What to do when you feel like Giving Up (from someone who has felt that way too)
Most people at some point in their life feel like giving up. Please know you’re not alone and things can’t stay hard forever, at some point it will get better. You will get through it!
Here’s what lead me to feeling like giving up:
My mom (at 53) was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when I was 20, my brother was 12, and my son was 3 months old. She went through chemotherapy then had a stem cell transplant 8 months after her diagnosis.
She slowly got better over the next couple years until Thanksgiving 2014 when she contracted strep throat. Her body couldn’t fight it (from the chemo wiping her immune system) and my father and I watched her pass away.
Then my dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (a cancer that’s a cousin to leukemia) 3 months after she passed away. I took care of him, my brother, and son until my father passed away 2 months after his diagnosis.
Meanwhile my cousin had been fighting cancer also. She passed away at age 41, two days before my dad. After losing all three of them in less than 6 months, there were many times I could barely get out of bed. And if it wasn’t for my son, there would have been many days when I wouldn’t have.
The reason I’m telling you this is to encourage you to keep going. I wanted to give up, many times. I don’t know what you’re going through, but I can tell you there’s a reason you’re here. You have to keep going, even if some days it’s only minute by minute…
So I want to give you 10 real ways to keep going when you feel like you can’t.
1) You are here for a reason
The amazing reality is you only had a one in about 200 million chance of being born. On average, that’s the amount of sperm cells that were trying to fertilize the egg cell when you were conceived. That’s pretty incredible! Now factor in the things that could have stopped you from being born (miscarriage, alcohol, abortion, etc.) the fact that you were conceived and born is pretty incredible! But if you take that fact and factor in the things that could have happened while you’ve been alive, like accidents and severe illnesses… Now, we’re going to multiply all that to your parents’ lives, your grandparents’ lives, great grandparents’ lives, and back for generations! Those are nearly impossible odds of you being alive today.
But here you are!
You’re here for a reason!
2) Things will get better
Each day is a new day. And slowly the days will become easier to handle. It may take some time to feel better and get through what is happening in your life. But like the Gary Allen song “Every Storm (Runs out of Rain)” reminds us,
“Every storm runs, runs out of rain.
Just like every dark night turns into day.
Every heartache will fade away.
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain.”
3) Sometimes trials we face remind us to lean on God in all areas of our life
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.” Psalm 120:1
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
And there are many more times that God tells us that He is with us, and to not be afraid. I had strong faith before losing my parents and cousin to cancer. I felt betrayed and abandoned by God.
And truly, I still do at times and don’t understand why they couldn’t stay here with all of us. I probably never will understand it. And it’s taken a long time for my faith to begin getting strong again.
So if you’re feeling confused or like God isn’t there, I did for a long time too but I can tell you He is there for you to lean on. He doesn’t promise things will be easy, but He does promise to be with you.
4) Take one step, then another
There will be days in your life when there’s just too much to get done – it’s just overwhelming. The easiest way to handle days like that is to take one step. Then you can take another, and another.
5) Write a list of the blessings in your life
A lot of times we feel like things are so hard and there’s no way to get through difficult times because the hardship clouds the blessings in our life. Writing down what you’re blessed with can help you feel better. I’ll go first:
- I have a roof over my head
- A sweet little boy who means the world to me
- A good man
- A God who strengthens me
- Wonderful family members who have helped me
- Friends who stay by my side
- Food in my fridge
- Clothes on my back
- The internet so I can encourage others
- Living on a beautiful mountain where my son has room to play and grow
It breaks my heart that my parents won’t be here to see their grandson grow up or see my brother graduate high school. But even in the midst of trials, it’s important to remember what we are blessed with. What does your list look like?
6) Reach out!
It took me quite a few months (and lots of encouragement from friends and family) to reach out after my parents passed away. You might need time before you can reach out too, but I can tell you it will help.
7) Get outside
Science has proven there are many benefits to being outside! You can read my article, “Proof that being Outside is AWESOME for Your Health” for detailed information about each of these points.
- When you’re outside, you’re level of Vitamin D increases.
- Regular outdoor activity may increase concentration.
- Serotonin levels are increased.
- Increase of endorphins.
8) You’re not alone
You may be the only one going through your exact situation but take comfort knowing you’re not the only one feeling the way you do.
Many people at this exact minute are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, heartbroken, abandoned, betrayed, confused, or hurt.
There are groups on Facebook you can join that are dedicated to help and connect people who are hurting. I’m part of several groups for people who are grieving and missing their loved ones. It has helped to see that I’m not alone and I encourage you to find a group that fits your needs.
9) Give yourself time
Sometimes what you’re feeling can only be healed by time. A breakup, a divorce, a loss of friendship, a death… These are all examples of hardship that may take time until you begin to feel better. It is necessary to give yourself time.
10) Don’t give up on God
When we go through something tough and you can’t see why it’s happening or how to make things better, take time to pray. Ask God to guide you in the right direction. Ask Him to help your heart feel less heavy. God has worked miracles. He can comfort you.
Almost everyone at some point will feel like their hardships are overwhelming. Please know you are not alone and the 10 points listed here can help you if you apply them to your daily life. Remember you will get through it!
Do you have other ways of getting through tough trials? If you do, please leave a comment to help someone else who might be feeling the same way. For more on this subject, read my article, “Finding Hope When You Have PTSD“.