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AdviceHey, Bonita!

I Feel Like Giving Up

Hey Bonita,

Confused and sometimes wanting to give up. What to do?

Anonymous

Hey Anon,

Well, that’s definitely short and vague, but there’s a lot we can talk about as far as that sinking feeling we all get sometimes: That nothing makes sense, that everything is difficult, and that maybe it’s not even worth it to try living the lives that would truly make us feel fulfilled, happy and actualized in our intentions and desires. I am diagnosed with major depression, so I definitely know how it feels to navigate a world that seems designed to keep you down.  

So you feel confused, huh? What is it that’s confusing you? Sit down and find a clear answer to that question, even if it’s a rhetorical one. What I hope is that finding the question will help you in answering it. For example, a question like “Why can’t I find work?” has definite answers—maybe your resume needs sprucing up, or perhaps you’re applying for jobs that you’re actually not qualified for, and you should turn your attention to a different area. Or maybe it’s something bigger that will inspire meditation on the nature of things, such as, “Why do I feel that the world is a cruel place?” From there, you can examine your own worldview and what influences it, and you can seek to shift your paradigms to ones that don’t automatically send you into a negative headspace.

So, things feel hard right now, and you want to give up. What is the thing that you are finding difficult? Using myself as an example: When my dating life is in a dry spell, I will feel like it will stay dry forever, that no one can (or even wants to) provide the intimacy that I seek in my relationships, and that my best course of action would be to stop trying altogether, to deny my own desires for the sake of easing that pain. In moments of clarity, I know that these are things that I am telling myself about myself, and that none of those things are demonstrated in my past or even my present. The idea that no one wants to be with me is not true in any way, shape or form. It’s a thought, and it comes only from me. I am the type of person who likes evidence of things, and I can believe something if I can lay my hands on the proof that it’s true. Whenever that thought becomes pervasive for me, I just think about all of my life experiences that prove it to be untrue. Of course I’ve been in love before, and of course people have loved me in return. Of course I am desirable, because people in the past have desired me. People desire me presently, even if that’s clouded by negative internal thoughts that don’t want me to see that. 

Maybe that feeling of futility is related to your professional life, and maybe the evidence leans in a direction that bums you out. Maybe you feel like you’re spinning your wheels a bit. Y’all know me—I love a good breakup, and that includes breaking up with jobs and industries that no longer serve our purposes. If Athens is coming up Millhouse for you, do not hesitate to seek out greener pastures elsewhere. It can be an undertaking, but I’ve moved to another city for work before, and it was the greatest decision of my life. It’s how I ended up with this job.

To quote Eric Draven, “It can’t rain all of the time.” You’re in a tough spot right now, but I promise you’ve been in tough spots before. Bad times can and will come to an end. They literally have to. Remember the last time you felt like this, like everything was so terrible that it couldn’t be worth your effort to soldier on, and remember when that feeling faded. Remember all of the good that has happened to you in your life, and remember that you have the ability to effect positive change for yourself. You’ve done it before, haven’t you?

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, or use our anonymous online form at flagpole.com/get-advice.

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