How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up on Life
TRIGGER WARNING: This post references suicidal thoughts and may be triggering to some people. Since my first post on Tiny Buddha entitled “ Why I Didn’t Kill Myself and Why You Shouldn’t Either ,” I’ve been doing amazingly well. I thought I had this suicide stuff in the bag. I thought it lived in the past. I thought it was no longer a part of me. I thought I had found my way forward and that I would never feel that way again. I thought my suicidal ideation was a historical part of my existence. I was wrong. Tonight, I sat in the bath watching the water trickle down from the faucet and all I could think was how easy it would be to watch the blood trickle down my arms into the water instead. I thought of how easy it would be to drift away into nothingness. I
thought of how easy it would be to not have to get up every morning to face another day of emptiness. I thought of the peace I would have if I were no longer afraid all the time and how wonderful it would be to be free from the prison of my mind.
Sometimes, I long for this.
Sometimes, I long for death and want to give up.
I do not long for death itself, being cold and distant and immovable.
But I sometimes long for something other than what I am. I long for a feeling of safety and security. I long to feel loved and cherished, not used and abused.
I long to feel anything that is something more than the nothing I feel right now.
What Do You Want?
I know what you want. I want it too. You want someone to love you, someone to care, someone to tell you everything will be okay.
You want someone to tell you that even if you aren’t perfect, you’re enough just as you are.
You want your parents to put your needs ahead of their own, because that’s what loving parents do. You want those adults who abused you to think twice before they steal your innocence and your ability to feel.
What you want is for the past to never have existed, and what you want is impossible.
I know what you want.
You want someone to care, and it seems as if there is no amount of caring that will fill the empty hole in your heart, and no matter how hard you try to fill it up yourself it only goes halfway and then starts slipping back to empty.
Every day is a struggle to survive. Every day you wake up and wonder, “How much longer can I go on?”
The emptiness that fills your heart and your soul begins to take over your rationality.
At some point the things that kept you going have become meaningless. The life you have lived for so many years was just a struggle to survive.
Today you are at a point where nothing means anything. You aren’t even in pain. You feel nothing. You want to give up. You want to no longer exist. You want to stop being.
The endless negative thoughts swirl around in your brain compelling you to end everything. The hope for the future subsides to a dulling ache keeping you going every day.
You stare at the television knowing you are wasting your life, but are incapable to get off the couch and get outside.
Yet, you keep going. Why is this?
Why You Shouldn’t Give Up
I don’t know why I don’t give up sometimes. Most days I want to give up. But the human spirit is powerful. The desire to live is a strongly held need that keeps you in this world.
There is only one reason I don’t give up.
There is only one reason I don’t spend all my money, write out my will, and deliberately plan my death.
There is only one belief that sits in the back of my mind that keeps me going day after day.
What is that belief you ask?
There is always something that I hope for. I hope for change. I hope for strength. I hope for love. I hope for caring. I hope that things won’t always be as they have been.
Hope, my friends, is the only thing keeping me, and probably you, alive.
What does hope mean? To me hope means not giving up. It means constantly seeking a new way. It means looking deep inside to find what exactly it is that seems lacking.
What About Now?
I can’t promise you things will change tomorrow.
I can’t promise you that your self-serving parents will suddenly see the light and give you what you need.
I can’t promise you that you will stop choosing the wrong partner or that magically things will be better.
There are so many days when I believe that all is lost and want to give up, and I don’t know why I feel this way. I feel stupid for not being happy for what I have.
I want to be enough.
I want to feel enough.
I want to thrive, not just survive.
So, for now I make it through the day. For now, I do the best I can do. I wake up every day and realize I need to change something and I realize that at some point it will change.
That, my friend, is enough. Believing that something will change is sometimes enough.
Because, “This too shall pass.”
Because There Is Always Tomorrow
How do I know “this too shall pass”? I know because feelings and circumstances always change. Change is the nature of life.
The day after I wrote this and while I was going through the editing process I called my doctor to see if maybe it’s time to get back on some medication. I was feeling despondent and knew something needed to change. Of course, they couldn’t get me in for another month.
So, where could I go? What else could I do? My answer to myself: search Google, of course. I started looking up bunch topics that I need to work on that were related to relationships, love, and happiness.
I came across a relationship coach who seemed to get exactly what it was that I needed at the moment. So I watched a series of videos. Although I had heard all the things he spoke of before, for some reason everything resonated more deeply than usual.
I needed someone who would not just tell me that I am enough (intellectually I know this) but would give me the tools to help me believe that I am enough and keep me from falling back into the abyss of negative thinking that I tend to fall into.
When we are ready to hear, the message comes.
I booked a session with him and when we spoke everything became clear. I finally grasped the complex nature of how one can go through life without loving and accepting one’s self and how your fears can limit your existence.
You may not realize it, but you may actually fear being happy and you may keep thinking negative thoughts as a means to protect yourself. I realized that I had to stop my negative thinking and that no one can make me feel whole and loved and valued if I don’t truly love and value myself.
I realized I am still looking for someone to save me or for someone to validate me so I can feel whole, and guess what? It stops today.
I just decided. I decided that it was time to show up for myself fully and completely and also to stop delegating away my needs for others to fill like an empty vessel.
If you don’t give up hope and keep looking for help and reaching out to others, you will eventually find the people, tools, and resources that you need to heal.
I do it over and over and then I’ll do it again. If I can do it, so can you.