOD thing, a HEALTHY thing. But it can turn into a not-so-good, not-so-healthy thing if your whole entire life is about solving your problem. Life is not one big math equation and there is not one perfect solution. Bummer, I know If we spend our whole entire life trying to solve that problem or find that solution, we will waste our life. One problem is not worth one life, regardless of how big it is.
Let me explain even more: Most of you know I’m recovering from anorexia. The past seven years of my life have been dedicated to recovery. I’ve spent years and years in all sorts of treatments, from inpatient to outpatient to IOP’s to groups to individual therapy and on and on and on. I’ve had to focus a lot on my eating disorder because my life actually depended on it. Had I not spent so long fighting for recovery, I would not be here today. Eating disorders are exhausting, soul-sucking, and ultimately life-threatening. And that was my problem.
However, a few weeks ago, I realized an awful truth: My eating disorder had become my life. It was no longer a problem IN my life, but my life ITSELF. When people asked me who I was and what I did, my first thought was “Well I count calories and exercise obsessively and cry about food and *insert more eating disorder behaviors here). I no longer had a life anymore. ED had stolen it.
As much as this realization sucked, it made me really think about the life I want to live vs the life I’m living. I don’t want my life to be my eating disorder; I want my life to be free and happy and balanced and fun. I want my life to be full of people and places and traveling and yes…even food. I want to take back my life, the life that was never ED’s in the first place.
Maybe you don’t have an eating disorder. Maybe this isn’t making sense to you at all. But my guess is, you probably have some type of problem in your life right now. What I want to do is encourage you to take a step back and honestly look at how much of that problem is taking up your life. Do you feel like you’re living life and this is just a problem in it? Or do you feel like you’re living in your problem and life is just what happens in the meantime? It’s a weird concept to wrap your head around, but definitely something to think about.
Because when it comes down to it, life is short. So so unbelievably short. And I don’t want to spend my life going from problem to problem or in my case, being stuck on the same problem forever. Life isn’t about solving problems; life is about living. So I urge you to really let that sink in and do some introspection about the problems you have in your own life. Just remember, we’re all in this together (cue High School Musical). But really, I’m in the same boat. We all are. Let’s tackle our problems together, tell them to shut the eff up and LEAVE, and get on with LIVING our LIFE, shall we?