I‘ve been living with depression and coping with anxiety for all too long. Enough’s enough, Bill. Time to throw in the towel. I quit!
Dang, if I had a dime for all the times I’ve said that over the decades I’d be a rich man.
I know the hopelessness of living with depression and coping with anxiety. More importantly, I also know if I’d thrown in the towel I wouldn’t have had a shot at what I know as life today. And that would be a huge shame.
How ’bout we get started by considering our subject matter within a different context?
You worked for a company you absolutely loved. Your goal from day-one was being promoted to a position you coveted since high school. Well, you’d been with the company for two years and the promotion hadn’t occurred. So you decided to shop around, saying to yourself, “Heck, maybe it’s time to throw in the towel.”
You got word of an open position with another company – with the very same opportunity for the dream promotion. You interviewed, and 10 days later you received an offer. You accepted.
So you submitted your two week notice and when your manager asked if you were sure, you nodded your head in affirmation. And that was that.
Your soon-to-be ex-manager took you out to lunch on your last day at the office – and dropped the bomb. She told you the big boss came to her several hours after you gave notice with an order to promote you (remember that position you coveted?). She told her you’d just given notice; however, she was sure she could talk you out of it.
It seems the big boss couldn’t tolerate your “betrayal,” and instructed your manager to leave well enough alone. Your resignation stuck and out the door you went.
Enter Thomas Edison, who spoke these wise words: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
That quotation has brought me buckets of hope – and drive – over the years. I remember all too well the hopelessness and helplessness I felt as I was living with depression, coping with anxiety, and battling alcoholism. I mean, I’d work and work – and work some more. But somehow I just couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You’d better know I thought plenty of times about throwing in the towel. But some sort of goofy blind faith well beyond my conscious awareness kept my nose to the grindstone.
By the way, really wanna’ know how I felt? Here’s a poem I wrote when I was so lost in the woods…
I’ll Try Again
Whenever life is hurt and pain
Vision’s blurred by bitter rain
It seems all hope is surely gone
I tell myself I must go on
At times I feel such deep despair
The burden more than I can bear
I can’t see past another day
But still I must prepare the way
In times of doubt and fainting heart
When from this world I’d choose to part
I know not where the answers are
I must believe they’re not too far
Whenever life has got me beat
Before I take the grand defeat
I’ll rise once more amidst the rain
And swear to all
I’ll try again
So how is it with you? Are you living with depression? Coping with anxiety? Struggling with mood-cycling? Are you saying to yourself, “Enough’s enough?”
Think this over. Okay, you may not be realizing the results for which you long – and you’ve waited seemingly forever. But what if all this time something incredibly positive and powerful was building way down deep inside? Just like it was for me – well beyond your conscious awareness.
And what if it all was just about to blossom, taking you to a place you could never have imagined? And you quit, causing a deflation and demeaning of self that negated any potential for recovery.
Please believe me when I tell you that blindly hanging in there – and working hard – has more than paid off for me. And if you’re living with depression or coping with anxiety – or whatever – there’s just no way the same strategy can’t produce results for you.
So do yourself a favor. Hang on to that towel of yours. You’ll be so glad you did.
There’s always hope!
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