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Mental Health

How the Hell Do You Carry On When You Feel Like Giving Up?

How the Hell Do You Carry On When You Feel Like Giving Up?


When you're struggling with fear, rejection, loneliness, depression, it helps to rememer there is more to your life than what you are experiencing today.

Last week was one of those weeks when so many of my clients were dealing with major challenges. Concerns about the effectiveness of their current regimen. Rejection after disclosing their status to someone they were hoping to start a relationship with. Economic stress. Loneliness, fear, sadness.

One of my clients described what she’s been dealing with over the past week and what she has ahead of her. And then she said: “But I’m going to keep the faith.”

Keep the faith. I haven’t heard that term in awhile. It’s simple but pretty amazing at the same time, right?

Since that conversation, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to keep the faith. I’ve been taking a look at my own life and what I do to keep the faith.

It seems to me that are different pathways to keeping the faith. Relying on your own inner resources.  Having a regular religious or spiritual practice. Staying educated. Staying connected with people you can rely on.

Keeping the faith is also a matter of reminding yourself, each and every day, that there is more to life than your day to day experience. Staying focused not so much on what isn’t and can’t but on what’s possible. Putting one foot before the other and moving forward, day by day.

I also started wondering about what other people do in their own lives to keep the faith.  And what I can do to help others keep the faith when they are going through a rough time.

What about you? Are you keeping the faith? How are you doing it?

I know this is kind of cliché but I will say it anyway. Living with HIV is a journey, step by step, figuring things out along the way, learning lessons that help you get through the next time you hit a bump. Strengthening your foundation.

That’s resilience!

You don’t have to be alone on this journey.  Stay connected with people who care about you. Who can listen without judging you or trying to tell you what to do. Who have your back. So punch in a number. Double click. Send a text. Reach out to your support network. 

And stick around! This is a place where everybody pitches in to help share the challenges and victories. Joining together to keep the faith.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Gary McClain