It’s Okay To Give Up
Trigger Warning: Generic, Mental Illness
Read the title. And then read it again. Let it sink in.
This is purely situational, but I’ve come to learn something in my almost 29 years of life. Giving up is okay. I repeat, giving up is okay.
I have anxiety, PTSD, and potentially ADD/ADHD and autism. My anxiety and PTSD manifest depression, as well as sensory processing disorder which includes audio processing issues, executive dysfunction, and some other issues. Growing up, I often heard that I was a gifted child, smart beyond my years, advanced above many students. And perhaps I was, or maybe I learned better than my peers because I felt I had no choice but to do so. I had no choice but to be a perfect child. And it is something that has ruined me to this day.
Perfectionism is rough. For me, it leads to procrastination, anxiety attacks, and feeling that my work will never be good enough. This still bothers me to this day, when I’m almost 29 years old. It interferes with my inability to focus appropriately on school, on writing, on cleaning. It also impacts my ability to care for my daughter, in some ways. I never feel like I am doing good enough for her. I don’t feel like a good mom at all. I’m not the perfect mom, raising the perfect child. And I know it’s impossible to achieve anyway. But it offsets my anxiety regardless because it’s what my brain is wired to. It’s hard to stop.
This not only goes into caring for my child but other people as well. The reason for starting this article, for writing that it’s okay to give up is a situational experience based off a person.
I’ll refer to this person as G. Like myself, G had various mental health issues that at times felt impossible to shoulder alongside my own stuff. I love G very much, always will. We grew up together during summertime, so we spent any waking moment together that we could.
Last year I decided to take G under my wing and try to help them as best as I could. Give them that boost they needed to keep going, to find meaning in life. It was all well and great in the beginning. Not perfect, G struggled with many aspects that they couldn’t get health care for. Towards the end of the year, things began to fade. Conversations became short, often one-sided and one-worded responses. G started to get upset that I wouldn’t spend as much time with them, or that I always seemed to be snapping when I wasn’t. Maybe I tried to help too much instead of just listening, but the methods I thought were helpful to me would have been useful to them. They never tried, just always said “yeah” in response, and that was the end of it.
It took a toll on my own mental health. I couldn’t enjoy playing one of my favorite games with my friends in fear that G would suddenly be upset and jealous and guilt trip me about playing it. So I did what I felt had to be done.
I chose to give up. I did it in the worst possible fashion, I made myself out to be an asshole, and it still haunts my mind every once in a while. I gave up because I needed to focus on myself. Do I feel it’s selfish of me to put myself first, above everyone? Hell yes. It was pounded into my head at a young age that taking care of myself before anyone else is the most selfish thing I could do. So it’s hard to take this step, and try to care for me first. Well, third technically because I still put my daughter and my husband above myself.
As far as other friends and family, I need to learn that sometimes it’s okay to see myself as more important than them especially when it comes to my health.
Giving up on toxic relationships is perfectly okay. It’s tough. You’ll feel guilt, anger, sadness. It’s a part of the grieving process, and it too shall pass. Remember, self-care is just as important as caring for others. In some ways, it’s more important.
If you or a loved one are suffering from suicidal thoughts, do not be afraid to reach out to the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or reach out online at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.