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When You Feel Like Quitting

n the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade, And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him, ‘Til he cried out in his anger and his shame, I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains.”  Paul Simon

Sometimes my situation seems hopeless and that there is no sense in carrying on, then how do you deal with that? 

Marathon photoThere are times when I ride the dragon. My confidence overflows like a volcano in Hawaii the undisputed champion of the world. But there are other times when the opposite is true. Times when I don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. Where life seems purposeless and all my efforts futile. What is one to do?

The first thing to recognize is that all you have is the day. No matter how much you worry tomorrow is always a day away. I know from experience that the fears of tomorrow are always greater than what tomorrow brings. Our imagination is a powerful thing and it paints blackness in every nook and cranny. When tomorrow comes, perhaps some of your trepidations will be realized but not all. If you can focus on the moment you have a better chance of overcoming the real problems that exist. This isn’t saying to not plan for the future but don’t fixate on the future, the future isn’t promised.

Which brings the second point in that this life is always temporary. No matter what situation you are in you are mortal and you are going to die. I speak to my fellows in the mentally ill community. I know the depths of depression and the torment of life. But hold on because your time is limited. Make the most out of life because you only go this way once. By understanding that one day all your troubles and problems will pass it brings strength in dealing with them. We are not Sysiphus rolling the rock up the hill every single day. One day we will lay our burdens down.

Personally, for me, I have a very sick wife who is dependent on me. While this is certainly an added burden it is also a motivator. I stay up light into the night writing and reading. Then the next morning I make sure that I get out of bed by eleven. It doesn’t matter how I feel I have to get out of the bed to start my routine. My wife is dependent upon me for everything. So by necessity, I have to act. Establishing a solid routine is a good remedy for hopelessness. Fighting the good fight no matter what.

It is okay to take a break from things every now and then.  That is the whole idea of a vacation. That you walk away from work for a couple of weeks and allow your mind to escape from your work. When you return to your task you will be refreshed and have a new vigor. As a writer, I recognize that at times I am getting burned out. It is my goal to put out two thousand to three thousand words a day. However, whenever I finish a big project I take two or three days away from the prose. During this time I might write some poems or song lyrics. By shifting my habits I can keep up my enthusiasm.

Understand the consequences of giving up on your dream. Dreams cannot come true unless you put in the time and effort to achieve them. Nobody ever became successful without hard work. Athletes, musicians, artists, even business people dedicate long hours to their trade. While long hours doesn’t guarantee success not working hard will guarantee failure. Staying focused and putting your best effort is paramount of importance. I have sat down and wrote a ten thousand word story, other times I could barely write a sentence. But I gave it my best for that day.

Recognize the achievements that you have already accomplished. Whenever I feel that my writing is terrible I look at what I have done already. Every little success is like a  coin in the basket. In paying attention to achievements one can overlook discouraging failures. I’m not saying to divorce yourself from reality, just to pay attention to the good things you have done.

Please check out one of the best books I ever wrote. Maybe one of the best books out there. “I Should Have Been A Rock Star”

When You Feel Like Quitting

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2018). When You Feel Like Quitting. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 22, 2019, from


Last updated: 23 May 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 May 2018
Published on All rights reserved.