What I Mean When I Say

“Life Sucks”

I don’t say this one too often, but I do say it on the rare occasion. And if you were to hear me say this without any context or knowledge of my personality, my history, and my thought process then I could see how it could easily be misconstrued.

It’s not just me either, is it?

Other people drop this phrase too. Some more casually than others. So what do I mean when I say, “Life sucks”?


Simply put, I don’t honestly believe that life sucks. Yeah, I realize that seems counter-intuitive. If I say that life sucks, I must really think that being alive sucks, right? I must absolutely think that every aspect of life sucks and that it’s just some depressing game that we all lose.

Not quite.

While there are people who say it this way and mean it, I’m not one of them. Even after all I have been through, I maintain the belief that life itself is precious. A unique experience that was not and is not guaranteed to any of us.

I love life. I love the joys, obviously. But I love the struggles, the turmoil. It’s a massive part of living. I may have adapted to learning to love pain and challenges for what they are because of my past, but I do still genuinely appreciate them. Especially in hindsight.

Great, so I love life. But if I do, then why on Earth would I say that life sucks? You can’t love life and think that it sucks, can you?

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Yes, you can because the hard truth of the matter is that there will be times when life does plain suck. There’ll be times when no matter what you can’t quite get something to go your way.

Think about it. Let’s say you love eating candy. Candy is great. Well, what happens sometimes? A piece of candy jabs your tongue/cheek/gum. Does candy suck?

No. But that experience of eating it did for a minute.

It’s the same thing with life.

Life itself can be wonderful but any one of it’s billion facets can suck. Add up a few together and yeah, life sucks a little. If you’re having a rough time at work, can’t find the car you need, and suddenly hurt your knee you’re not going to say “Woo! Life!” You’re going to think that life sucks. And that’s okay.

And that’s what I mean when I say “life sucks”.

I am not saying that I don’t enjoy being alive. I am not saying that I want to give up breathing and running and living. I am not saying that I hate my life. What I am saying is that life isn’t easy right now. I am saying that I’m struggling on a few fronts to manage everything. I am saying that things are hard, I might be hurting, and that I need to focus my energy on getting through this and figuring out solutions.

But as I said, I very rarely say that life sucks. I don’t want to put that sort of energy out into the universe. So, what do I often say instead of it? If I do say that life sucks, what do I follow it up with?

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Well, I make sure that I try out “life is a little hard”, “this isn’t easy”, “this sucks“, and “I don’t like this” first. And I really, really try to use those first. I don’t generally jump to “life sucks” because I don’t want to but there comes a point where it’s important to vocalize what feelings are in your spirit.

And sometimes, like I said, life sucks.

When I do use that phrase though, I make sure I don’t say it sitting down and crying. I make sure i’m not just plopped on my butt somewhere, moping, and throwing myself a pity party (the worst kind). If I’m going to say it, I have to take accountability for my part in it. I have to get up and do something, anything.

I can’t say that life sucks while sitting around doing nothing. I just can’t. To me that seems wrong on every level. Right? I can’t complain about something so big and complex not working when I’m doing nothing.

So after I say that life sucks, I get up and do something. Go for a run, meditate, publish a book, whatever. Something t hat has a concrete, measurable success and something that will leave me feeling a little better than when I went in.

I also make sure I only say it once. I don’t get to repeat it over and over. To me, saying that life sucks is a way to vocalize my struggle, my pain, and my frustration while also telling myself, “What are you going to do about it?” I refuse to just mope and say that things are hard, which is the point.

It’s important to acknowledge when things are hard but it’s equally important to get up and do something, anything, to keep yourself going.


All right, so you get the point. I’m not whining. I’m not saying everything is awful, I’m just saying that life is hard. But I’m also doing something about it.

We all have things we say that initiate pity parties. Identifying those phrases, letting them have their power, but also encouraging yourself to use those phrases as a source of motivation is extremely important. We have to find balance within ourselves. I think a lot of times that comes with acknowledging the hard and working for the good.

Give it a shot, try it out for yourself and see how you like it.

Acknowledge the hard, the pain, the struggle but work to find and create the good, the free, the bright.

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