Is It Time To Stop Trying So Much

AUDIO VERSION:  (Transcript below but may differ slightly)

trying harder

Have you ever wondered what it is that life has in store for you?  I have.  I’ve actually been so upset and frustrated that I’ve sat down and yelled, “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME,” into thin air, aimed at nothing and no one except that which I was taught was all-knowing, all-seeing and was a Higher Power than we physical beings.

Of course, there’s no answer in return.

Heaven knows, over the years, I’ve filled journals with my ramblings, rants and whatever I’ve felt and thought at the time.  Some have been fairly whiney while others have been what I would consider, optimistic given the circumstances at that time.  I’ve had hope.  I believed that something good would come out of all of the drama, troubles and losses that had built up in my life.

Years down the road, I’ve pulled out those journals and read the ramblings.

What I discovered is that some of the things that I was upset over, I could barely remember so, that part of things that people have said is true.  However, other things, were still the same for me.  I was still be bombarded with problems and they weren’t all mine.  I was now not only worried about myself but, about many others as well and their problems.  Worse than that, I noticed that my enthusiasm for making things happen had really lowered and my worries were not only the same things but, were also worse than they were back then.  How could this be?  Did the powers that be not listen to me?  Had they not heard me or don’t they answer or intervene in this world?  Were there any to begin with?  I thought that there were but perhaps, I was mistaken, misled and may as well believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny while I’m at it.

The more I tried to control, the less control that I had.  This was evident by the journal entries that seemed to go over the same things, time and time again, year after year.  I’d tried just about everything that I could think of doing, including getting professionals involved with opinions and advice.  None of it worked.

Maybe, I have it all wrong?  Maybe, it’s time to give up on attempting to control everything?  Perhaps, life happens as it happens and there’s little that any of us can do to improve our lot in life?

I’d heard the saying that we learn from everything that happens to us, both the good and the bad.  However, at this point in my life, the bad was out-numbering the good and frankly, I don’t think that I’m learning anything new now.  As a matter of fact, instead of being constructive learning, it’s become destructive.  I am no longer growing as a person but, I’m regressing and coiling up in defeat.  I’m not out there with boxing gloves on anymore, ready to take on the challenges of life but, I’m more willing to pull the blankets up over my head, wallow in bed and say, “crap…another day to get through.”

This isn’t me.  I’m feisty and I’m not a quitter.  As a matter of fact, my Late brother had denoted Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” as being my song.  He always said that I was the one person he knew who wouldn’t give up and honestly, I didn’t.  My brother wouldn’t be happy with my more recent attempts though.  I have backed down on much more than I used to.  That will to fight, to battle, to take up a challenge, has been watered down by a feeling of impotence.

Am I really impotent now or have I simply needed a rest in which to recuperate, rest and heal?  I have had a lot of losses and everything that I’ve mustered up both the courage and determination to do has left me feeling less than victorious.

More than anything, the more that I try to do, the worse things have gotten.  It shouldn’t be that way, should it but, it is.  In other words, the harder I try, the more I do, the less successes that I have.

Is it time to give up and stop trying so hard?  I mean, do my everyday chores and things, enjoy my hobbies but perhaps, it’s time for me to stop taking on everyone else’s problems, trying to help them solve theirs while no one tries or even blinks when I have one and could use a hand…not even those Higher Powers that I can’t bring myself to pray to anymore as it seems to do quite the opposite, bringing me more trouble and no help, nothing that answers my prayers or even questions.  There’s simply more and more that goes wrong.

What about you?  Does the more that you try, pray and hope, things go wrong?

Are you receiving help or are you bereft of friends, family and help?

What helps you?

Comment below, please.  I’m sure that I’m not alone and your help might be what is needed by a lot of us.

From my little corner of life, I think we need to discuss this.

Be Well.  Love and Light,

Have a great day or evening.


Published by ponderinglifetoo

I'm a wife, mother, artist, photographer and bookkeeper. I love writing out my thoughts in journals but, am finding my way to sharing these with others now.

4 thoughts on “Is It Time To Stop Trying So Much

  1. Sigh….. Oh, I so get it. I responded to one of your earlier blogs on the grief you feel at the loss of your estranged daughter. So many of your posts speak to my heart and this one made me want to reach out and hug you too. Like you, I have an adult daughter approaching her late 30’s. My only child. At the moment, we are not estranged but have been in the past. It’s always a slippery slope. Plus, she’s always angry at me. As previously mentioned, her husband died tragically and she’s left with a 4-year-old and a baby on the way. I’m providing a lot of financial help as well as other help. But according to her, I’m no good at emotional help and a lot is wrong with me. Another sigh. This has been going on for many years. I don’t always know when I’m helping and when I’m enabling.

