General Question

comity's avatar

In times of trouble, what gave you the strength to push on?

Asked by comity (2837points) December 18th, 2011

We can all give general answers, my children, my wife, etc. But give an example of something that happened to you and how you persevered. I do believe, we learn and grow from one another.

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39 Answers

comity's avatar

Me again with my “time of trouble”. What gave me the motivation to push on when my ex husband walked out was my children, and I had to let go of feeling sorry for myself and get tough. How do I support us? What do I do? I started working on solutions, “how to” rather then giving in to being teary eyed and saying poor me over and over again to myself. Although I did every once in awhile ; )

elbanditoroso's avatar

Metamucil, for sure.

laureth's avatar

Realizing that we’re all pretty much nothing, is what helps me. Specifically, that Pale Blue Dot thing that Carl Sagan talks about. Whether I live, die, fail or succeed, none of it matters to the rest of the universe. It only matters to me, and perhaps the people that love me. The purpose of life? None – except for what I make it. So I might as well make it good. And keep struggling, just to see what happens. This gets me through, well, pretty much everything.

comity's avatar

@laureth I went to many of Carl Sagan’s lectures at Cornell University where he taught. Brilliant man! I do feel we learn from one another as someone who worked in Social Services. I learned from those I helped, I worked with, I lived with, etc., etc. And, I keep on learning more, even at this stage of the game.

Incoherency_'s avatar

Incantations and a helping hand from below. Otherwise, you get big government!

Judi's avatar

My children were out of control through their teens. They had some hard blows in their life when they were younger and went through a time where I was ready to ship them off somewhere.
warning, some may see the following song as a sappy Christian song, so don’t go there unless you want to hear such things.
I was involved in a Church and had a very strong support group. It seemed this song came up a lot. I began exchanging the word “cares: for “kids.”
The song became like a mantra and saw me through the mean viciousness my kids threw at me at times. I would sing it when I was stressed and not even realize I was singing it.
Happy to say, that my kids, (for the most part) turned into productive members of society, but I had my doubts during those years. They all became people I would like to know even if we weren’t related.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Sounds like a tough time for you all. Instead of sharing, I’d rather take a moment to give your words the credit and attention they deserve. To think we can relate long term struggles, our anguish and angst, our realizations… all in a few short sentences…. well you know I could never truly associate with what you endured. It’s like getting an outdated report on your scariest rollercoaster ride.

What I find most fascinating about enduring difficult experience, is coming out of it only to see so many others stepping right into the very same mess I just escaped from. I used to try and warn… but no one listened. Everybody thinks their problem is so unique when in fact their problem is as old as history. Then I tried consoling… but that risks people falling into martyrdom… trapped in it with no desire to move beyond feeling sorry for themself.

Now I just sit back and watch. I’ll offer as much insight and help as I’m asked to give. But all in all I think the fastest route to overcoming struggle is to simply let people fall fast and land hard. For me, it is the surprising horrible shocks that tend to help me grow the strongest and fastest.

comity's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies “it is the surprising horrible shocks that tend to help me grow the strongest and fastest”. I guess the saying “what does not destroy me makes me stronger” applies and you’ve learned to pick yourself up

Linda_Owl's avatar

The sheer determination to not be dependent upon anyone but myself.

CaptainHarley's avatar

The love of our family members for each other, a tough-mindedness that I got largely from my military experience, and the faith in Jesus Christ that my God gives me.

digitalimpression's avatar

Years ago I made the worst mistake of my life and cheated on my wife. I told her about it and it simply broke her heart, mind, and soul. She then had an affair of her own and it broke my heart, mind, and soul. For a while we talked of divorce, went to counselors, hated each other and couldn’t forgive.

After a grueling couple of years we both realized that had we not turned away from God that none of this pain and anguish would have been felt. Had we lived the things that are taught in the bible, in church, and in the fellowship of other Christians we would have flourished in our relationship. Most marriages these days don’t last when even one person is unfaithful. We survived because we turned back to God. We can now happily celebrate our 14 year anniversary.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Great, truly great answer!

whitetigress's avatar

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish,
sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints,
so I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The years when you have seen only one set of footprints,
my child, is when I carried you.”

jrpowell's avatar

The desire to not die.

I’m not sure I get the concept of “My kids keep me going.” WTF? Without them would you put a slug in your forehead after a bad day at work?

