Recently, I asked a number of people to explain, in their own words, "What does hopeless feel like?" As I listened to and read their words, my heart was moved more than I could have expected. I believe yours will be as well.
I knew that each had walked their own road of hopelessness for different reasons: death, divorce, the loss of a child, sexual assault, the end of a long career, deep clinical depression, chronic illness, and utter rejection.
Their responses are fitting and even beautiful, in a heavy-hearted sort of way:
"All I knew was darkness, and I didn't really care what was going on around me. I didn't want to talk to anyone, and I definitely didn't want them telling me that they understood."
"Hopeless feels like sinking; like you're all alone and being crushed at the same time."
"Hopeless is the loneliest, most remote place. It is when you are convinced that no one can understand. For me, it is fatigue. 'Let me sleep so I don't have to think.'"
"Hopeless is the fear and anxiety that 'I can't fix it. I can't help myself or others.'"
"Hopeless feels like everything in your life is caving in at once. You don't know where to begin, and you feel like it's not worth the fight. Somehow you don't feel, though - you are just numb."
And from another...the simple truth, "Hopeless feels like S*#T.
Can hope and darkness co-exist?
What triggers the rebirth of hope?