When You Feel Like Giving Up

When You Feel Like Giving Up

Should I hang myself? I wondered. But that would be too painful.

Next.

Jump off a building.

That sounds painful too.

Next.

I looked at the time on my phone. I had already spent 30 minutes deciding on the best way to kill myself.

Pills.

The right pills in the right dosage will kill you almost instantly, I found.

I took a mental note of my suicide method of choice and went to sleep.

One day, when I can’t take it anymore, I’ll know what to do.

*

It’s not easy to be in a home where your parents appear to hate each other.

In my room at my study desk, I tried my best to ignore what was happening outside.

Though my parents’ insults were meant for one another and not me, it was still painful to hear them nonetheless.

Marriage. Does it always have to be this way? I wondered. I wanted to think about this a little more but I stopped myself.

I should focus on my studies.

That was one way to escape all of this – study hard, leave home and study abroad.

If possible, never come back.

*

Sadly enough, the screams and shouts happened often enough that I eventually developed an ability to focus in noisy environments.

As the screams went on outside, I read away in my room.

Even so, there were still days I felt I had to leave my room to check on what was going on outside.

I didn’t want to. I wanted instead to sit in my room and cry.

But I couldn’t. Something bad might happen. The screams had escalated into violence. Somebody had taken a knife from the kitchen.

‘DO YOU WANT ME TO CHOP YOU? IF YOU SAY THAT AGAIN, I’LL CHOP YOU. I’LL CHOP MYSELF!’

The knife holder role switched between my mother and father. It depended on who thought of the idea first and then went to the kitchen to get the knife.

But it was when my father took the role that I was more worried.

He was a violent man. When he is angry, he would not remember about family ties.

Which means anything can happen.

‘Papa, put down the knife,’ I would tell him calmly.

He screamed at me. His eyes and veins on his neck popped out. The skin on his face, neck and chest were blistering red.

I tried again.

‘Papa, put down the knife.’

I motioned my water to leave the room.

Nothing bad happened that night. My father decided to sleep in the car. My sister took a blanket and a pillow from the house for him.

The next morning, before anyone had woken up, my father had gone out the house.

*

This incident would repeat itself many times over throughout my teenage and adolescent years.

My mother grew depressed and withdrawn. I lost the strongest support in my life and became lonely and depressed.

From the outside, nobody noticed a problem. I was doing well in school and appeared happy.

On the inside, I was falling apart.

I was giving up on life.

What to do when you feel like giving up

Though I felt paralyzed by my problems, I also knew one thing: a problem is as big as the amount of attention you give it.

The more you think and talk about a problem, the longer it stays in your life.

The longer a problem stay in your life, the less time and attention you have for things that may help you.

So I let go of every problem I had.

I stopped blaming my father for the brokenness I felt in my family.

I stopped blaming my circumstances for holding me back from my highest potential.

I asked myself: What if all these problems stop mattering? What if I want to become better no matter what my circumstances are like?

Every day, when I am tempted to sulk and pity myself, I think: What action can I take to bring me out of this problem?

Sometimes, the answer comes immediately.

Other times, I despair for hours or days before I find one.

But almost all the time, if I change the question from, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ to ‘What can I do today to change this?’, I will find a solution to the problem.

*

When you feel like giving up, ask yourself: What am I living for?

If you don’t have an answer to that yet, you need to find one today.

If you already have an answer to it, the question becomes: Is it worth it? Is it worth dying for?

You can be tempted to lie at this stage, but be honest. Be brutally honest.

If it’s not worth it, you need to find another reason.

Because you will only have the strength to keep pushing on if what you are living for is worth your life.

And finding that reason worth living – and dying – for, is the only way to push yourself back up when you feel like giving up.

 


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