starting internet conversations is not always easy
the internet is it’s own universe and
i am just one small star, floating
around billions of other stars
but i want to try and start a conversation today
so, from one star to another:
let’s talk about hopelessness.
this topic came up recently in email conversation. it keeps coming back to me. hopeless rides a spectrum. there exist varying degrees and shades and intensities of the stuff. there’s overly dramatic hopelessness, the breed that lands you on the couch with cookies and sad movies and elongated sighs. there’s the sinking kind that starts in the pit of your stomach and stretches for days until admitting defeat against optimism. there’s kinds you can function with and kinds you cannot.
i want to talk about those kinds.
hopeless met me once, somewhere at a party i’m sure, where i was certain i was wearing the wrong thing and saying nothing of interest. our relationship grew after that. he showed up at other parties. at work. at school. he divided up other relationships existing before him. eventually, he moved into my house, my bed, my heart. he lived in my life rent free, swelling in size because i fed him so much bullshit.
this time last year, hopeless physically crippled me for the first time. my body stopped caring to move. i managed to do very few things except turn numb and resign myself over to a life of hopelessness coupled with depression (he moved in because i couldn’t say ‘no’ anymore) and acidic anxiety. i stopped crying, caring, sleeping, doing, saying, thinking, laughing. life on pause stretches endlessly.
without plunging into much detail (please read here for that, if you care about detail), i did, eventually, find optimism and hope. after months of therapy, months of journaling, and months of shuffling one step forward and tumbling ten steps back. very recently i woke up able to proclaim “i am hopeful” truthfully for the first time in nearly three years. even right now, in the midst of uncontrollable change (you know how scary that stuff is), i am so very hopeful.
yet, i want you to remember:
it took time.
it took effort.
it took pain and discomfort.
it took the things we don’t like to talk about or experience.
i know no one who enjoys pain and discomfort. i know very few people who have patience or endurance for pain and discomfort. hopelessness sucks the light out of life. i know. but it does get better. it gets so much better. the more you work for hope, the easier you recognize hope. put no time limits on your healing. the inward journey asks for immense patience and understanding. furthermore, cast no judgement on your feelings. emotions are born to leave you. let them out.
remember, too, that you are not alone. so often i curled into myself believing no one understood. the minute i started talking, i realized the number of open ears and arms all around me. someone in your life, right now, will get you, listen to you, and help you. it may be someone incredibly unexpected or someone you love and trust dearly. remember, you deserve help.
remain open to hope.
it’s always trying to find you when you’ve lost touch.