How To Get Out Of Bed When You Want To Quit!

Have you ever opened your eyes after a bad day, or a bad week, and just wanted to stay in your bed and quit? If so, you’re not alone. We’ve been there many times and we’ve learned a thing or two about days like this!

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The feeling comes in all shapes and sizes, from many different sources. Sometimes, your child is out of control, disobedient, defiant and you are pushed to your absolute limit. Other times, you feel like you just can’t win and that life for every other parent around you is perfect, while you’re struggling to stand on your own two feet. Sometimes it’s exhaustion. You’re so tired you have no idea how you will face another day, let alone make it through the rest of the one you’re currently in.

We get it. As adoptive and [former] foster parents, we’ve spent the past decade parenting children from difficult places, who deal with the effects of severe trauma. It’s overwhelming and defeating on levels that make it hard to breathe at times.

Just the other day, in fact, we received a phone call from the residential facility where our oldest son is currently living, informing us of really troubling news with him. It was like rounding a corner and having someone punch us square in the face. We wanted to quit on the day. In fact, we did. We actually quit this past Saturday altogether. We took everything off the schedule for the day and hunkered down. Sometimes you need to do this.

You’re Not Alone.

If you are a frequent reader of Confessions Of A Parent, you’ve heard us say these words. Quite often, I might add. In fact, our entire online platform for parents is built on this truth. The reason is simple: It’s true!

It’s true for us and it’s true for you. We’ve been in your shoes. We ARE in your shoes. Whether you’re a biological, adoptive, foster or parent of a child with special needs, we know how defeating life can be sometimes. Just when you reach a milestone, something happens that wrecks all of it and you want to pull the covers over your head and quit. Yep, we know.

We’re learning everyday, how to pull ourselves out of our bed, even when we don’t want to, and keep going. It’s not easy. Even yesterday, the day after everything fell apart, it was hard. But we’re learning how, and we’ve recognized a few powerful, and helpful truths that, along the way…

  1. Give it a day. The news you’ve received, the trial you’re going through, the pain you’re reeling from, is real. You need to take a day, hunker down, shut the world out, and isolate yourself. Not forever, but a day or two, or even a week is okay. Don’t listen to the voices who tell you, in the wake, to pull yourself together, suck it up, or get over it. Words like this come from toxic people and you should stay far away from them.
  2. Allow yourself to grieve. It’s okay to be sad. Grief and sadness are natural human reactions to troubling or tragic news, or times when life is crashing down around you. Fact is, you need time to grieve and be sad. You may need to be alone with your sadness for a while. It may not be a day or two. It may be longer. Take the time you need to grieve.
  3. Believe in better. As hard as it may be to think about, or even believe, you must believe that something better is going to come out of the situation you’re in. We say this because the phone call we received the other night was dark and just plain awful. We spent the next day feeling hopeless. But we both realized in the wake that something good was going to come out of this with our son. Not sure what that is just yet, but we believe in it.
  4. Move in-spite. Listen, I’ll be the first to say that sometimes life royally sucks, and it can crush your spirit to point of wanting to quit (or drink heavily, and make every other word you say a cuss word, depending on how bad it is). For all of the times we find ourselves outside of this parenting trench, we find ourselves doubly in the trench. But life goes on. It has to. When you’re in this place, your choice is to either lay in the wreckage and give up, which gets you nowhere, or get up and move in-spite of it, which makes you an overcomer. It leads you to new places.

A New Day.

It’s hard to see it, but there is a new day. In fact, each day that you open your eyes to means a fresh start. I know, I know… easier said than done, right? Again, we’re right there with you. It’s not easy. There’s never a promise given that says life will be easy. Just not the case.

The conclusion we’ve come to, however, in the midst of the personal hell we often walk through, is that you choose to seize what you choose to seize. What I mean is this: You either choose to seize the day for what it is, a new day, a new start, or you continue to hold on to the defeat of yesterday. It all comes down to a choice. So, what’s your choice?

Question: Have you had trouble pulling yourself out of bed? Do you want to quit on the day before it begins? Share your story with us. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

We’ll be discussing this post LIVE on Periscope at 3:30 EDT this afternoon. Join us! We would love to connect with you. You must have the the Periscope app in order to join us live. You can download it here. We will tweet over Mike’s Twitter when we’re live. Follow Mike @itsmikeberry!

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  • ahoy.jenni

    Thanks, love your posts. I’m exhausted right now and have battened down the hatch to ride out this rough patch, and I’m also thankful that I do have resilience to carry on. I have no idea where it comes from, but it’s there, and I’m thankful! My favourite saying is from Scarlett OHara in gone with the wind, “after all, tomorrow is another day” !

    • Jenni, thanks so much for reading. I am glad to hear that you have the fight in you to face each day. Sometimes that’s all you’ve got and that’s not a bad thing. We’re in your corner. Hang in there!

  • Lorre

    This post and your 3 Simple Words post were spot on for me this week. I started watching your Periscope earlier today but – as if on cue – was called away to work out a situation. (Teenage daughter with trauma background = always be prepared for interruptions.) I did get a chance to watch the recording though and am looking forward to future Periscopes. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    • Wow…Lorre, I am so glad, and humbled, to hear this. So thankful you had the chance to join us on Periscope, even it was the replay. Please let us know how we can encourage you and help you on this journey!

  • Hillary Alexander

    Again I needed to read this. I have been so close to giving up. My son stabbed my daughter in the leg with a pencil, but he also had my kitchen scissors. So it was luck it wasn’t a worse injury.
    He is now in patient in a treatment facility where we were told he will most likely have legal issues in a few years with the nature of his comorbid disorders. I sat there questioning why I continue to fight when the facilities are just keeping him the legally required length then releasing him. How can I fight for him when the professionals have stopped caring? But tomorrow is a new day.

    • Oh man, Hillary, I am so sorry to hear this. We know how desperate moments like this can be. While I can’t give you many answers I can say, “I know.” Hang in there. We are in this trench with you.

  • Danie Botha

    Believe in better – I like that. How do we change the negative situation to one that’s positive, improving & healing & winning?
    Had a discussion just last night about this – ongoing challenge with our youngest young adult child: the solution: don’t ignore/deny the negative, rather focus and emphasize and build on what is positive. (See Eric Barker from Barking up the wrong tree).
    This holds true also for our relationship with our spouse or significant other – you can’t “change” the other one, but can grow stronger by building on what is positive and good – and there is!
    Thanks, Mike!

    • You are welcome Danie. I agree, this applies to our marriages and deep relationships as well as our parenting. Thanks for sharing!