I was recently feeling hopeless.
Like I could never change certain aspects about myself. Like the gap between how I want to be in the world and where I am is a massive divide that I will never bridge.
A few events led my brain to the space of feeling hopeless.
My friend was struggling with wishing her life could be over. I tried to be present and supportive in every way I knew how, but nothing helped.
My brother was behaving atrociously and I discuss how his behavior was harmful. When he only dug his heels in more, I ended up calling him a dick. Not my finest moment.
That same week I had a deep conversation with a friend. He pointed out that I had judged his behavior and placed myself as morally superior. I realized he was right… and here I was in the seat of judgment again. A place I had worked hard to discard since my religious days, but that still manages to feel deeply embedded within me.
All of these things, and a myriad of other little events led me to feel utterly hopeless.
My mind whispered to me, “Are you even capable of change?”
My mind does this sometimes. Where it fixates on the negative and it's like none of the good ever existed.
And then, a little glimmer of light came in.
A client shared about how when anything happens, it feels like she could write five pages afterward. She felt ashamed of it. And yet, I love the way her brain works. She was judging herself harshly for this thing that I deeply appreciated.
It helped me see how harshly I was judging myself.
It gave me space to breathe. It let just enough light in that I was able to then thumb through a book I recently read and reread the relatable, encouraging parts I highlighted. It brought more light in. It reminded me that my brain does this sometimes - takes over and catastrophizes. It helped me to see I was simply caught in my brain's wiring, not a hellish reality.
I was suddenly able to remember that I am changing and growing all of the time.
To remember that most of the time I am doing really well.
Things aren’t usually as hopeless as they feel.
And yet, this essay isn’t a fairytale. This isn’t a story of “look how awful I felt and how I worked super hard and it’s magically better...forever.”
No, life just gently reminded me it isn’t always hopeless. And I’m sure, at some point in the future, I’ll feel like it is again.
And so, ironically, I am writing this essay to share that feelings don’t always stay. To remind myself that falling into old patterns is normal in the healing process. To remind my future self that if you’re feeling hopeless, that it will pass.
That things will break through to your mind. That circumstances can and will change.
Give it some time.
The hope will come back.