The over-survival complex

I have come to the realisation that some people are too willing to over-extend themselves in order to get through a really tough, difficult situation. They genuinely believe that ‘God will not give you a cross that is too heavy for you to bear’, as the saying goes, so bear it they must – as if it was somehow preordained that their eventual survival is guaranteed; that they only need to persevere with their struggles, so that through sheer will alone, they can survive the punishing weight of their particular cross and finally go on to better things.

Life has tons of heavy crosses and quite frankly, if you’re willing to put up with them it generally can be arranged by the spooky powers of the universe that this shall be your lot in life. Always.

Every once in a while, give up.

There’s no substitute for useful traits like perseverance, self-discipline, humility, patience and determination, but I think those traits can also atrophy.

There’s a lot to be said for giving up, collapsing into a sobbing heap and obstinately refusing to carry on carrying on. It’s a giant pattern interrupt to the universe which says, “find some other schmoe to do this”.

Can’t do that all the time, mind, but I think it makes sense to pick your battles. And for people who think that would be a cop-out, I’m willing to bet that the energy needed to put the brakes on over-surviving is probably the same as the energy you would have spent surviving anyway. You’d need it to summon up the courage to step on the brakes, not to mention dealing with the fallout from others around you (“whaddaya mean you’re not putting up with this anymore?”) and cobbling together a new path for yourself. So if it makes anyone feel any better, there’s still work involved in copping out. Happy?!

The point is that time spent surviving is almost certainly time not spent living / being truly and fully alive. So continually surviving is hardly something to give yourself a pat on the back about.

I know a lot of women who have an over-survival complex – I wonder if it is more prevalent in women. I don’t really know, but it seems plausible (I can see how that will have been useful to the species as a whole…?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *