I have these feelings of despair like my heart is shattering in a million tiny shards. I can’t breathe and I get the incredible urge to jump off my deck onto the street below. Anything to escape the churning waves of darkness. I’m trying to learn more about despair, to understand why its there and to acquire the tools to survive. So far I haven’t found a way to squelch the anguish I feel. It’s there every day. I deal with it differently every day. And I’m so very tired.

American writer David Foster Wallace wrote about despair, saying “we abuse and devalue what it truly means to feel it.” In his description he said “It’s more like wanting to die in order to escape the unbearable sadness of knowing I’m small and weak and selfish and going, without doubt, to die. It’s wanting to jump overboard.”

I guess that to me is the most accurate description of despair. It’s a “why are you bothering to hang on any more” type of sensation that eats you from the inside out. Because in the end, we are all going to die anyway. And when you feel alienated and afraid you’d rather stop that pain than to suffer while you wait for the inevitable. I’ve been in that state of mind many, many times.

No one has been in my shoes. These shoes have carried the weight of a life brimming with calamity. I’ve always struggled to hang on, clinging to the misery that bound me as if my life depended on it. I didn’t ask to be abused. I didn’t ask for this despair. No one can imagine how it feels to be drowning in what they think is the darkest moment of their life, only to be pulled under by the very people who were supposed to rescue them from the blackness. And I’m tired of holding a rope with no one on the other end to pull me free from the heavy current. One day, I’ll have to let go and take the final plunge into the dark wave.

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