For when I feel like giving up…

Think of why you were so scared in the back of that ambulance being rushed to hospital.

Think of why you told your friend about your laxatives. Why did you get rid of them?

There was a reason you have been reaching out when you feel like you can’t go on. Sure, it feels like you’re complaining, but by nature of complaints that means you have recognized your dissatisfaction. That implies a desire for change.

When you feel like you haven’t been trying, remember that you can have all the strength in the world, but if you don’t have the correct technique, the effort is lost. An athlete can be as fit as possible, but without a coach and without direction, there’s no game.

That fear you felt in the emergency room. That primal instinct to survive, to be, is still in you. You don’t want to die. You want your pain to end. You may not know what you want to do with your life, but to start, you get healthy. Worry about that first, and then maybe you can think about the future and your place in the world and everything else existential that is overwhelming for even the healthiest people sometimes.

Your body’s urge to be is rooted in your biology. You’re not broken. You may feel like that part of you isn’t there, but you’ve seen proof that it is. Maybe that’s the point of life after all. Not to “do”, or accomplish, or buy, or conquer, but to be. Just to be. And hopefully to be happy. To be with others. To be loved and give love (and receive love – you’re not good at that yet but we can work on it). To be kind and to be in the moment.

All the organisms you study in biology, what are their purposes? To be (and To reproduce so there are more to just be also). Break it down to basics. It can be so overwhelming if you try to figure it all out now. Start with being. Being healthy. Then tackle the rest. You’re not meant to have all the answers. You don’t need to know the meaning of life to want to live. You don’t need to know the meaning of life to take steps towards having the life you deserve (even if you refute that you deserve it right now).

You’re compassionate. You honestly believe that every person you meet has the right to life, love, compassion, and respect. You are no different. Look at it simply.

You may feel like things have been this way for too long there’s no hope of them changing. Remember that you’ve never had a team like this before. You have to try something you’ve never tried to get results you’ve never gotten. Things may feel worse now, but it’s because you deep down know better. You’re wiser and stronger and your body is fighting back with everything it’s got.

You’ve never been good at half-assing things. You like to commit to things and pour your all into them. You cannot commit to your illness. A full commitment here is death. That’s not an option. Choose the only other path. You CAN fully commit to recovery. Commit to trying and connecting with other resources. Your “trying” will look different at all stages so don’t lose sight of that. Your parents always told you, “you can do anything you set your mind to”, so do this. Kick ass at it. You only half-committed in the past so you don’t even know the possibilities that lie waiting for you.

People have dug themselves out from where you are now. If you’re worried you’re not one of the ones strong enough to do it, you’re wrong. You don’t have to be strong enough alone. Likely no one before you has done it alone. And after you, you can make sure others don’t have to do it alone. You can’t just not try. If you’re not strong enough initially, you train and get better. You listen to coaches and your team. Eventually you will succeed.

You feel guilty for worrying your friends and family. You can stop them worrying pretty “easily” by taking steps to getting better. So tell them you’re trying and actually do so. Put their minds (and your own) at ease.

You don’t have to feel ready either. You’re never going to feel 100% ready. You don’t have to be certain you want it. But that’s what your team is for – Your friends and your family. Take the initial step for them if you question your own motives. Take the initial step for all the people you could help in the future and the positive influence you could make. Take the initial step to find the unknown happiness, freedom, and self-love you can hardly imagine right now. There’s never a better time than right now.

You may feel like you don’t want to change (read the first three points again). What do you want to do? In the next day? The next month? It doesn’t have to be big. It can be as much as watching a movie or baking a cake for a friend. Or being able to swim again without pain.

You know you want to play water polo again. You need to be healthy to do that. The other things you want to do – You have to be healthy to do those too. You may not always look forward to things and in those moments remember why you’re still here. You didn’t come this far just to come this far. You’re not one to give up. You won’t give up.

You’re standing right at the edge of something great. You’re going to take that shot. The net is wide open. If you miss (which great athletes do all the time), your team is covering counter. You trust them, you’ve got each other’s backs. There will be another shot but take this one first.

~ J

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