I cannot do this anymore. You may have heard this statement from one of our kind. It is uttered with weary resignation, a long sigh and a tired look in our eyes. The glorious countenance has vanished and been replaced with someone who looks defeated, crumpled and exhausted.
The polish and shine has been dulled, the accumulative impact of what has happened now looks to have taken its toll on us and with a wave of the white flag we surrender.
But when we say “I cannot do this anymore” to what are we referring.
What is the meaning of “I cannot do this anymore”?
Straight from the off, as we utter this phrase, we have set a trap for you.
Do we mean that we can no longer maintain the relationship with you, this topsy-turvy roller coaster of a ride? Have we given up on the concept of us and this is the death knell for our relationship together?
You can already feel the anxiety crawling over you as you contemplate the import of this phrase. The days without us already beginning to stretch ahead of you, the multitude of questions which start to form in your mind, the whys and hows drifting through your mind, gathering momentum and troubling you. Is that what we are referring to? Can we no longer remain in a relationship with you?
Or is it perhaps something else? Is this an epiphany? Have we seen that our repeated abuses against you, through many different forms and occasions, is too much and goes against the good person you have always believed that lurks somewhere inside of us?
You saw that person (or believed you did) for a long time at the outset of the relationship but he has been missing as of late. He has taken a holiday from these parts but surely it is only a holiday because if it is this means that he will be coming back. He has gone but not forever.
Perhaps this is him returned and with that moment of revelation and realisation, we have seen the truth of what we have been doing and through this, we now know that we cannot continue to behave in this manner any longer. Is this what we mean when we declare the statement of “I cannot do this anymore”?
Which is it? You dread it being the former and hope that it is the latter. This might be the breakthrough that you have been seeking all these months as you have hung in there, buffeted and assailed by all of our terrible torments, but now you have come good, you have achieved your great reward. That must surely be what we mean.
You wait for us to elaborate but nothing more is said. We continue to look at you and you stare into our eyes. What do you see? Is it despair or is it hope? You cannot be sure. You are confused but you do not want to be. You want clarity and you feel an alternating sense of worry one moment and then resurgent hope the next.
You wait, your expression set in expectation, urging us to flesh out this statement, to expand and to elaborate but still, our silence remains. Are we gathering our thoughts before making the next great pronouncement?
Is there more? Will it be a hammer blow which obliterates your hopes or that triumphant clarion call which signals that the war is at an end and peace has broken out? Is this the very thing that you have dreamed about?