Opinion — It’s okay to give up

Managing the stress of tasks while navigating mental health.
Opinion — Its okay to give up

Growing up, I was always told “Megan don’t give up! Just keep trying and you’ll get there!”

Perhaps this simple saying worked with tasks like learning how to tie my shoes or even riding a bicycle, but in recent years I’ve been living my life by a different saying: “Megan, you can give up. It will be okay. The world will continue to spin.”

I think when I started to integrate this motto into my life I had an out-of-body moment; I’d always been so hard on myself in the past. I had to get the best grade in the class, had to score the most points in a sports game—I never reached this goal—and had to be the most perfect, precious person to be even perceived in the world.  

As a teenage girl, you can imagine the stress I was putting on myself alone, nonetheless with the addition of outside factors adding to the weight of the insurmountable anxiety that riddled my slowly crumbling body on a day-to-day basis.

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This stress caused fractures within me. For days at a time, I would miss school because of the stress I was putting on myself. Of course, Brenda, my lovely Mother, hated this vanishing act I would commit every so often. Little did she know, her run-on speeches about the importance of high school and having better attendance than I was currently achieving added even more to my stress.

Slowly scraping my way through high school, I committed to Northern and moved myself seven hours from the little beach town that was all I knew. A fresh start was what I needed to realize my ability to save my mental health. 

Perhaps it was because I didn’t have Brenda doting on me anymore, she didn’t know when I was skipping class anymore and I selectively chose not to inform her of the occasional personal days I would take when I was *cough* “sick.” Sorry, Mom!

I learned that skipping one class caused a ripple within me. I’d be able to man up to go to another class and feel mentally prepared to continue my day.

College is not something to mess with of course, I pay for my higher education myself and value my ability to be a college student. Due to this I learned a happy medium within my disappearing state and made rules for myself that I had to strictly follow. 

  1. I could disappear only a few times per semester per class
  2. No exceptions on days when attendance was mandatory (exams, quizzes and peer reviews)
  3. Use time from skipping positively… naps count 
  4. If my grades fell, going missing wasn’t allowed (I have to be a big girl sometimes!)

I’ve been ridden with less stress recently and I owe it to myself for giving up! Actually giving up has become one of my favorite things to do. 

Obviously, skipping class isn’t always manageable, so I also apply my rule set to homework and chores. 

When it comes time to do a big project, you bet that halfway through the process of finishing it, I’ll give up and take a small (large) break as a sweet treat. 

I truly believe I’ve been able to make it this far in life because of giving up, and I will continue to do so until I’m six feet under. I can thank teenage Megan for experimenting with this idea, because adult Megan has been much more successful in dealing with her struggles. So, give yourself a break and give up! You don’t know what you can accomplish until you do!


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