Why Tauren Wells’ “Hills and Valleys” Resonates with me as a Person with Chronic Illnesses

When I was first introduced to the song “Hills and Valleys” by Tauren Wells, I broke down sobbing. Music rarely makes me cry, but five years of life with Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS), Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), and many, many other conditions, I was at a point in my life where I was so frustrated. The treatment for my SPS had stalled, wasn’t helping, and my doctor didn’t seem like he was really trying to help me. The infusions I needed for my CRPS were no longer covered under insurance and out of pocket expenses would be $25000 a round with 3-4 rounds a year. Add the stress of other conditions, college academics, and other life responsibilities and I was overwhelmed.

When we walk in the darkness, we are constantly searching for light. Someone to help us, someone to listen, and someone to simply say they care. Everyone has “hills” and “valleys”. Our “hills” are our better times and our bigger accomplishments and our “valleys” are the times that life tries to break us. But if we wait out the valleys and climb to the hills, life didn’t succeed at breaking us. After all, if you’re reading this, your success rate of getting through the most excruciatingly painful, emotionally miserable, depressing and tragic times is 100%. All the times that life got tough, you were tougher than whatever struggle you faced.

Yes, this is a Christian based song, but even for those that aren’t religious, there is something to be gained from listening to this song, even once. Now, I listen to this song every morning. It reminds me that no matter where my day takes me, school, work, to the hospital unexpectedly, or a relatively easier day, it’s not as bad as the deep valleys in which I’ve found myself.

When you change your perspective and see life as a series of hills and valleys, you learn to value the time you have on earth.

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