I Want To Give Up, But I Won’t

You ever go through so much in life such as physical pain, emotional pain, work obstacles, and/or social obstacles that all you want to do is give up? And I don’t mean give up in the sense of dying or committing suicide. I love myself too much for that, and I’m sure you do too. I actually mean ‘give up’ in the sense of not doing anymore for the day, or week, or even month, regardless of how it negatively affects you, your work life, or anyone else. For instance, both today AND yesterday my IBS beat me up so bad physically and mentally that all I wanted to do was lay in bed and not do anything productive for however long my misery lasted. I mean, it was such a rough couple of days that all I kept thinking to myself was ‘why me?’

Let’s begin with the fact that my day started off earlier than I wanted it to and with a lot of pain and anxiety that I didn’t have time to deal with. My lower back has been in excruciating pain for almost a week, which made it extremely difficult to sleep and function throughout the day such as work or even cook a meal for myself. On days like these, I can’t even stand or walk for more than 5 minutes without wanting to sit down and recuperate from the pain. What’s worse, even sitting can sometimes be an issue if my posture isn’t proper, which is hard to maintain for a long time due the my lower back (and bum) pain! I honestly and truly feel pitiful at times.

Power through

As a person that works from home as an independent contractor, I must manage myself and my productivity. As pleasant as it sounds to be working from home and not having a boss to answer to, IBS still manages to get in the way of me being as productive as I want to be. Only literally in between my IBS episodes am I able to get any work done, so I plug away as much as I can. For this reason, I find it hard to ever take a real break, or any days off at all. There are times when I realize that I’ve worked ten days in a row, without taking any time to rest my mind, body, or simply go outside. Some of you are probably wondering why I would do such a thing, especially when resting at any point due to my condition is well deserved and acceptable.

As an IBS sufferer, I have every right to take it easy. Living with a debilitating condition permits me to slow down whenever I need to, so I should be OK with taking advantage of that, and I am. However, at some point today I asked myself, ‘Aren’t you tired of letting life and your IBS get the best of you most of the time? Don’t you ever want to show life and your condition that you’re a lot stronger than they think? Show them that you can do more and that you’re capable of pushing through no matter how bad the pain is?’ The answer to every single one of those questions is “hell yes!” So, I did just that – I pushed through.

There’s so much I want to accomplish both today and the rest of the year that I can’t see myself slowing down just yet. If I do, I’ll beat myself up and my anxiety will get the best of me – most likely forcing me to lack more sleep than I already do. No matter what I do, it’s going to be a struggle, so I might as well take the path where I benefit the most from my struggles. Something that I keep reminding myself of is that those thoughts of wanting to give up are not unwarranted, I work very hard trying to maintain a living while pursuing my passions (music, poetry, and acting). Yet, I also realize that taking too much time off is not going to get me to the place I want to be in life.

Why is it important for me to not give up? Because I have goals I want to fulfill such as create my own career and provide for my family, and I’m willing to work very hard to reach those goals. Realistically and reasonably though, I do need to consciously take it easy and give myself a “vacation day” every once and a while so that I don’t burn out. I encourage all of you out there that are pursuing your dreams to not give up in the face of the physical and mental struggles that come along with having IBS. Although the path might be more difficult and frustrating for us, it’s well worth the strength and endurance we will gain on the other side of it all. Keep pushing, I know you (and I) can do it!

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