Numbers(By: Holli Ellis, LPC-MHSP)

I’ve not been a fan of numbers for as long as I can remember. In math class, I would transpose numbers and get confused on what number was actually supposed to be there and then get the answer wrong. Then when you start adding in letters with numbers, and signs that would tell you what to do with the numbers… then you learn that the sequence of all of these things matter! I did not stand a chance there.

How many days are in each month? Some of have 30, some have 31 and then February has 28 days unless it’s leap year which happens every four years. Good thing for calendars and our phones!

Then comes to the numbers that not only have I not liked, these are the ones that I have had such a tumultuous relationship with: pants size and weight. These were the numbers that drove my happiness (read: lack there of), my days, my food intake, my choices, my relationships with others and most importantly, damaged the relationship I had with myself. The obsession and strive to get “there” did not feel like it always consumed me but looking back I see how all consuming and insidious it was.  For nearly two decades I had reduced myself, unknowingly, to those numbers. Only if those numbers were just right could I have happiness in school, in my work, in my relationships and within. Only then, would I finally be enough.

When I attained those numbers it was not this instantaneous miracle, instead a letdown! I was feeling like a failure because despite having met my goal, I failed to achieve the feeling that reaching this goal was supposed to bring me.

There had to be another way.

That is when I realized I was not paying attention to the numbers that mattered and I began to slowly redefine the numbers that mattered.

7- The year of years I’ve been in a relationship to a man who sees my soul and loves me unconditionally for that and not for my body.

3- The number of fur babies I have that greet me with love every single day.

4.93- The price of the rich and creamy coffee drink I would never let myself enjoy before.

14- The number of months I’ve been a mommy to the most magical creature to exist in my world: my child.

11- The number of years I’ve worked as a healer.

62- The number of months I’ve been in recovery living a life where I’m not consumed by numbers like I was before.

This reminds me of a quote from Mindy Kahling that resonates with me on such a deep level. “But my secret is: even though I wish I could be thin, and that I could have the ease of lifestyle that I associate with being thin, I don’t wish for it with all of my heart. Because my heart is reserved for way more important things.”

Here’s to reserving our numbers for more important things.

About the Author

Holli Ellis is a mom, a wife , a therapist, a recovered spirit and most importantly a human. She lives and loves with her husband, child and 3 fur babies. She gets energized by the sun, outdoors and water and can usually be found there most of the time. She finds laughter in dancing and watching The Office and enjoys resting in her cozy beanbag, probably drinking iced coffee.