How to Combat Despair

The Wail of Despair

Face of Despair

Moving on through the book, our next topic is despair. This is kind of like all the rest rolled into one. It is the feeling that nothing is right with you and your life, nor will it ever be. It is the feeling that your life has no purpose. For me, it was the point at which I began to pray to God to let me die.

I had been in sobriety for five years, and I didn’t know why I wasn’t feeling better, but I wasn’t. It was like all that I had endured in my life was for naught. I saw no purpose to my life.

Then it got better. It happened one day when I was at a support group, listening to a man share about the very pain with which I had been dealing.

Afterwards, I talked to him for quite some time, relaying information I had learned, the authors I had read, which had helped me through the pain he was describing. I even was able to refer him to a psychotherapist.

He was so relieved and appreciative, he almost cried. As I walked to my car, I realized I had been useful to him, only because of the experiences I’d had in my life, because of the pain I had endured. I realized that my past DID have a purpose and that was to help others who were dealing with the pain of their past.

In an instant, my life had meaning, the pain of my experiences melted, as I saw why they had occurred, why God had allowed them to happen. I realized those experiences had happened so I could heal from them and then help others to heal from them by speaking up, by sharing my experience of healing. Just like that, my despair vanished, never to return in the six years since this occurred.

To you who is dealing with despair, my heart goes out to you, for I remember how excruciating it was. In the gentlest of ways, I suggest you try to make sense out of the experiences that are bringing you despair by finding a way to make that experience of use to another person. Just one.

Look at that pain, and see how you can help another who deals with that same pain. Find authors who have written about the same experiences you have endured and read them to get a deeper understanding of your situation.

Above all, don’t negate your pain. Allow yourself to feel it, and to grieve about it. The more you squelch it, the more it will haunt you. Numbing it out will just prolong it and make you miserable in the meantime. Conversely, the more you deal with it head on, the more quickly you will heal. Recognize and allow the five stages of grief that I blogged about yesterday.

If you find just one person with whom you can share your steps to healing, you may feel what I felt – that your life has purpose. Once you feel your life has purpose, it becomes easier to continue, one step at a time. I wish you well on your journey of healing.




  1. You are most welcome, Prathameth. : )

  2. Prathamesh says:

    Thank you for writing this 🙂

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