Understanding a Dream About Quitting

Man holding paper with the words "I quit" written on it.

A dream about quitting shows how easy it is, yet not necessarily simple.

Quitting anything seems easy.

Throw the keys (or whatever) down dramatically and say, “That’s it! I quit.”

A recent dream showed how quitting wasn’t that way at all.

The message: “Don’t give up!”

Any dream where you dream about quitting something deserves special care and consideration when you’re trying to understand it and the consequences of the situation it references. By quitting, you could be cutting your losses. On the other hand, what if you’re quitting something worthwhile when success (or a goalpost) is right around the corner?

At the assisted suicide center

I was at an assisted suicide center with many other patients who had all decided to stop living. We were all lying on little cots. I had just received the cocktail that would put me to death, that would allow me to give up. In the dream, I was sick and tired of living and had unspecified problems.

I was lying there, waiting for the drugs to take effect. They didn’t seem to work.IV bag and drip chamber

While lying in my little bed in the assisted suicide center, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. Big problem. I had just received the lethal injection. If I got up and started walking to the bathroom, then the cocktail might suddenly take effect, and I’d fall down dead. That wouldn’t be fair to the center’s staff. They’d have to pick me up. My wife, who was waiting there, might even hurt herself trying to pick me up.

Yet, it was also a problem if I used the bathroom in bed.

If the killing cocktail they had just administered to me failed (and that does happen in real life, like when they’re putting someone on death row to death and there’s a mishap with the IV cannula or, somehow, the cocktail of drugs doesn’t work), I’d find myself laying in a mess in the bed.

Also, it wouldn’t be fair to the center’s staff if they had to clean me up.

Or I’d end up cleaning myself up in the bathroom. That would be better, but still, not ideal.

Why not just go to the bathroom?

Oh, yeah. I had already received the suicide drug cocktail and could die any minute.

Prayer? Too late for that!

What if I prayed about what to do? Maybe God would help me out.

No, it was too late for that, I realized. He couldn’t help me out because I had gotten on the cot at the assisted suicide center. I threw in the towel and didn’t give him a chance to perform a miracle. He might have, too, even if He presented it as a natural development.

Other quitting dreams

When you start remembering and trying to understand the symbols in more of your dream, you’ll realize that your subconscious does a lot of weighing. Whether to quit a job, quit a relationship, quit a hobby, or something else is one of those things.

Sometimes the decision-making process will be spelled out directly; other times, it will be obscured as a symbol. It depends on how closely you identify with the activity being quit or how intense your feelings are for the person you’re weighing about whether to quit.

Questions to ask yourself about what’s being quit

Consider the other things that appear in the dream.

One of the primary things you’re going to weigh is how you feel about what’s being quit versus the goal of the action. Some projects take years to see fruition. You’ll plug along seemingly without end.

Other projects will have results very different from what you initially envisioned.

Sometimes setbacks are temporary, and sometimes they’re permanent.

Keep your ego out of any decision you might make. Squash your pride. Are you sticking with what seems like a fruitless effort out of pride? Remember, pride is one of the deadly sins. It can’t lead anywhere good.

Can you salvage anything from the effort? Is there something from the project that you can take and readapt?

Maybe you shouldn’t quit the project. Maybe you should go about it differently. Is there some way your effort can be tweaked?

Have you been going at the project with a half-effort? Is it time to step it up and try harder? Maybe, on the other hand, it’s time to focus more on other efforts. Maybe you’re trying too hard.

Is faith missing in your approach? That could be faith in yourself, faith in others involved in the project, or faith in God. Faith is an important component of many projects because it’s hard to grow anything beyond a one-man show if you don’t involve other people.

There may be a lot to suss out regarding the quitting dream regarding your particular situation.

Why the assisted suicide center image?

There was a heavy amount of opinion regarding the image of the assisted suicide center in my dream. I’ve read a lot about how euthanasia laws have gradually grown to encompass more and more people in places like Canada. Where once it was targeted toward people with seemingly incurable conditions who lived in constant untreatable pain (or so they said), it will now expand to the mentally ill. Mental health issues are not so clear cut. Many people have struggled and become more stable once they get over their rough patch.

It’s important to dive into how you feel about quitting when it comes to your quitting dream.

In my case, I realized there was a whole lot of needless quitting going on. My view on my situation was too myopic.

Other articles:

This is the best way to record your dreams

3-step dream interpretation process

The opposite of quitting: starting. What makes a dream a vision?


James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life. 


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