There are more reasons that I don’t write on the worst days than I realised. There is the fact that my head feels like a fuzzy, formless mess. Words elude me. Hopelessness surrounds me, and I have no means by which to express it. I feel close to collapse, on a knife’s edge, wanting to run away and sit in a weeping heap, but I look at the desperation on my husband’s face and know that I can’t leave him on his own, after a stressful day of his own, to cope with a crying baby, dirty nappy, and whining 4-year-old.

I also don’t want to share this. On the one hand it makes me feel too weak and exposed, and on the other I don’t like to put what feels like negative energy into the world. I don’t want to give these emotions the power of acknowledgement, despite my fighting talking of facing shadows.

I don’t feel strong enough.

Writing now doesn’t lift my spirits like it does on better days. It doesn’t help at all; if anything it makes me feel more miserable.

I don’t feel like I have anything to give, but here is my attempt to write on a bad day, as promised. For what it’s worth.

29 thoughts on “Hopelessness

  1. Well done for trying, Laurel. Nobody expects you to feel better. Nobody expects more from you. We do like to heat from you and it is important to recognise that bad days mix with the good and teh ok, and may even predominate.

  2. timethief is exactly right. Also – writing is such a mysterious activity; it may have felt counter-productive while doing it, and may still do so at the moment, but who knows: both the process of writing and the end result may come to be perceived differently and more positively by you, both consciously and unconsciously. It’s too soon to judge that. As you said in a previous post – you have opened a door and are looking through. Give yourself time to adjust to the view. Be kind to yourself.

  3. You wrote from your heart and with honesty…writing has a way of releasing when we least expect it to do so…Make no judgments on yourself…Be gentle with your heart

    1. Thank you Savira – it was a confused and doubtful heart, but yes, it was an honest one. I hope the process was helpful, and I will aim for gentleness – my mother often told me to be kind to myself. It is wise advice.

  4. Isn’t it a common impulse – one often put down to male responses – to want to fix things, to make them better. I find myself wishing you a therapist, a hug, a box of chocolates, a milestone that you can say “from now on it will be different!” Wishing you closer… But I know that you will have to find your own path, and perhaps the best thing to do is to say “I’m here, and I’m listening, and I love you”.
    Love Elin

    1. Ah, thank you my dear sister. A therapist is hopefully on the way (though they are taking their time getting hold of me!), I have chocolate-coated licorice on my desk, and my milestone is New Years. Closer would be lovely, and one day we will manage it again. Having you there is the best thing indeed. Love you too.

    1. Thank you. Sorry I have been so out of touch; life has just felt impossible. I hope your blog is still giving you joy, and being home is proving a positive step. Let me know when you will be in England, if you are still coming!

  5. There’s so much value to what you’ve written here; thank you.

    I don’t think of posts like this as “putting negative energy into the world”. I’ve come to believe that when we love deeply and face the ultimate separation from the person we loved, the intensity of our sorrow (and the accompanying weakness) is a near holy thing; it’s a continued expression of that love. Also, it’s a part of the richness of our experience on earth. To push it away or hide it, would be not allowing ourselves to savor the full spectrum of love.

    And when you write about these feelings, you are not exposing anything shameful, you’re helping others to better cope with their vulnerabilities.

    I say all this, because, I too, have worried that perhaps exposing my weakness was indulgent. I suspect you’ll be able to relate strongly to this post I wrote in February: http://wp.me/p6nJp-1tI .

    Keep writing.

    1. Thank you so much for pointing me in the direction of that particular post – it struck many chords indeed, and I particularly love the line “I wish I could look as wounded as I feel so that whomever I encounter might wrap me in a soft blanket and request nothing from me.” I think I should have a sign with the printed and taped to my forehead and back.

      Thank you. I will. And I will keep reading, too!

  6. Oh Laur. Your honesty is astounding and inspiring. I hide away from the world when the pain and hopelessness overwhelms me. But like you – the demands of parenthood don’t allow one time to “indulge” in breaking down completely.
    I find I am fine and cannot understand how I was so deeply distressed the previous day. Then someone says something, I see an email, hear news of something that brings it all back and I am in the depths again – unsure how I ever thought I was fine.
    We are on a journey love. It will not remain so dark for always. It does not bring any light to today to know that.
    Loving you

  7. You had a bad day. You wrote. It did not lift your spirits. And you did not like ‘putting out negative energy’. And surprise…………heavy things did not fall on your head and torrential rains did not trounce your city. You wrote and you conneced with others and they connected with you. And that lifted your spirits. And it reminded us all that there is a universal experience with sorrow; just as there is with joy and happiness. The difference seems to be that we’re ‘allowed’ to express the joy; but expressing sorrow and bleakness is somehow more risky, less crowd-pleasing. Let’s all just take a deep communal breath — life is hard. It’s at times purely lovely and, other times, damn miserable. Expressing the misery is not giving out negative energy. It is, simply, expression. Valid and real and necessary. Good for you Laurel.

  8. Laurel, those words… I can identify with that. And with how writing feels at those times. In a way knowing that others felt like that makes me feel less terribly alone. x

    1. Oh sweetie, I was hoping that by sharing that with you, you would indeed find the strange comfort of knowing what you are going through, though utterly unique, is also in a way universal. For me, it helped it two ways: firstly, to know that it was ‘normal’, no matter how impossible it felt; and secondly, to know that if others could get through it – though it might takes months of year – I eventually would too. Not necessarily by DOING anything, but just by letting the days flow by. Hugs and love xx

  9. I am hearing you. Thank you for sharing.
    I often feel like this, hopeless, so to read your post has connected me and makes me feel less alone.

    You honesty and writing is incredible. Thank you. Holding you close.

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