Lately I’ve been reading a lot of YA books. I know they are fiction but characters can feel so real – their mannerisms, their figures of speech. My imagination brings them to life. But after a good read, with a happy ending, I always come back to my own reality. The realness of it. I was listening to Last Hope by Paramore, and I feel like it adequately describes the feeling I’ve been having lately.
“Every night I try my best to dream Tomorrow makes it better Then I wake up to the reality that not a thing has changed.”
Hopelessness creeps in sometimes. When enough plans crumble to pieces, it can feel like everything’s falling apart and what’s the point in fighting anymore? Every now and again, a feeling like that rushes in – you feel
Hopeless. Lost. Like the sun won’t shine again. You’ve ended up in a black hole. The darkness swallowed you whole and You don’t know how to get out.
Let yourself feel this way.
Too often we try to snap out of our moods too quickly. It’s like jumping out of bed in the morning. Your head hurts because you moved too fast. Let yourself go through the emotions. Acknowledge that you’re feeling low. More importantly, acknowledge why.
Are you about to make difficult decisions? Have you worked hard on something and failed? Do you feel alone? Are you isolated? Do you feel like you are working towards your dreams?
YA characters always have this point in their story after trying so hard to find solutions to their problems, trying to resolve relationships, they’re down and out for the count. They feel overwhelmed and as if they have nothing left to give.
Hopelessness can come from putting so much energy in one thing and not seeing anything change. It can be discouraging to be where you are and feel that none of the effort you put in meant anything.
Paramore’s song mentions a way out of the hopelessness that can come when life gets a little too dark.
“It’s just a spark But it’s enough to keep me going.”
You don’t go from being at the bottom of a hole to feeling on top of the world. But maybe somehow a little light gets to you, and little by little, everyday, the dark becomes smaller and the hope gets brighter.
Get it out of you
Whatever your method is, I promise you you’ll feel a lot better if you got the hopelessness out of you. Maybe it’s therapy. Perhaps it’s a 2am journaling session. Do what you need to do to get it out there. Hey, maybe write an album and send it to me!
Problems can be invisible to everyone including ourselves until we get them out. If you don’t know why you feel the way you do, maybe it’s a good start to write about your current state of emotions. If you’re sad, are you feeling lonely? Are you feeling grief? Are you feeling isolated?
When you understand the specific emotion you’re feeling, you can figure out your next steps. If you’re feeling lonely, talk to some friends. Or at the very least, talk to someone new. If you’re grieving, go see a counselor. If you’re isolated, volunteer, get off social media, and gather a group of people together.
This process only starts if you get what you’re feeling outside of you, so you can analyze it and clearly figure out the next step.
Do something you love today
Now, not everyone can travel the world or see their favorite artists live, so I’m not advocating for that. When I say do what you love, I mean do it in a way that is feasible for your circumstances. If you like to travel but don’t have a lot for a plane ticket, take a walk around your neighborhood. Go on a bike ride. Take a bus into the nearest city and walk around a park.
If you like to dance but don’t have money for dance lessons, look up fun dances on Youtube and teach yourself. If you like kpop, you will never be lacking in this department. If you like art but don’t have paints, you can diy some watercolors with baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring. If you like to shop, go to your mom’s closet or even your dad’s closet for old flannels and fun sweaters. If you like photography, use your phone. If you like to read, go to the library. Whatever you do, do it now!
The point is you don’t have to have the best things or the most money to do the things you love. You can do the things you love in a small scale in a creative way.
That said, this won’t necessarily get you out of hopelessness. You may feel there isn’t a point to doing these things at all. It might take more energy than you have to give to try doing something like this.
Remember change always comes
A big reason for hopelessness is feeling like your circumstances won’t ever change. Maybe you’re a teenager in a small Midwestern town and you want to leave, even though it may look more impossible every day. You never know what’s on the other side of tomorrow.
Perhaps the last 400 days of your life have been the same. Hold onto hope for tomorrow. Life isn’t predictable. Why not give tomorrow the benefit of the doubt?
However, be sure to be a part of that change. Things don’t change unless we do. Find new ways to work on your dream. Reevaluate your life and where you want to go. Meet new people. Go somewhere new. Change the layout of your room. Freshen up some part of your life so that it feels different. Even if you don’t feel any different.
Change is constant as the sea ebbs and flows. I hope you feel a change in your hopelessness. Keep holding on.
What are your ways to attack hopelessness?