Growing Beyond Despair

Good morning. It is not quite dawn here at my home as I sit to write to you. Honestly, I do not know exactly what I want to write, other than to say I’d like to continue with positive words about despair and suggestions on how to grow past it.

Yesterday, I wrote about my experience with despair and how I got past it permanently. I invite you to read that article in addition to this. Today, let’s focus on the things you can do to work toward letting go of your despair, growing beyond it.

I believe that a solution lies in the doing of something for others, but I also believe that we can’t skip over the step of looking deeply at our pain. Most people do not do this, simply because it IS painful, but the rewards we reap by exploring are many-fold. Inner peace, freedom, serenity, are a few of the rewards and these are huge!

The two single-most things I found that we can do to grow beyond despair are to journal about our feelings, our past, and to read self-help books. For me, the self-help books gave me hope, gave explanation for my feelings. I read Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s The Invitation and gained immense hope and deep understanding of my inner-most desires.

Then, Claudia Black’s books about the effects of abuse in our lives gave words to my feelings and helped me climb out of the hole of despair. After Claudia’s books came Alice Miller and John Bradshaw.

All of the books I read that helped me get through despair are sitting in two boxes here in my study and if you are interested in finding out what I have and reading them, I am happy to relay to you what I have and can send to you. Call me at 415-883-8325 if you’re interested in knowing more.

So, one way to get beyond despair is to read books that speak of hope. The other way is to write, and I suggest journaling with the non-dominant hand. If you are right-handed, teach yourself to print with your left hand, for example. The rewards are tremendous, as deep feelings will flow onto the page.

At first you may discover that the feelings that arise are too painful. If so, talk to someone you trust, or to a minister, or to a counselor. The point is to get help with them, but try to continue on. Research has shown that writing with the non-dominant hand uncovers deep creativity. I found it also uncovers deep feelings.

Be gentle with yourself as feelings surface. Do this exercise for a limited time each day at a pre-designated time of the day. Even five minutes is a great start. Eat well; exercise to release the tension that may arise. Don’t act upon what you discover, as what you are feeling now will change. It will morph into more of a peace eventually.

And I cannot stress enough to get help with what you discover.

I wish you well in your healing process and seriously, call me if you’re interested in getting access to my library of healing books. 415-883-8325. May you find peace in your journey as you learn to grow beyond despair. .



Overcoming Despair in Sobriety

Face of Despair

Perhaps the hardest thing we have to do is to overcome despair in sobriety. It is a most debilitating feeling, and if we are “down” enough, we might be feeling this despair.

Despair is a loss of hope. To be without hope is devastating, a bleakness beyond belief. Often, we drink heavily over our despair, and this only serves to compound it. 

The sound of despair is that of a wail, a keening. If you have ever been there, then you know what I’m talking about. Have you ever been there? Are you there now?

If you are there now, there are things to do which may be helpful. At least, they helped me to dispel my despair in sobriety.

The first thing to do is to stay sober, no matter what, no matter how difficult the feeling of despair becomes. Then, what worked for me was journaling about those feelings. Brisk walks several times a day also helped, but often, we don’t have the energy for this.

It pays to understand why we are in despair, and that is what journaling can help to uncover. It also helps to get professional help from a therapist. At least, those actions worked for me.

But the thing that helped the most with my despair was to discover that my life had a purpose. Once I discovered that purpose, my despair went away and it has not returned. For me, discovering that I could help others by telling my story, combatted my despair. I discovered that my life of misery and woe and hardship was worthwhile because it could be of use to others.

Try to discover the purpose of your life. Do some journaling about it and see if something comes up about your purpose in life. Perhaps it is to share your art, or your words with the world. Or maybe your gift is to cook.

Whatever your gift is, find the one thing that makes you of service to others, the one thing you can bring to others to make their lives better. When you can figure this out, then you can overcome despair because you are being of use to another and that is a divine feeling, a divine purpose. You feel complete when you are being of service to others.

 What is your gift that you can bring to others? How can you be of service in the world? When you figure this out, see if that doesn’t begin to rid you of hopelessness, of despair in sobriety…