The Pit of Despair

It’s now 4.37AM.  I was startled awake by the sweet boy in the next room; he’d rolled into the rail around his bed and started crying in his sleep.  Now I’m kept awake by the words in my head.   Three hours of sleep won’t get me too far tomorrow.

Today (well, yesterday) was a rough day.  By 9AM I was feeling the weight of something (everything), and as always happens with the mysterious heaviness, I ended up freaking out about the house. Daniel came home midday for lunch, and I managed to explain, without tears (!), how I simply could not handle one more minute of being in my own skin.

“My basement is full of cabinets that don’t belong; I want to start packing my books, but I can’t because there’s no place to put them; I’m trying to separate winter clothes for next year from winter clothes to be gotten rid of, but I can’t because I can’t get into my downstairs closet because of all the crap in the way; I can’t get the spare room ready for weekend company because of the winter clothes piled on the bed; I’m never going to find the time to run; I’m breaking out again; there is a weird sticky spot on the kitchen floor.  And on top of it all, I’ve got so much laundry.  Ahhhhhhh!!!”  Cue dramatic hair pulling.  He stood in front of me, listened to my whining with something in his eyes nearer compassion than his usual expression of “Yeah-yeah-blah-blah-blah-I-know-you’re-sorta-psychotic-but-I-still-pretty-much-like-you-why-don’t-you-trade-lives-with-me-for-a-day” cue dramatic eye rolling, and pulled me in for a hug.  I said the first thing that came into my mind.  “Geez, you smell funny.”  “Yeah, I’m gonna go get some deodorant.”

I’m not psychotic (though I have been in the past); I’m not depressed (been there, too); I just have moments where I suffer from some unnamed, incredibly heavy mystery emotion that sends me to the brink.  I get trapped in some lost corner of my mind, blind to the fact that no, not all moments will feel like this one.  These moments are few and far between (though they have been frequent and on-going in the past. . .someday I may write about postpartum rage), but they’re always unwelcome.  Some days the heaviness propels me into a thorough cleaning of the house; some days I escape to the grocery store to get something crossed off the never-ending To Do list.  Today I did everything in my power to not shut down and sleep in the middle of the day.

I normally can’t see through the fog of the dark corner, but today I saw on Facebook that one of my dear loves has just borne her fourth beautiful son.  There is a world outside my funk!  One of my other dear loves (and my weekend company) broke my heart with a glimpse of restoration and a reminder of hope.  I sent a text to another love to ask her to please pray for the lifting of my heart.  When we talked I tried to explain what was wrong, listed the above rant and suddenly saw clearly through the fog.

Inevitably, the mystery emotion gets named “Despair.”  I don’t really know what to do with Despair because I don’t think she belongs to me, she does not seem to be a natural feeling for me. But when she comes, she looks like an ice cream sundae (but not nearly as appealing or yummy) and the laundry is always the cherry on top.

So, for today, I am naming my laundry room “The Pit of Despair.”  I’m going to bed now because I’ll be spending my fair share of time there tomorrow.

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5 comments
  1. LaLa said:

    You have made me cry (though I was already teary). I so appreciate your honesty with life. Love you, so much!

  2. wow, yeah, that’s some light morning reading.
    i can totally relate. i have moments & sometimes hours or days when i sit around in my pit of despair & wallow. i don’t mean to. i like to think of myself as a cheerful person, but damn, when it hits me, it’s like i get sucked down into the muddy hole & there i sit, looking at the mud.
    thank GOD we don’t stay there.

  3. Katie said:

    Oh my sweet friend! I am finally (over 3 wks) getting to my e-mails and maybe facebook if I feel brave. I’m reading this blog and laughing out loud at the deoderant part. And nodding my head in understanding because it’s always the house that puts you over the top when you’re in the “depths of despair” and I have many times done that very same thing to my husband.
    And then I read that my fourth son brought you joy and that brings me joy. So…just think of me across the way having a very similar day.

    • alltheseblessedthings said:

      Oh, Katie, so much brings me joy. The thought of you and all those dear men nearly crushes my heart with happiness. I love you, and I have NO IDEA where you found the energy to read this!! xox

  4. Michaela said:

    “Marilla, haven’t you ever been in the depths of despair?”

    “To despair means to turn your back on God.”

    I’ve *always* remembered that quote from Anne, and it comes to mind every time I despair. “Oh, I’m despairing!!” I’ll say, then God will say, “So… turning your back on me?” and then I reply, “I guess not…”

    Life is overwhelming! Fortunately, we’re all in it together.

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