What do you do?

John Wilson (American, born 1922), Black Despair (Black Soldier). Signed and dated 1945.

What do you do when you’re feeling down, when despair grabs you by the throat and throttles you to the ground? Do you fight back, or do you lay down and let life have its way with you?

When I was a kid, my dad told me once that sometimes, it can be hard simply to exist. I didn’t understand him then, but I do now.

Author: Jeff Coleman

Jeff Coleman is a writer who finds himself drawn to the dark and the mysterious, and to all the extraordinary things that regularly hide in the shadow of ordinary life.

9 thoughts on “What do you do?”

  1. Amen to this. The struggle to exist grows even more difficult with postpartum. Thank you for helping us remember that while the struggle makes us feel lonely, we are certainly not alone in this fight.

  2. I think we all tend to fight back, because we think we have control over everything and it is really frustrating to admit we don´t! We simply can´t. So it’s best to lay down and realize that we all have our issues, and there is a magic thing called Time that heals almost everything, so we should just let it act! Also, it helps a huge deal to get out, talk to people, and be part of artistic events such as a reading, a play or a music concert: again, we all have problems, but art has an important role in questioning them. Different realities, also from books and films, open our eyes to various other problems (many times, bigger than ours) and possibilities. So I’d say lay down first to think for a second, then look for a cultural event that seems interesting to you, and do go see different manifestations like 4 times a week. I’m sure after a few weeks things will be put into a very different perspective.

  3. I go to bed with a cup of tea and a good book when I feel like that. The bed relaxes me and makes me feel safe and warm, the book takes me ‘out of myself’ so I can have refuge from those feelings when they are too much and the tea – well in the UK having a cup of tea is known to cure everything! (Not literally, but it always makes you feel better.)
    Very thoughtful and honest post – thanks!

    1. That sounds nice. I try to do something similar to take my mind off of the bad feelings, but too often I end up obsessing so much about the negativity that the distraction doesn’t work 🙁

      1. It sounds like you’re having a tough time with this stuff. When I’m really upset about something and even tea doesn’t work I write it down in a journal. That often helps it stop spinning round in my head – it kind of anchors it on the paper and helps me get my head around it. If I’m still struggling after that I usually talk to a friend. I hope you find a way through all of this.

        1. Thank you. It’s quite a struggle, but I think I just have to do my best to work through the pain. I have issues with anxiety and depression. At times, it can make writing (and doing all the other things I love) extremely difficult.

          Your comments and those from others go a long way in buoying my spirits, so thank you very much. It means a lot to me.

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