Self Care Can Sometimes Mean Quitting

Self Care Blog - Self Care Can Mean Quitting
  • Have you ever thought about quitting? 
  • Does it make you feel good or bad?
  • Do you know why it makes you feel so? 
  • Does what other people think affect whether you want to quit or not? 

Recently my mind has been plagued with these questions. At first I thought they just came from being exhausted with studying and working full-time. In June, I finished my last exam for my previous course and switched to working full-time. Then in July, after many long discussions with my family, I decided to change my course to start in August instead of September. And the struggle really hit me. Like a meteor!

Honestly, I’m able to manage my job. I can work from home and it’s been a true bliss. But week after week I felt like I was falling further and further behind with my studies. I didn’t have time to do all the reading. I didn’t have time to sleep. As my course is online, I don’t get to see my tutors every week like before, so I felt like I was struggling alone. I know I was getting worse, but I couldn’t figure out how to get better. I felt like a hamster getting lost in the maze. I honestly thought I could do it, but now I’m terrified of facing the truth. 

Naturally I started thinking about quitting. My anxiety makes me ‘flakey’, I have to admit. Although I consider myself as decisive, I never want to go with a bad decision until the very end because I believe, although mistakes are inevitable, it’s better to lose a little than to lose a lot. I’ve always believed in it. I wholeheartedly feel that it is in the best interest of myself. I see each decision as an investment, so I want to treat it the same. So quitting, to me, can be an act of self care and self love. 

However, quitting always feels like a shameful option to me. ‘There are no failures, only quitters’, someone told me. In movies, we are often told the same message as well. ‘A quitter never wins and a winner never quits’, they said. Therefore, although I know that quitting is the right choice sometimes, I’d try my best to avoid it, even though it may end up costing me more. 

I’m also afraid to quit because I’m afraid of what other people may think. I used to think that: my family, friends, colleague, rivals… they see me and acknowledge me because of what I’ve got. What would happen if I lost them? Would they think less of me? Would they reduce me to an unoriginal and ordinary being? I’ve come so far for so long, would it be just for nought? 

My dear husband always tries his best to help me. He’s truly been my biggest supporter. It’s taken him a while to get used to the complex and sensitive structure that is my head. It’s self-motivated and self-destructive at the same time. Like a bomb, he teaches me to find the right wire to cut. 

When making an important decision about quitting, I’ve learned that I need to trust your instinct, but not my fear. It’s okay if my instinct is telling me that it’s not worth continuing the fight. But I can’t give up just because I fear that I may be losing. And fear can be a talented magician. It can disguise as a voice of reason, feeding you frustration and anger when you’re stuck, when you’re struggling. The  difference is: if it’s your guts, you’ll be relieved; if it’s just fear, regrets will haunt you.

After days of thinking, I’ve realised I probably won’t feel relieved from postponing this course, so I’ve decided that I’ll try to fix the problems I’m facing now. I’ve emailed to my tutors, I’ve tried doing my reading in different ways… and I think it may be working. Whenever I feel like I struggle, I always find it helpful to take my “self care sequence”: pause, breathe, reevaluate and adjust. ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.’ So why not try all the options before calling it quits? At best you’ll find a way to win, at worst you'll have no regrets. And as always, self care is about you, not anyone else. Feel as you do and do as you feel. Everything will be alright at the end. 

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