Being sad is normal. We all have days like that, and some of us have more days like that than others. This sadness descends like a fog, shading the world in grey and weighing your body down like steel. You drag your feet to the needful, but your heart is breaking or numb. You’re angry that the world’s a mess; you’re angry at yourself for being a mess. And no matter how hard you try, you don’t know why you just can’t. shake. this. off. 

I understand how it feels; if you are there, you are not alone. You can diagnose a condition, attach a label. But whatever the name, it stems from a similar root: a sense that there is no point to anything, anymore. A prolonged emptiness and hopelessness.

Hopelessness is a very scary thing, lurking at corners waiting to swallow you whole. But however you feel, never, ever close yourself off to the possibility that there is still hope and meaning, no matter how slim. We tend to reason ourselves into hopelessness, tossing over and again in our heads how pain is real and justified. This tossing stems from our deep fears and hurts about specific issues, which are hard to face in every way. But that kind of self-talk doesn’t help or make us better; in fact, it makes us sink even deeper away from reality and recovery. 

But - and this may violate every bit of what you're feeling right now - if there’s just one reason why you should hope, cling onto it like a madman. Cling onto it, desperately, because it will save you. If the reason for hope fails you, shift your eyes to something you can hold onto realistically, and hope again in that direction. 

For me, hope that I could grasp tangibly in the midst of a trying illness lay in the small things: pushing myself to sit up when I could only lie down, then standing when I could, and then walking steps. Attaining each goal helped me feel more hopeful about the next; “think big, start small”, so they say. In another scenario, however, a previous relationship simply had to end because it exhausted me beyond normal functioning. It was better to have let go, to trust that life will go on, and that I would heal.

Hope doesn’t always mean charging through a wall - it means casting your eyes further sometimes to know that even if things are not okay, life as a whole could still work out. Sometimes hope requires a fundamental shift in what a reasonable dream for you is; sometimes it requires fulfilling the littlest steps towards recovery. You don’t have to let a failure or your weakness at this moment define you or your entire life. You will be okay.

And even if you don’t feel okay for the moment, a little bird told me life has always been a cycle of ups and downs anyway. You may be down now, but there will be ups, and then downs, and then more ups again. You are not powerless about it, and you always have choices. Give yourself another chance at winning, and work on things if you have to - but never give up hope. In the bigger scheme of things, everything will be alright. ❤️