When should one not to give up?

Giving up, letting go has been constantly in my mind for a month and previously years. Only the stakes are too high and the price too valuable to let go. I've been cronicly depressed for five years during which time I didn't have energy to finish my studies. I fought my way back to the rack and now I got into adult education course in uni with loads of built-in support to finish my studies. I've even found the courage to open myself to a relationship again after a few years break.

Two days before starting my studies again my kitchen burned by no mistake of mine and I was left with only few unspoiled belongings and an insurance refund papers to fill. I've got huge depressive inventario with possible troubles with insurance company ahead of me before I can get any money to buy new stuff. This new studygroup which I considered my last and best hope of getting a degree is proving difficult to handle in this situation and to top it all I got today a letter from my landlord saying that because I don't live with my ex anymore, they want to transfer me to a shared student appartment after my previous appartment's repairs are finished (I live now in a halfway appartment too big and expensive to keep.)

Giving up, forgetting my studies, moving to small shared student flat, doing half-hearted job with the inventario to get atleast some money to buy clothes, returning the allready purchased double-bed (wont fit to the student flat) and letting go every dream I ever had is getting more tempting every day. Accepting is so close. Why not just let it go?

--130.231.172.16, 04-Oct-2004


Giving up is a skill. It's equally bad to give up too early than it is to hold on too late. We often just say that "one must persevere, keep trying, not give up", but neglect to mention that sometimes giving up is the right choice. That is why I wrote this story: to remind us of the importance of learning the proper way to give up.

But it is never easy to know when to give up. It is not easy to know what things are worth fighting for. The only way to learn this is to try them, and realize that it's okay to fail, move on to different things.

Somewhere, deep inside you, you know what is right. It's difficult to learn to listen to yourself, what you want and what you need, but it can be done; the noise that is the world tends to suppress your own voice. But it is very, very important that you learn to listen to it, because that tells you if you should keep going or to give up, and move to other things.

That's all I can say, really. If your dreams are true, you absolutely should keep going and just endure, because in the end, that way you will at least have tried all you can. If your dreams are not worth the trouble, you should do something else. This is a deep question only you can answer.

(I am sorry to hear of your illness; very deeply sorry. You should not take my advice, if you are depressed (er, in fact, you probably should not take it in any case :). Much like you should not attempt to run a marathon if your leg is broken, you should not evaluate your life if your mind is still ill with depression. A professional should be able to make things better, and help you listen to yourself.)

--JanneJalkanen, 05-Oct-2004


Your story gave me loads, thank you. Giving up was so close, and the possibility to read and comment about the issue helped me a lot. You're right: key in letting go is to realise that giving up at the right time and place does not mean accepting a failure, but rather being flexible, adjusting my goals and hopes to the reality. As you said (atleast I interpreted it so) in your reply: finding a balance and proper timing in giving up/continuing is hard but very rewarding. I'll rethink my goals and try to give up some details I before thought would be ideal or essential.

I will not give up my dream of graduation, but I will let go my dream of getting a degree this year. Sorting the mess that fire made will take so much time that letting go of self-made time limits is closer to wisdom than failure.

I'll not give up my flat for a shared student appartment without a fight as legally I'm entitled to stay in my flat. I will start looking an appartment in different houses and areas, 'cause I'll have to do it anyway eventually after graduating. That flat is not the only place I can be happy in :)

I wont return my double bed and wont let go of my dream to get a family of my own, but I will give up the idea of getting my ex to love me again and return next to me.

I will do the inventario as well as I can to get as close of an amount of the money that my belongings were worth, but I will give up my grief about the fire and lost memorabilia+books, 'cause I can't get them back regardless of how much I cry.

I wont stop fighting the depression, but I'll try to accept that for me not staying depressed will be harder and take more time than for some other people. I can't be as efficient that they can, but that's not a failure either, it's just a fact.

Giving up a little to gain more :)

Thanks for writing about acceptance as it really did make a difference. Now I'm more determined than before and actually quite certain that most of my dreams are worth fighting for and at the same time aware of that I'll have to accept some small sacrifices to achieve them at all.

Amazingly writing does help to clear ones thoughts almost as well as talking. Thanks again for this chance, hugs

--130.231.172.16, 07-Oct-2004


No worries. Glad at least someone found some comfort in my words.

--JanneJalkanen, 07-Oct-2004



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