How do I quit quitting?

To begin, let me share that once I had a doctor–MD–tell me that the only thing consistent about me was my inconsistency.  Boy, that made me feel really good, but his words rang true.  I have worked hard at many things–job, playing in a band, writing, etc.–pouring my heart, soul, energy, and money into them, to just suddenly find something wrong or get tired and up and quit them–leaving really good jobs, quiting bands and selling or destroying music equip., deleting or destroying my writing, as though something in me is on a one way course to self destruction.  Now, finally, it is my marriage as well, and that beyond repair.

Point is, I see that you are a writer, and so you have found a way to not destroy the things you create, even when you are down.  How do you do this, because when I am down I destroy everything around me and in my path.

I am going to MHMR and taking meds–Valporic Acid–but the cycles still come.  Alcohol has been a factor for a long time and the past few years drugs have joined the weaponry of my self destructiveness, swinging from religious fanatic to sinner extroidanare in an unending cycle of cycles.

I see my oldest son on this very path, and so it is not only important for myself to get lined out, but to set an example of hope for him.  The same is true for my grandson, and he is in jail this very minute from his behavior.

I cannot help them if I cannot learn to help myself.  Hope this makes sense.  Forgive me for asking so much of you.

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You have not asked me too much! Never apologize.

So … I can totally relate to your quitting. I’ve been pretty good at it my entire life as well. More like the queen of NOT being able to follow through.

Music. I LOVE music. I love to sing. But do I? Nope…it takes too much time and what if people think I suck and really whats the point and and and. I’m great with excuses.

Writing. You know besides my blog I haven’t actually written written in almost 6 months. I kept getting rejection after rejection from agents to the point where I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore.

Marriage … I’ve been separated THREE times now, and only been married 9 1/2 years. There have been so many times that I have just wanted to give up and just stop fighting. Even still, it’s difficult to stay positive about things.

I never went back to school, my relationships with friends are so on and off again, and lately, after some really rude comments made on another site about my site, I’ve even considered quitting that.

So I totally get you.

The destructive part though, that’s never really been me. I’m too passive (aggressive) I can’t knowingly hurt/break/trash anything. Makes me a little rare in the BP world. Instead I hoard. I pack rat my failures into boxes or such. Old novels sit yellowing in my basement or buried under files on my Computer. I still have music books from high school that haven’t been opened SINCE high school.

I hoard because then I can rationalize that SOMEDAY I might just pick it back up again 🙂 If I keep it, I didn’t really quit it. (Confessions of Poor Rationalization Techniques!)

So really, don’t feel bad about quitting things. We all do it. I think it’s part of who we are. HOWEVER, I also think we can overcome it. It’s kinda like a mind over matter type of thing.

You KNOW you want to stop the self destructive behavior. The only thing stopping you is you. Out of all those things you’ve started and stopped, were there any you regret giving up? Why do you sometimes become a religious fanatic and sometimes switch to the opposite? What triggers it? Mania? Depression?

I think (totally unmedical like thinking here by the way) that if you can get down to the root of WHY you do these things, and past the bipolar reason why, then maybe you can figure out how to avoid them.

I’ve found that the best method of dealing with my ups and downs and such is recognizing my triggers. Are you able to do that?

As for the drinking and drugs…STOP (That’s the mom and wife of a drinker in me talking there) I know it’s bad, you know it’s bad, the people around you know it’s bad. And really, does it actually help you feel better? Because my guess would be that for the few hours you spend high/drunk/etc, you probably have a few days of trying to recover from that!

I’ve been lucky enough in my life not to have too many vices, yet I know I have an addictive personality, so I’ve made a point to try to steer clear of the really bad addictions (booze, gambling, drugs, sex, etc.) Instead I’ve searched for more positive addictions.

My latest addictions …

Running! I’m telling you what, no matter how much you think you hate running, after doing it for a few weeks straight, you’ll never want to stop. There is no high like a runners high. It’s amazing. The adrenaline and the sense of accomplishment and the pain of pushing yourself. It’s a rush! And the funny thing is, it’s good for you. (Bonus!!!) Don’t get me wrong, at first it sucks, big time. But after you’ve ran your first full mile, then made it 2 1/2 miles, there’s no going back.

Ice cream. No health benefits. Adds to my waistline. But it tastes good 🙂 And it doesn’t really hurt if I only have a bowl a night…ok I know that’s dumb…

My computer. this is not so much a beneficial habit. It’s actually been a soar spot for my marriage. But hey! At least it’s not self destructive. There are way worse things.

And my worst habit, one I’m always trying to kick…sleep. I like it…a lot…but that’s neither here nor there.

What I’m trying to say is, maybe you can channel your need for alcohol and drugs into something else, such as running. And the thing is, you don’t have to be good at it. And you don’t have to try to make a living out of it. You just do it because it relieves the stress. There has to be SOMETHING other than drinking and drugs that relieves your stress.

Ok, I’ve probably rambled on a tad too much. Feel free to ignore any of this. (Though I seriously swear by the runners high!) But I do hope some or part of this has helped, if only just to know that you’re not alone with some of these things. 🙂

One thought on “How do I quit quitting?

  1. Well said Mary Beth. I too am a queen of quitting. I’ve quit jobs, relationships, at time my children, and my marriage (many many times). My exhusband tells me how many times like he’s kept track. I shame myself every day and am working with my new therapist to set goals, recognize triggers, and make my life meaningful for me. It is a hard grooling (sp) process and I hate how my fear, my lack of self esteem, my lack of ambition consume me. Most of all, I hate that I know I will quit. My therapist suggested that perhaps I set standards and/or goals too high for myself setting myself up for failure. Bingo! I think big always have. My thoughts have been bigger than me my whole life. Someday I hope to have a lasting spark of everything good.

    Also can not believe how good running does make you feel mentally. It is like a natural high. Just wish I could make myself eat to fuel my energy! 😀

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