We all have personal demons, it helps to name them so that we might banish them.
Curled up on the couch, in a dark room in the corner, under the blanket still in bed. Alone. Crying. Sobbing. Perhaps silently so as not to attract attention.
It’s ok. No, I’m not telling you to smile, I’m saying It’s ok to be sad. Life is hard. Sometimes it’s even horrific and terrible. Whether you are experiencing this anguish due to death, separation, abuse or injustice- Sadness is a real-time reaction to real events that have occurred in your life.
I’m also not going to try and reason away your sadness by telling you how much worse it may be for someone else in some other place who is experiencing some other atrocity. Though some perspective can often be helpful, the truth is your suffering is relative to your individual human experience. No matter what other injustices may be occurring elsewhere in the world, that in no way negates from that fact that this is how you feel about what is happening to you, here and now.
Go ahead and feel it. It’s healthy and important that you do.
If your anguish is deep then your mourning may take longer.
However, if you then begin to feel that you will never again not feel this way and have lost hope in your very existence, than it is likely that you have attracted a Spirit of Despair.
The Spirit of Despair feeds on your sorrow. They commiserate. Their very existence is hopelessness, if you agree that yours is as well, they will leach onto you and reassure you that you are correct.
Feeling deep immense sadness for your suffering is real. Where it starts to get tricky is how you perceive your suffering. What sort of negative thought patterns are you and the Spirit of Despair developing? Do you hear any these thoughts repeating in your mind like a broken record?
I am alone, nobody cares
I can’t escape this, this is is just my life
Its useless to try, I’m useless
Everything sucks, life sucks
I just want it to end, I should just die
Are these thoughts true or is it the Spirit of Despair whispering in your ears, reassuring you that this is truth? Is your situation really hopeless? If your not careful to distinguish the difference between reality and negative thought patterns, the Spirit of Despair can pull you so far into its line of thinking that you become like your shadow. In the shape of yourself, devoid of light and life. In the worst case scenario you may choose to join with the Spirit of Despair and choose to leave life completely.
Once in the grasps of the Spirit of Despair, it can be hard to escape. The longer you listen to these whispers of hopelessness the easier it is to believe them. The sadness is real but the hopelessness is not. To emerge you must break the negative thought patterns. What would you tell a loved one who was feeling this sad? You might tell them that you love them. That you understand their pain. That though things are currently terrible, eventually, if you are willing to try, things can get better.
Love yourself and tell yourself these things. Stop listening to the negative whispers of the Spirit of Despair, it can only keep you in its pit as long as you allow it to.
They follow death like mice might follow a grain cart. They mass to areas of the less fortunate. Some areas are so overpopulated with the spirits of despair you can literally feel them! They are like a weight pulling you down, a dark cloud that hides the sun and casts a shadowy vibe over the very soul of a house, a neighborhood or even a whole city!
Death, loss, abuse, neglect and all of the injustices that occur in this life, are going to keep occurring. You may not be able to control any of that (though it is certainly worth a try!) you can however control how you deal with it. If your sad, go ahead and cry for as long as you need to. But don’t give up hope. There is a big wide world out there full of options and possibilities! Whenever your ready, step out of your shadow and explore the light.
It’s also worth mentioning that the pit of despair can be deep, it’s ok to ask someone to lower a rope so that you may climb to safety. This may be your individual experience with suffering, but chances are there are many other individuals who have gone through or who are going through very similar sufferings. If you have friends or family you can talk to, you should! Just speaking things out loud and hearing a response that isn’t from the Spirit of Despair can be helpful to break the pattern. Their are also individuals and support groups that want to help you and activist groups that would be more than happy to help you turn those tears into positive change!
Above is Reposted from February of 2018
Note form March 22nd 2020. We decided to repost this because of what is happening in the world right now. Whether you are out there on the frontline as a health care worker dealing first hand with death and hopelessness, working at a grocery store (or one of the other newly recognized vital positions in society) concerned with possible infection, or one of the millions of people in isolation worried about dealing with the possibility of death and feeling helpless- these are uncertain and therefor scary times. Isolation especially can create a perfect storm for the demons of despair who whisper only darkness, make sure you are reaching out to community for some light! Consider joining a group of helpers online, making phone calls to or using technology to meet with friends, family or community members virtually. If you know someone who may be dealing with this demon, please reach out to them frequently during this time and let them know you are there. Join them by listening to their concerns and sharing yours- along with your light, love and hope.
The information below was copied from the National Suicide Prevention Life Line https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline