One of the most common pieces of advice that others have given me when I’m dealing with depression is not to give up. Several people have frequently come to me with that saying: “Just don’t give up.” This overused phrase leads to me trying harder, stressing harder, and working harder not to give up on whatever it was that I was about to surrender to.
Contrary to popular belief, sometimes, it’s OK to give up.
Yes, I said it. You don’t always have to do everything perfectly. Perfection is an unachievable goal. Trying your hardest is an attainable goal, and it’s possible to do that, but perfection? What is perfection exactly? Where nothing is wrong. Where everything is flawless.
We are only human.
Whether that’s something that you want to be or not, I’m human, you’re human, the people you see walking up and down the street are human. This may sound redundant. It’s something that we already know, but everyone is human. No living creature is perfect. Not even those celebrities that we all worship, no, they’re not perfect, either. Everyone has flaws.
At times, whether it be at work, in a class, in a friendship, or in a relationship – trying can be overwhelming. Overwhelming can be great, and when you pull yourself out of it, you can get a sense of relief and a sense of calmness. Other times, the best option you have is surrendering yourself to the overwhelm.
Giving up on a task isn’t a crime.
I’ve given up on things that I couldn’t handle before. I’ve given up on things that I’ve realized weren’t for me or that were too difficult to handle, and still, I came out the other side
I’m not telling you to give up just because something is hard.
I’m telling you that if you do give up on something, don’t beat yourself up. It’s OK that you simply tried. It’s OK that you couldn’t push through the situation. Giving up on something that’s drowning you can be just as calming as pulling yourself out of that mountain.
Specifically, I’ve given up on friendships and relationships. They were toxic, so I had to bow my head and realize that I couldn’t push through. I couldn’t save the person who I wanted to save, so instead of continuously going in circles trying to save them, I chose to save myself. That’s the kind of giving up that I believe is OK.
You have to save yourself.
Save yourself from a dangerous situation, ask for help, and don’t let your pride get in the way. Don’t let someone tell you not to give up on something that is causing you harm. If anything is causing you harm, please, please give it up. Give up on things that are toxic, give up on everything that is detrimental to your psychological and physical health. Give up on the things that you know you can’t get out of any other way.
If you’ve tried and tried at something and feel yourself running in circles like a hamster in a cage, please know that it’s OK to get out of the hamster wheel. It’s OK to step off the treadmill, because you did your best.
You didn’t succeed at what you tried, but that’s OK.
Giving up doesn’t devalue you as a person. Knowing that you tried your hardest, even though things didn’t work out can show incredible strength. After all, things aren’t always going to work out the way that we want them to. We have to let go of the things that aren’t good for us. We have to let go of things that don’t benefit us. We have to let go of things that harm us. Sometimes, it’s perfectly fine to give up.