Last week in class we were talking about characters in the musical Rent. We had just finished watching it and had taken a quiz on it and all that. After that, it was discussion time. He wanted us to think about themes and what Jonathan Larson intended for us to learn with the show. I was confused, for the most part. It had seemed to be a pretty wild show from start to finish and it kinda went all over the board. I had some idea what it was about, but nothing concrete.
If you've never seen Rent it's about a guy who watches all of his friend's get AIDS, essentially. But its a lot more than that. There are all these different characters and couples. One's a drag queen, ones a former heroin addict, one's a recovered addict, one guy's a film maker, and another chick is a lesbian. Basically, they all have very little things in common. But they're all friends somehow.
I was lost on what that all meant when my professor said something along the lines of this.
"Everyone has something they're going through. A lot of times we say they're struggling with it. You know, everyone has their struggles. But these characters stop struggling with their issues and learn how to live with them instead."
It never dawned on me that there was a difference between struggling with something and living with something. Every time I talk about my fear issues, I have always said "I struggle with fear." And for the first time I'm starting to think that that's not a very accurate description anymore. I don't struggle with fear. I live with fear. Fear isn't my number 1 anymore.
When I think of struggling with something, I think of a wrestling ring. I picture being in the Octagon with someone and fighting. Most of the time I picture my face being battered and bloody. I picture myself losing. But when I think of living with something, a very different picture comes to mind. I see myself going about my daily activities. Yeah, that stupid roommate is there and he tries to make a mess of my life, but it's not killing me. It's just causing me hassles. .
It is possible to stop struggling and start living.
We all have our issues. Some of them will be you forever. You just have to learn to live with them. That looks different on everybody. For some, it means taking medication. Other times it might mean seeing a counselor, getting accountability, going to 12 step programs, or simply reminding yourself that this issue will not kill you. Refusing to sink and living anyway. Let me tell you, our problems have the power to control our lives. I've been there. I never want to go there again. It's so much easier to struggle. But living is so much more rewarding. I's okay to struggle and to be on that mat for a while. But you don't want to live your whole life in a headlock, do you?
Don't live there. If you're struggling with something today and want to make the choice to live, reach out. Visit our resource page. Call a family member or friend. You're not in this alone. You were created to thrive, not just survive.
1-800-442-4673 (The Hopeline.)