    I don’t know what’s in store for me either. However, I’m starting to have a lot of empathy for people who just can’t do it anymore. As a child and a young adult, I recall wondering why a particular uncle couldn’t step up to take care of his own adult daughter with mental illness. Same for an aunt who couldn’t step up to help out with a mentally ill brother. Much of it was left to my father, who helped both his brother and his niece. I always thought my aunt and uncle were selfish and it took its toll on my father. I think I get it now. Maybe my aunt and uncle just couldn’t do it anymore. Maybe their own mental health was suffering. Maybe there were so many other problems in their own families that I didn’t know about. Maybe it was okay for them to walk away. I no longer think they are selfish. I bet they just did the best they could do for a long time. I bet they were hurting too.

    I haven’t let go yet, but I tell you there are many days I want to throw away the phone and any electronic device and just disappear. I’m paying for my daughter to see a therapist twice a week and my own therapist once a week. I’m getting a little better at detaching but it takes its toll on our lives. I’m thankful my daughter is seeing a therapist but I’m not so sure her therapist hears or sees everything. I don’t know if my daughter has a diagnosed mental illness but I know my son-in-law did. When parents have to experience emotional abuse, anger, disrespect or even physical abuse to remain in their children’s lives, I can so understand wanting to give up.

    Personally, I’m not ready to give up yet. I have a grandson and another on the way that I hope I can provide some sense of stability. I expect my daughter to estrange herself from us again someday. Believe me, there’s no judgment from me anymore when a parent has to walk away or curtail their involvement.

    Hugs to you and Kelly, who also responded to your blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Barbara…you have a HUGE HUG from me here. I feel so deeply for you and…for your daughter. At the very least, your daughter is trying and you therefore, have something to hold onto even if it is feeling like a thread some days versus a rope.

      A lot of parents have tried everything that they can, including the advice of “experts” who tell them what to do and still don’t succeed. I am one of them. I see my own therapist because I cannot change my daughter but, I hope that I can change how I deal or cope with it. The mere fact that you have a daughter who is trying or at least, hanging in there, with a tragedy and another baby on the way, is reason enough to hang on. That said though, I also want to say that you are a human being as well. You have feelings and limits as well. No one could blame you if you wanted to try less or even bring things to a bit of a breathing moment as so many parents have to do. As long as she’s trying, I can see why you’d be trying though. I applaud your tenacity as well as your efforts.

      As one therapist I was seeing said (yes, I’m on my 3rd now)…”if worse came to worst, at least you can say that you’ve tried it all and have no regrets or remorse over it.” That struck me, kept me trying and hoping until I couldn’t try or hope any longer.

      In a lot of cases, I don’t think it’s the parent(s) who give up first. It seems to be that the child has given up, slapped them in the face one too many times and it’s simply a reaction to say, “I can’t do anymore”. I also don’t judge anyone because there are so many of these adult children, walking away on their parents, not looking back and these parents have begged, pleaded, tried and are simply worn out.

      Unfortunately, when our adult child sees a therapist, the therapist can only work with that patient’s story and feelings. They cannot see all sides. That also leads to unfair judgement from the therapists as well and it oftentimes, doesn’t help the patient *IF* there truly is a mental illness brewing somewhere.

      For me, personally, I hold onto a tiny shred of hope even though I have been blocked on every conceivable method of contact from my daughter. I have also been abused, used and tossed aside with harsh, cruel remarks etc. and no way to return even a conversation. I’m tired of trying especially, when she continues to kick me in the teeth (and her dad). It hurts and I’m out of patience as when in pain with no relief in sight no matter what is tried, it becomes a matter of “I can’t do this anymore”.

      I think a lot of parents are in this same boat. You are not…at least…not at this moment and I PRAY for you that your daughter recognizes how much you do for her and how much you love and want her as part of your life as well as your grandchildren. I PRAY that she won’t return to old patterns and estrange both herself and her 2 children from you both again. I PRAY that she’s recognizing just how valuable you both are to her and her life as well as her children. I PRAY that she feels the love that you’re both putting into all of them.

      Blessings to you all, Barbara. Please keep in touch and let us know how you’re making out. I know more is going to come from me in future pieces so, please hang around. Successes give us all hope so, let yours be the inspiration for us all.



  2. My nightmare began 9 years ago when my daughter was in high school and a teacher reported our family to social services/law enforcement. Our daughter would not talk. The investigation found her injuries were not done in our home. We always suspected she was raped/attacked but she was ambiguous at best and wouldn’t talk. When we took her to counselors, she “faked” them out. I feared it would have a way of coming out later unless she dealt with it.

    Fast forward to the recent 2 years. She is 24 and drinks too much . Her car has damage but she doesn’t know what happened. She has a DUI, went to jail, and had her drivers license revoked for a year. She lies by omission and we never know what to believe. She assaulted us in a hotel room – she was so drunk she threatened to jump off a 3rd floor balcony and we were trying to stop her. Alcohol was not part of our family when she grew up.

    Our daughter talks in riddles and refuses to talk about the past. She takes no accountability for her actions and never apologizes. The next week, she will call like nothing happened and ask us to babysit her dog. I finally went to a therapist who encouraged us to draw boundaries.

