A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Despairing, Despondent, and Distraught

Okay, I just posted about hope, so naturally, this post is about despair. A few years ago, after a bad breakup, a friend of mine expressed, through tears, that she just didn't have any hope - no hope that the future would be something she wanted. Her pain was real and excruciating. At the time, I didn't know what to do, other than hug her and tell her she was amazing (spoiler: she was and is one of the kindest and loveliest people I've ever met, and luckily, she was married a year or two after this conversation to the love of her life).

While I do have a default Pollyanna optimism setting, I also struggle with bouts of the blues* - times where I just feel like I ain't no good. Like life doesn't hold the promise that I thought it did. I think it's okay to feel that, and sit with that feeling for a while, trying to understand it. Happiness is a long term proposition to me, and that means it's okay (and normal!) to not be happy sometimes.

I've been an adult long enough now to know that I'm not very confident about myself and my abilities. I don't really have a lot of faith in my ability to do things right, or change things about myself that I don't like. Please don't misunderstand that as a lack of ego - I can be as selfish and blind to my faults as the next person, but with the added bonus of also dealing myself short on my (few) good qualities. Couple that with natural introversion, and it's very easy for me to get in a spiral of "people don't want to hang out with me, so I'm just going to stay home."

For me, this despair or despondency is something I actively have to fight against to get it to go away. It's important for me in those times to remember the people and things and food and jokes that bring light to my life, and make life so, so good. That's why I've really liked the song below by Amos Lee, ever since I heard it a week ago. There are storms, and times where I feel defeated, but there is also a light - sometimes it's in the distance and hard to see, but it's there. I have to hold on, keep moving, and fight through the waves.

"One Lonely Light," Amos Lee

*I'm distinguishing here between the blues and Depression. It's one thing to have times where you feel despair, but if it becomes a debilitating cloud of ever-present despondency, that is Depression, and I firmly believe in seeking professional help in such times. I've struggled with depression too, but that's for another post.

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