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I have been thinking about giving up a lot lately.
Giving up on fighting so hard when life seems to be pulling me backward.
And whenever I restore that motivation to pull through and fight whatever comes my way, another problem arises.
And it’s sometimes hard to keep soldiering on and moving forward when everything is fighting against you. Much like Sisyphus’s story, the rock just doesn’t seem to want to stick to the top and keeps rolling back down.
After noticing signs of burnout and anxiety—self-doubt, defeat, loss of motivation, constant exhaustion, lack of sleep, excessive worrying, you know the drill—I talked to my fiancé about it. He listened to me ramble for hours after having kept these feelings inside for several weeks, if not months.
I told him that I wasn’t motivated about anything anymore, and sometimes, when going (to try) to sleep, I felt anxious about the time I’m about to wake up and start a new day. It isn’t a feeling I always have or embrace, so I know it’s specific to whatever is happening right now.
When I was done, he hugged me and promised to be there through it all and help in any way possible. Then he proceeded to remind me of something he said to me back when I was feeling the same at the university.
“The only way is up now.”
But this isn’t the quote I’m talking about here.
As I was going through Instagram, I ran across this quote by the poet, Atticus:
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And it immediately reminded me of the conversation with my partner. It reminded me this had happened before. Whenever I felt about to hit rock bottom, things soon shifted for the better, along with my mood.
And they will shift for us.
They won’t be as bad as they were at the beginning.
This too shall pass.
But we also have to give ourselves the space to be at peace with our emotions, with our sadness, with our feelings of defeat before we pull ourselves out of this pithole of self-pity, before we start contemplating shifting our perspective.
You see because we know that we will have a way out. We know that we are lost but will be found. So it’s okay to allow ourselves to be unhappy and anxious. And once we’ve come to terms with our sadness and worrisome situation, only then can we start looking up and pushing ourselves to look at the half-full part of the cup.
Forcing ourselves to be positive and denying our mind the ability to feel sadness and weakness will make things worse. It will lead to further burnout, fake cheerfulness, and inauthenticity.
Once we’ve made our peace with ourselves and become aware of our own feelings and the situation around us, then we can remember that we’ve been lost for a reason. We’ve been lost only to find a better path. A better way. A better step forward.
Because when we hit rock bottom, the only way is up.