    Not surprisingly, we are now the victim of her anger. She stopped talking to my husband and I months ago. Her behavior is emotionally abusive. She makes the rules and has no empathy. We are confused. We’ve been walking on eggshells for nine years. I am slowly giving up.

    I have relief and self-respect but no closure or happiness. After years of begging her to get help, she says she is finally seeing a therapist (don’t know if it’s true) who advised her to take a “mental health break” from us but ironically, I am the one needing the break. I am grieving. My daughter might be a victim but so am I.

    I wish I had a better suggestion for you. I have found no help. Therapists and social workers have offered nothing. In the end, our daughter has to live with her actions and choices, and I have to live with mine. Take care of your mental health first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kelly, first of all, if it is possible, I am spreading out my arms in open fashion to give you what I’m sure is, a well needed HUG. This must plague you day after day and not knowing who can help or how. It certainly seems as though you’ve done everything you possibly can do and that this is more of both a mental health issue as well as an addiction issue, all rolled into one huge ball.

      I lived with alcoholism for a good chunk of my life. Half or better of my family had this addiction. The mental health issues were horrendous as I never knew whether Dr. Jekyl or Mr. Hyde was going to come out. (My mother wasn’t the only alcoholic in the family….pretty much every member of her family had it).

      Therapists are full of time frames. I know that they have to draw their own boundaries but, oftentimes, in seeking out help for both my family’s alcoholism and my daughter’s weed and other psychedelic drug usage as well as her estrangement, I’ve found them to be so wrong in their “text book answers”. I have given up pretty much on therapists now for anything other than keeping myself together. I no longer ask for help with other issues as they cannot help. I DO seek out counselling for myself though and because they are dealing with me alone, I do feel that they have some idea of help…though not perfect by any means. I have to use my own head.

      This is going to sound “out there” but, have you tried asking your daughter if she’d go for hypnotherapy or having someone who she is speaking to, suggest it to her? *IF* a past trauma is behind her alcoholism, a hypnotherapist may be able to bring that repressed memory out and help her to deal with it and stop “self-medicating” (which is what she seems to be doing). Repressing may be part of why she doesn’t remember some of the things that she does to you and your husband but, doesn’t seem to remember them. Either that or she deserves an Academy Award for her performances.

      YES…you ARE a “victim” to this as well. I did go to Ala-non to get help and one of the things that I was told was that we cannot “enable” them as we also become co-dependent and therefore, ill. It’s considered a “family disease”.

      I know so well, the pain that you’re going through on all fronts. Of course, we are different people but, the idea is the same. In actual fact, you DESERVE this distance from her. Not only is she self-destructive to herself but, she’s destructive to everyone around her as well…even innocent by-standers who could become victims of a DUI as well, perhaps even losing their lives.

      Have you ever heard the saying, “You have to be cruel to be kind”? I think it’s part of the lyrics of a song. I’m wondering if perhaps, you could get in touch with the police department and in all honesty, label your daughter as a drunk driver? If she hasn’t already had her license removed from her, you may be able to have it done. I know that sounds harsh but, not only will you be pushing her to get help (they often will force at least a few sessions…though I don’t know where you live) but, it could potentially save HER life and that of others.
      I had to do that with a family member and yes, it hurt and I was scared but, they did NOT give out my name or who called in on them. I was relieved to have a lethal weapon out from under this person’s feet and hands even if it didn’t cure them. It may cause a commute issue but, better safe than sorry. I’m sure that there’s a way for her to get back and forth to where she needs and wants to be without a car while drinking. This ensures that she doesn’t drink and drive….as harsh as it may sound to do to her. It may be saving lives….especially, hers.

      The one good thing is that she’s young. She still has a whole lot of time to figure this out for herself. Equally, unfortunate, is the idea that SHE has to realize that she cannot keep on doing this to herself and do so on her own terms and time frame. You and your husband cannot do this for her. That’s one thing that I’ve learned about addictions of any kind. They have to WANT the help and accept that they need it and go for it. You nor anyone else can do that for her as I’m sure that you’ve been told already but, I’m saying it for the sake of others who feel that there’s something that they haven’t tried yet.

      Sometimes, all that we can do is to try to save ourselves in one way or another. We can’t help or save someone who isn’t ready or doesn’t want it for themselves. And, worst of all, sometimes, we are better off without the “toxic mix” in our lives. We want back who we knew. That isn’t the person that they are right now, is it?

      I wish that I had the answers for you and vice-versa, you had the answers for me. We’d both be happier people, wouldn’t we? All that I can do at this moment is to keep on talking about it, venting the hurt, pain, anger, upset and sorrow/grief and just knowing that others understand because they’ve either been through it or are going through it, makes it not seem so lonely doesn’t it?

      Reaching out with a HUGE Cyber HUG!!!!!!!!!! XO XO XO


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