Not giving up doesn’t mean you have to say positive affirmations to your reflection every morning. It doesn’t mean you have to spend whole days smiling so wide your jaw hurts. It doesn’t mean you have to look on the bright side 24/7 and are never allowed to voice a complaint.
Not giving up could mean something as simple as forcing yourself to do the little activities that feel exhausting in the moment. Brushing your teeth. Brushing your hair. Watering your plants. Walking the dog. Waking up before noon. It means you are trying your hardest to keep living your life, even when it would be so much easier to curl into a ball and completely disappear from society.
Not giving up means you keep trying, even when it feels like everything is pointless. Even when you are numb. Even when you are convinced you are going to fail. You keep rolling out from bed. You keep attending classes. You keep applying for jobs. You keep putting yourself out there. You keep living, even when it’s the most difficult thing in the world.
Not giving up means embracing your emotions because you realize releasing them does not make you weak, but never letting those emotions destroy you completely. There are times when you bawl out your eyes. When you scream out your lungs. When you feel like moving forward is an impossibility — but you always find a way to pick yourself up and keep inching ahead. You always find a way to dry your tears and quiet the rumbling in your stomach.
Not giving up means you understand horrible things happen to good people. You realize there is nothing wrong with you. You realize you do not deserve the amount of pain that has been dropped onto your chest. There is not a reason you are being punished. Sometimes shitty things just happen. Sometimes you have to push through toxic situations in order to see the sunlight again.
Not giving up means you are aware of your own power. You understand you are capable of making a change. You are in control of your future, even if it feels like the present has become chaotic and uncontrollable. Right now, you might be stuck in the same place, but eventually you will be able to pull yourself away. You just have to walk the right path.
Not giving up means you have faith things are going to get better in the future. Even though everything might suck right now, you can picture the changes that will occur a few weeks or months or years from that point. You can imagine yourself happy in the future. You can imagine your misery becoming a distant memory.
Not giving up means you leave your bedroom on most days, even when you would rather sleep. It means you text back friends on most days, even when you don’t want to talk. It means you keep trying, even when you feel like your hope is gone.
Not giving up means you are still here. You are still fighting. You are doing the best you can because you know your worth.