Home » Personal Musings » Thursday Re-View — Despair

Thursday Re-View — Despair



It is gradual, insidious, cunning.

I slip, slip, slip down into the darkness,
its waves covering me, masking me,
sucking me into its void.

A black hole of nothingness,
where cries of despair no longer echo
but end sharply, cuttingly, abruptly.

An unearthly stillness,
a catching of breath,
then a slow release that’s not a release,
but only more weight,
dragging me down, down, down into obscurity.

There is no light, no sound, no life, no hope.

A stillness, a waiting — not expectant,
but a relenting to the darkness,
its presence a living, breathing, creeping thing.

My soul is wounded, easy prey for the shadows
that wait patiently in the quiet.
All energy, breath, life is sucked dry
with nothing left to give, no desire to give,
no future.

Why struggle?

There is no life, no sound, no light.
There is no future, no hope, no dream.
It takes more than I have to dream.

The sobbing is more than crying —
it is an emptying, a stealing, a taking
with nothing left in its wake.

Cold, dark, damp.
Slimy, keening vacuum.
It waits.

It has all of eternity to feast on this soul.
It licks its lips in anticipation of the
tenderness to be destroyed.

The black hole is more alive than I am,
its eyes watching me, searing me
with a vacant blindness that still sees.
Sees too much.

A rustling – furtive –
a licking, smacking anxiousness
in the murky gloom.

It waits for me, as it has done before.

I have no strength to fight it.
My thoughts are muddied.
The weight of the darkness suffocates,
pushing the air out of my lungs.

My bones – no bones – no shape –
no light – no sound.

There is only this barren wasteland
and I no longer care.

About anything.

I’m exhausted.  I just want to rest.
To catapult into oblivion,
among the stars, weightless,
no control or direction.

I am abandoned.

Is this surrender?
To what end – nothing?  A future?

Must so much of me die in order to live?

And then – on a distant horizon –
the tiniest pinprick of light.
It blazes into my soul
and I breathe…

I am safe.

I can dream.


33 thoughts on “Thursday Re-View — Despair

  1. Leave that place – there IS hope, and that hope is YOU. A light to me and to so many others. I will not accept your descent, and will leap from the cliff behind you, overtake you, tether you to the most amazing bungie cord – and you shall soar back up. You know the refrain . . . keep the faith, precious one. Keep the faith . . .

    • My eyes tear up but my heart is full from your caring and your willingness to enter the darkness. “Keep the faith” is what my father always said, so you bring me a message from him. I am in your debt, my friend, and am hanging onto your bungee cord with the tightest of grips. I am ready to soar… Namaste.

  2. Insidious — such a perfect description of how depression works. Even if you’re on guard, it can find a way to sneak in when you least expect. Luckily, that pinprick of light eventually shows up (or we can finally see it). Thanks for expressing these thoughts. I could so relate. 🙂

    • I find myself glad, yet sad, that you can relate. Unless someone has been in this darkness, they do not understand its power. Blessings to you…

      • Thanks for your kind words. It’s true. People who haven’t been there think it’s a matter of just deciding to feel better or looking at the bright side. I can see the bright side, but then I feel guilty because it doesn’t really help me feel better when I am in the grips of depression. I may post a link to your poem at some point if I push this topic on my blog. I hesitate because there are so many people from work who access my blog, and I try to keep a level of privacy. That’s part of why I was so touched by your post. It’s always reassuring to find someone who understands the struggle.

  3. The bleakness of depression is hell, poured out so exactly here. But that one pinprick of light is all we need to begin to rise. Keep your face to it and watch as it grows brighter. It always does. Safety in the light. You know this. Hugs, friend.x

  4. Wow, what a powerful piece that so accurately describes a dark night of the soul–and the point of light that is the first sign that it, with time, will pass. ~Tom

  5. Must so much of me die in order to live?

    And then – on a distant horizon –
    the tiniest pinprick of light.
    It blazes into my soul
    and I breathe…

    I am safe.

    I can dream.

    that is the way times in our life are + you put it into words all that despair, but as always you give us hope:-) just a glimmer + that is all we need:-)

  6. There’s always light & it’s unfortunately out of the depths that we recognize & truly appreciate it’s value which makes us the ones a step ahead…
    We ARE that light…
    I wonder if you’d be interested in checking this poem I wrote a while back that treats the subject http://oawritingspoemspaintings.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/i-am-all-that-and-much-more-sunday-3rd-of-march-2013/
    I love the way you ended it on a positive note without it we would be lost, that is the light you are talking about, that ball of fire that just waits to be ignited…
    Thanks for the share, I think we all can relate to a moment in our lives where despair appeared to be a mild word.

    • The duality of life – sorrow and joy, darkness and light – but there is always the light, both beyond us and within us. Thank you for reading and commenting; I will follow your link right now.

  7. Beautiful, Theresa. It takes a lot of courage to look those feelings in the eye, to carry them inside and wait for the sky to clear. I always feel like those people doing this work do it for far more than themselves. It is like the hidden work of healing and transforming the world. And it is always so stunning, such a relief and release, when that pin prick of light arrives and perception shifts. In the end it is so simple, so delicate, so smooth. An opening. A walk out into the light again. The sense that we never left… The recognition we’re truly known…


    • That knowing, that belonging, that warmth. I had not thought of your perspective, but it makes a comforting sense as you describe it: “the hidden work of healing and transforming the world.” For the greater good…I can handle that. My thanks…

  8. Wow! What an outstanding description of what going down into the pit this is! With every step, I remembered what it is like to abandon all hope and then to be struck by a ray of light and brought back up out of the abyss. I’m so sorry you are experiencing this, but I think that everyone that has ever lived has at one time or another made the journey through darkness. May you being warmed and healed by the light you have found! Hugs and blessings, Natalie

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