I am struggling a lot. I can’t seem to find words to describe the feeling. Darkness. Black. Yesterday I ended up kind of dozing for hours. It takes so much will to stay conscious despite the mental pain.

I’ve been going to things. Yesterday I went to ACA meeting. It was OK. The blackness is a little more distant, sitting in the meeting. I listen to others, I speak a bit about whatever the topic is. In general sharing, I revisit my quitting my job – should I have done it? Yes or no. The fact is I did, and here I am, less stressed, many times more depressed.

After the meeting I join two others for coffee. One is an outgoing woman I’ve known for a few years from another group. The other is someone I kind of admire, an  older man who speaks often of his struggle with trauma memories. It feels good to be out with others on Saturday night. I had to push myself to go out to the meeting and I was glad I did.

Then this morning, I wake up again immersed in black sorrow. Tears run down my face for no reason that springs to mind. I force myself to a church service – it’s a left-leaning church and I know all there will be as appalled as I am about the American political scenario.

It’s OK, but I sit there holding off blackness. I don’t feel able to try and socialize with anyone, though I do go for tea after. I figure it’s good to be among people, maybe. And then at home this afternoon, things seem so very black. I consider expressing somehow – should I draw, write? I get out my crayons but drawing is beyond me. It just seems like a hopeless enterprise. Writing in my journal also doesn’t work – I can’t work out what to say. Moving ink across the page is like trying to wade through sticky black pitch. Unrewarding and exhausting.

I try to read but everything seems depressing. My go to activity is to read, if I feel bad. It’s not working for me now though.

I don’t have a story to go with this bleak feeling. I can try to fish for stories, what might be true. Maybe….I am lonely? Though being with people isn’t helping much. I am worried about being unemployed? Maybe, but not so worried my life seems to be over.

There is a part of me, V, who is deeply depressed and pessimistic. I’d been hearing a lot from this part last week, and I mentioned this in my session. Right at the end, V came out and spoke about how depressed she feels. I remember Ron really encouraging her to speak, and how sympathetic he was. As a child/teen, no one cared that I was depressed. It was simply shameful to feel like that, so my job was to pretend I was not depressed whenever anyone was around. So to have Ron want to hear about it was this new experience for V.

That’s maybe the cause of this blackness. V’s feeling being more prominent. Could be.


  1. In my experience, the relief of leaving a stressful (or even frankly abusive) situation doesn’t stop you from intense grieving because the leaving brings up all sorts of things you may not even consciously recognise – sadness over the loss of the bits that were good, loneliness, social isolation, a sense of failure, believing that if only you’d been a better/stronger person you could have stuck it out, the ordeal of having to start all over again when you’re already feeling depleted, a sense of futility that it happens in your life over and over again – that’s enough to make anyone depressed. I don’t have any answers though, struggling with these issues myself. All I can suggest is to accept any support you can find to help get you through this.

    • Ellen said:

      The way you describe this is so so true for me. You must have experience with this, because this is exactly it. I do think sometimes if I’d had more support I would have been able to stick it out, for instance. All of it. I’m sorry you are struggling with it yourself.

      Thank you Dangerous! (I enjoy writing that when you comment. 🙂 )

  2. Keep going its so hard this part of the journey…often we have held off the blackness for years and when we make space it finds us..its difficult to be with but old pain is seeking to be known and so much grief..and keeping in touch speaking will help..thinking of are not alone. ♡♡

    • Ellen said:

      It is difficult being with old pain. Especially when I can’t locate it specifically, I just guess at what the cause might be. Thank you EMFDK. It helps that I’m not alone. Sometimes it does seem people think you ‘should’ snap out of it, get over it, so it’s good to know some of us don’t think that.

      • Yes if they say that they have absolutely NO idea…..unless you have gone through it I don’t think you can understand at all.

  3. Laura said:

    What would happen if, as an experiment, you allowed the blackness, rather than resisting it (as your family did)? Could it be worse than carrying it around like this? What if there’s sunshine on the other side?

    • Laura said:

      I’m thinking this would look like Ron’s approach to you+blackness. Kind, interested.

  4. I’m sorry that you’re going through such a rough time. You do not necessarily need a specific bleak story to accompany the way you feel – this is how you feel and you deserve to be supported and cared for while you feel sad and are in a dark place.

    It sounds like Ron is being caring and sensitive to what you need. He wants to be with you while you’re in this dark place, and there’s something special about that – having someone with you who cares about how you feel. Sending you warm thoughts.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, there is something special about that. Thank you.

  5. Thanks for sharing. Pushing yourself to be active is good. Holding the darkness and letting it be present is also good. I’m glad V was able to express herself too. It’s all part of allowing those old things to surface and moving through them. Thinking about you and hoping it’s better.

  6. ellen, i’m so sorry your so depressed. sending you good thoughts. glad ron was able to be there for v. it sounds like she needed the extra support and validation. xxx

  7. e.Nice said:

    Sorry you are struggling so much. Sometimes it seems to me like the logical parts of my brain make things worse. But its also how I get through things so its confusing.

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