When Do You Give Up?

I had a discouraging morning at work the other day.  It happens to all of us, right?  I was sharing my thoughts with a colleague who encouraged me to keep my chin up and not to give up.  In truth, I hadn’t considered giving up; so, his words caught me by surprise.  Surprise led to contemplation (like it does).  Since  I tend to be hard-headed persevere, surrender is not normally a top-five option.  However, I began to review those times in the last few years when I have either wanted to or actually have given up.

What is the straw that breaks the camel’s back for me?  What is it that leaves me feeling like throwing in the towel is really the only viable option left to me?

Isolation.

Bad Lands silhouette

In a word, that’s what it boils down to for me.  Professional frustration peaks when I believe that I am not receiving the support I was either promised or need to meet my goals. Personal frustration reaches a breaking point when I feel isolated in general.  Friends are busy and I spend too much time in my own company.

Nobody cares.  That is one of the most destructive two-word sentences in the English language.  The despair, isolation and anguish packed into those two words is immeasurable.

I’m a single mother.  People often say things like, “That must be so hard!”  I don’t really see it that way.  For one thing, I don’t know how it works any other way; so, I have no point of comparison.  For another (and really the most important) thing, I may be single, but I am not, nor have I ever been, alone.  Friends and family have always been there with encouragement, sympathy and even money and a place to live when we needed it.  I have not reared a son by myself.  That extraordinary young man is truly the product of a village.

Similarly, people have expressed admiration that I “lost all that weight alone.”  I know what they mean – that I didn’t use a structured program – but, again, I’ve never been alone.  LoseIt posts my exercise, weigh-in losses and gains to Facebook where friends and family have been the whole way with encouragement.  So, I did have a support group.  We didn’t meet in the basement of a church on Tuesday nights: we met daily on Facebook.  I had a group of people already assembled who were at the ready with an AttaGirl every single time I needed one.  They were there with encouragement every time the numbers went the wrong way.  They were there.  I was never alone, never isolated, and never wanted to give up.

You have a support group.  You may not have identified it yet; but, you do.  To identify it, you have to put it out there that you are working towards this goal to lose weight, make healthier food choices, go back to school, or whatever. It’s a little unnerving at first to do that publicly.  What if people mock you? What if you fail? What if? What if? What if?

If people mock you, then they are emotional vampires.  How nice that they will identify themselves for you so that you can begin to limit your exposure to them!  (Kinda like the guys who self-identify as Jerks with the “No Fat Chicks” stickers on their trucks.)

If you fail, then you are one failure closer to success!

All of the other “what ifs” can be diffused and dispatched in a similar manner.  If you want this, do this.  Somebody does care.  You are not alone.  Don’t give up!

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2 thoughts on “When Do You Give Up?

  1. Jon Anne. You may not remember me, but I’m a friend of Judy’s. I want you to know I love reading your blog. It’s common sense – which is a refreshing surprise these days.
    Thanks so much for what you do.
    -kathy

    • Kathy, thanks so much for taking the time to send me a note. I started this almost as a lark; but, as it turns out, I’m having a wonderful time writing it! It is so humbling to have someone tell me that something I said resonated with them, reinforced a belief, helped a little or just made sense. It’s a priviledge to be able to share and such an honor to have people like you choose to share part of your day with me! Thanks!! 🙂

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