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How I Apply Avicii's Song 'Trouble' to My Life With Chronic Illness

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Music is easily the most therapeutic tool I’ve ever come across. If you think about it, music can teleport us – and this doesn’t stop at the warm fuzzy songs, which is why I take a lot of care in what music I play in my home. I want to rise, so I try to find music that acknowledges life as it has been, life as it is, and life as I want it to be. This feels rounded and genuine to me. But I won’t just tell you about how I choose music, I want to share one of my favorite songs, “Trouble” by Avicii, and share how I apply it to my life with chronic illness.

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Below I will share a few lines from the song, and what they mean to me.

“A million miles smarter, but I ain’t learnt a thing.”

I hear these words and immediately think about how blissfully unaware I was of this world I live in now. I didn’t know how it felt to cut away at a food budget so I could afford doctor visits. I didn’t know the anxiety of taking a new medication and praying the side effects would be minimal. And now I look at the world of medicine and I can see how much more there is to know. I know so much, and yet know so little in the grand scheme of things.

“I may not be the best, but I’m far from the worst.”

Whew! This one gets me every time. I don’t usually condone comparison when it comes to chronic illness, but this one is valid — we aren’t as healthy as we would like to be, but we are still breathing. If you’re reading this, it really could be worse. But don’t come away from this dwelling on the “could be’s” – instead, focus on how much you’ve overcome.

“Million miles ahead of where I’m from, but there’s still a hundred million miles to come.”

Similar to number one, I struggle with focusing so much on one or the other. It’s either, “Wow, look! I’ve made such progress!” Or, “Oh my gosh this is taking forever.” What I love about this song is that it acknowledges both within one breath. Equilibrium, friends!

“I’ve seen trouble, more than any man should bear, but I’ve seen enough joy, I’ve had more than my share.”

I live an incredibly rich life. I’ve watched the sunrise, I’ve watched the tides, I’ve looked for cloud shapes with my daughters, I’ve heard a baby cry for the first time…I’ve also broken bones, dislocated joints, I’ve lost loved ones, I’ve been hurt, I’ve been assaulted, I’ve watched my children gasp for air.

Trouble and Joy.

I fill my life with music that honors both, it centers me, teaching me grace and self-love. Friends we are made up of both. Without our trouble, we wouldn’t know what “good” we truly have. I consider my trouble a gift. I see things in balance. All of my experiences and all of my emotions create opportunities for connection. For the most part, my troubles has taught me lessons. Even the times I’m left without answers: Trouble taught me humility; it’s not always my place to know.

How we choose to use these complexities is up to us. Trouble can be used to hinder us, or we can use it as a ladder. Climb, my friends.

Image courtesy of Avicii’s Facebook page 

This story originally appeared on Lovely Resilience.

Originally published: June 11, 2018
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