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What Makes A Problem Big Enough?

"When did my struggle become something I was insecure enough about that I needed to make it worse?"

The Looking Glass Foundation

July 21, 2022

By Kassie C.

Do you ever feel like sometimes in the world people are either in the “I have it harder” Olympics where everyone needs to proclaim and justify why life is tough; or people are buying and selling the “fake it until you make” mentally, where no one is doing very well, but also, no one is really talking about it seriously – it’s all a joke that is supposed to be bonding.

And all of it just doesn’t feel real? Not that the problems aren’t really real, but that what we share and how we share it, as well as what others talk about, isn’t it coming from a genuine place.

I have been caught in this trap. Very recently, I was talking about my Eating Disorder and how depressed I was at that time, which is a part of my life story. I can feel detached when talking about it now because it’s so much easier to talk about how dark life got in the past when it feels substantially brighter in the present.

I was with new friends; we were all trading stories about how up and down our mental health has been and how low we’ve gotten. I was asked a question and to connect with the conversation I embellished my experience. I white lied. And why did I do it? Was it because I wanted connection over pain? When did my struggle become something I was insecure enough about that I needed to make it worse? Because being in my head and in the thick of an eating disorder for the last decade was pretty tough.

I feel guilt and I feel shame and I feel confused about my motivation to do it.

I know white lies are something that everyone does, but when it comes to heavy topics, is a white lie ever just a white lie because it is rooted from a part of life that was lived in darkness? I don’t know, and I really like to understand my mind, but sometimes there are things we cannot explain and once it is in the world, it’s hard to correct. I’ve realized that I spent so much of my life lying and deceiving others because hiding my eating disorder was so integral to keeping it alive. Although this may not be the case for everyone, I have realized that as part of my recovery journey, I have to address what I said. Gaining my life back also gave me the ability to hold myself accountable in ways I didn’t expect. That white lie doesn’t feel very good, so I’m acknowledging and holding on to it. I don’t like that side of me so I am hoping that correcting and learning from this it will take me closer to who I want to become and farther away from putting myself in situations that I feel I need to fix.

They say, “If you want to feel worth, let people love you”, I say, “If you want to feel worth, work to find value in yourself.”

My name is Kassie C. I am in my late twenties and am trying to live what I preach – picking yourself first and that loving yourself really is the best medicine. It’s not always easy and it definitely is not always pretty but it’s real. I hope joining me on this journey will provide perspective, connection and solace. So, here’s to life because for good or bad we are all in it together :).

*Photo credits: Kassie C.

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