This phrase, so commonly uttered during therapy sessions can represent weeks, months and even years of misery for some.
It is the cry for help that we hear about all the time. It is purposefully vague, and merely saying the words can bring a sense of relief, because they are finally admitting that they have carried this burden alone for too long.
Sometimes, the wording changes, and it can sound much more severe.
“I wish I was dead.”
“I can’t do this anymore.”
And the idea is the same throughout. It is a person expressing that they are tired of constantly feeling this way. Often, the only relief comes in the form of dreamless sleep, which is what many imagine death to feel like.
You are alone, carrying a stack of bricks. The longer you hold them, the heavier they feel, and you become more fatigued over time. You’d like to have someone else share the burden, but you see the people around you with their own bricks and you don’t want to add to their loads because you need those people to still care for you and they might resent you for piling onto their problems.
But the more you push on alone, the more isolated you become, and the load continues to get heavier. With each new tragedy or disappointment comes another brick. You are sore. Your muscles haven’t had a moment to recover and sleep.
When people say, “I feel like giving up,” it is not synonymous with wanting to give in to oblivion or to end their lives.
They want the pain to end. They need a break.
So how can we end the pain? We can’t stop bad things from happening, but we can learn to adapt, to manage our feelings in such a way that we are stronger for having done so instead of constantly and consistently wearing ourselves down.
We adapt more easily when we are healthy. (There’s a big difference in the intensity of emotions when you haven’t slept well or eaten properly in a while.)
If you feel like giving up, take a break from the pain and get yourself more healthy. Express how you are feeling. Simply putting it into words allows you to define the feelings and provides relief.
Allow others to share the burden. Assume that they care and want to help.
If they can help you get back to where you need to be, you’ll be in a position to help them when they need it.
Ways to express:
You can give up…for awhile. And rest. And lose the shame for feeling this way, because it’s much more common than you think.
And when you’re recharged, pick up and keep going. You’re the only one who can.
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