You fixate. Your focus is a laser beam passing through a hall of mirrors. You don't shy away from the goal, and you tell yourself "work hard", which leads to "harder", which leads to "kill me?"
You're stressed out. You can't seem to shake the palpable foresight of diminishing returns. If you're going to break through the wall, at what cost is that? Do you repair the wall, too?
You form excuses. All of sudden, from your mind's corridors, creeping doubts pay a visit with their laundry lists of rationales with appended exit strategies. Pros look like cons and cons look like pros.
What do you do?
You give up. Here comes the tension.
Stuck in meta-purgatory, a mental in-between, you evaluate this instance of giving up as a mark on your character, or an avenue to maturity. At this point, "compromise" or "letting go" seem like promising terms now that you've become the Swiss army knife of coping mechanisms.
Wait for it...
Maybe you're just human, and that's okay. We could all stand to be a little more human, right? In the interim, you've got plenty of time to pad your Facebook with other happy things about your life. No one has to know, right? Now that you're consulting your higher self's PR team, you should manage to skate by family dinners or first dates unscathed by the question of "so, what happened???"
You say, "I gave it my best. I promise myself to never let this happen again"
The tension is gone. You're now a ballet dancer on a thin sheet of ice. Maybe you reach for the mouse and play Linkin Park's "In the End" on repeat while musing over Friedrich Nietzsche's bleak meanderings. Maybe your wings unfold to shake off the dust of better days. Maybe you write an abstract blog post about what it's like to give up, but who the hell is weird enough to do that?.
It's a curious thing when giving up. All this time you evaluate yourself with a proverbial mirror and compare it to the image of a non-existent highlight reel of success. It never occurs to us in the moments of extreme focus to abandon the mirror. Because it's also at this time you forgo the microscope used to examine what really makes up who you are.