I have been homeless and hungry. I just stole shit from backyards to sell for food. I guess you could say my lack of a moral compass kept me alive.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

My friends. There was a year I became involved with a psychopath who pushed his way into living in my apt., drove out my two roomies and commenced to cut me off from friends and family. We all knew I had to get rid of him and after contacting authorities, they told me he had made it legally impossible to get booted so we all planned and schemed near 6 mos. for me to get away.

My friends and co workers agreed on a plan for me to slowly send things of value away, liquidate others, give other things new homes and all under the guise I was making way for “us” to begin a clean start, a life built from the bottom up, together. This was necessary since he was my only transportation to and from work without me having troubles. One day when we knew he had finally landed a job where he’d be away all day, friends and co workers descended on my apt., removed all they could to different locations and I was off to a different place every few weeks. I left a stable job, a home I really liked, great friends, gave up most of my belongings (decades of antique collecting) yada yada.

My friends came through to protect my whereabouts, store my things, shelter and feed me, even help me with money in order to get resettled. I’m still blessed with these wonderful people in my life and have worked over the years to make better memories with them that eclipse that one point in time that was so frightening.

comity's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Wow! So glad you made it through! Good friends, what would we ever do with them. Hugs!!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@comity: Thank you! After that I was pretty sure I could up and reinvent with confidence and it’s served me well. My friends make me feel very fortunate, through decades and distances they are my greatest assets.

philosopher's avatar

I over came things as a child. I became a great student despite that I am dyslexic. I was never diagnosed. In college my English writing Professor had me tested but it was inconclusive. The Psychologist said, I read to well. I worked a lot harder than most people do. That is why I did well.
When I suspected my son was autistic. I found answers and help. I found ABA and he learned to speak despite; that the incompetent morons at a Therapeutic Nursery called Child At play said he would not.
I remain positive and refuse to accept that problems can not be overcome. I never allow anyone to manipulate me. I never accept bullshit. I personally investigate everything. I never behave like a lazy sheep.
I believe in myself and I manage to find decent people who will work with me. There is a force in my heart and soul that says I must. I can not accept dark people who attempt to use us all and deceive us for their immoral benefit. I confront such people daily to their surprise. I never allow them to win when it matters.

comity's avatar

@philosopher Good for you. When I was a young mother I was told 2 of my sons had a mild case of Dyslexia. They tested me and said I did too. I tutored Dyslexic kids as a volunteer then, in the old, old days. Many kids had that label in those times. One of my sons is a Patent Attorney, the other a Physicist and Supervisor in the Patent Office and the third a CPA. Lables didn’t hold them back and they are good at what they do. As far as their spelling, ........but, now we have computers! : ) Keep on keeping on with that positive attitude!

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yayyyyy, @comity ! WOOT!

ohVaNiLLaGoRiLLa's avatar

friends and family

comity's avatar

@CaptainHarley You are my biggest supporter! Love it! But, I didn’t do it, My kids did!

AnonymousWoman's avatar

When I’ve felt extremely low, to the point of wanting to end my life, compliments I believed were genuine from others have helped me gain strength again… strength enough to want to live and fight off those suicidal thoughts. Words can carry very powerful positive messages. Genuine compliments can save lives.

comity's avatar

@AnonymousGirl You’re so right. Whenever you have those thoughts, talk to us. We love to hear from you and find your analyzations very interesting.

Blondesjon's avatar

I did.

I am not the strongest, fastest, nor the smartest but I am the most resilient. I can hang in there long after my contemporaries have given up. This has applied to 99% of the physical, emotional, and spiritual moments in my life where I have had to “push through”.

I do it because the world doesn’t give a fuck if me, you, or anybody else gives up or keeps going. It just keeps grinding on regardless. I don’t want to be ground up.

philosopher's avatar

LOL my College writing Professor said your grammar is improving and you express yourself well in writing. Unfortunately you make spelling errors.
I still make spelling errors and typos. The only subject I ever had difficulty in was Mathematics. I think Dyslexia is why. I went to NYC Public school they didn’t know or care. I got better in Math because my husband excels at it and has the patience to help me. In college people thought I was good at Math.
I think what ever disability I overcame has made smarter, stronger,more empathic to others and a better person. Too many people look down on anyone who can not learn anything they know in five minutes. I have done training and I was never like that.
Your grown children will make a difference in this world. Like me they have overcome something and will be more willing to help others.
Your children did because you believe in them.

YARNLADY's avatar

I had a young child to raise. When I lost my husbands (twice) I moved in with my parents. They graciously took care of my day to day needs. Their support, plus the needs of my son gave me the strength I needed.

comity's avatar

@philosopher Funny thing is my kids were brilliant in math and science. Me, I was like you. Terrible in math, OK writer and worked hard in school. I’m a NYC gal, ended up in Westchester County for 30 some odd years but worked in Manhattan. Now I live in the Finger Lakes of NY. So, we’re fellow New Yorkers.

thesparrow's avatar

@elbanditoroso I also recommend senna pills.. not as much liquid necessary, and it really gives a kick.

thesparrow's avatar

Everybody plays the fool.

There’s no exception to the rule.

linguaphile's avatar

A few things kept me going other than my kids and mom:
In college and when my son’s father disappeared, it was Bob Marley’s lyrics, “So many times I sit and wonder why, this race so so very hard to run, then I say to my soul take courage, battle to be won.” Lots of lyrics and poems got me through many situations.
For the longest time, it was the optimistic belief that “there has to be something better out there,” and I would go seek that. That mindset has gotten me to many exciting places and opportunities.
But, when that no longer worked, I hung on to the belief that I would not give up because I wouldn’t give my adversaries the satisfaction of dancing on my proverbial “grave.” By no means would I allow them to win and knock me down. There’s always been this tiny, tiny voice in me that says don’t give up, keep going.
Then there did come a time when that voice died and no longer worked, and then I found this quote: “You don’t know how strong you are until you have no choice but to be strong.” I picked myself up by my bootstraps and decided I would get myself out of that hole. And I did.
This sounds terrible, but right now, my give a damn is broken and I don’t care to fix it—I used to be an extremely generous, helpful and empathetic person. Since I was 5, I fought for the underdogs and stood up for the disadvantaged… but recently got a major egg on my face and a slap to go with it one time too many. Not sure which quote or lyric will help me through this one but I’ll get back to you on that!

comity's avatar

@thesparrow Your comments are quite foreign to me
But, maybe I’m too old to see!

philosopher's avatar

I took many credits in Science and did very well. I love Science. I got around the Math because the Science fascinated me. I worked in Manhattan until I had my son.
If you can do well in the Business world in Manhattan. You can survive almost anything.

comity's avatar

@linguaphile Sounds like “your got up and go, got up and went”. That happens to all of us, but, you did it before and you’ll do it again. We all have to just “hang in there” at different times in our lives!

linguaphile's avatar

@comity Yup! Most of my life’s good right now, nothing to complain about really. Just don’t know how to fix my ‘give a damn’ but I’m figuring that right now, I don’t need to have it.

prasad's avatar

I will need to save this page for future reference next time I walk into trouble! Good question!

Desire, passion to achieve something and show the world you too can and are able to do it.
And, also helping someone to achieve their dream.

Sometimes, I listen to music to recharge myself. Look around at unfortunate people, animals, plants, and see how fortunate I am.

Ahh, instance you said. Okay, an incident that I still remember. It is about giving or donating.
Few years ago, I was standing and waiting for bus on the bus stand. A beggar came to me asking for something, I denied to give anything. There are thousands of beggars in India, and according to general attitude of people here, one will spend all of what he has and will still meet beggars. So why give, instead save for yourself. That day I saw a beggar lady, old enough to be a grandmother, sitting on the floor. She had nothing with here, not even dish for asking coins. She was given a bread by someone. She seemed to be very hungry. When she was about to start eating, a skinny dog came before her in hope of bread. She gave the dog half of her bread. Watching this incident, I compared myself with her. I had ten rupees, she had nothing; I was above her in terms of money. But, I find myself below as compared with her magnanimity and kindness. I kept on thinking about the incident for many days, and questioned myself how selfish I am. I could have given at least something.

Later, I was advised when a beggar or someone comes asking to you, do not return him empty handed. Give something. I need not give all that is asked. But can give at least what I think I can afford. If anytime, I have nothing to give, that I think, at least, I should say bitter words at the requester, not insult him, but just say you cannot ,but politely.

thesparrow's avatar

@comity It means that people go through a lot of bad experiences and are grossly abused, especially in romantic relationships, and then blame it on OTHER people. Everybody plays the fool.

VanessaJohnson's avatar

I can only give a general answer: something deep within myself! I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the small part of God within each living being, maybe it’s some sort of self motivation…it’s just there and it never ever lets me loose it! :D

prasad's avatar

I recommend you read A glass of milk.

Actually, I read it in the Reader’s Digest magazine.

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