The Pit of Despair

Jen Sullivan
3 min readApr 20, 2023

The darkness within

Image by brands amon from Pixabay

In the darkest part of my mind, there exists a black hole devoid of happiness. I think of it as a pit of despair, for that is what it feels when I fall in. And every so often I do fall, or rather I am pushed over the edge and am forced to climb my way back out.

I always remain at the edge of this pit, looking down at the darkness, hoping that I don’t fall in again. But there is always something that tips my weight just the slightest in that direction, sending me down into the dark abyss. The tiniest nudge and I fall, my fragile mental state always ready to break.

It’s been this way for a few years now. I don’t know why or what created this pit, though I have my suspicions. Perhaps it was my childhood, always over-criticized and never good enough. From the teacher who repeatedly tried to correct the way I hold a pencil to the dental hygienist who kept telling me I wasn’t allowed to switch hands while brushing to my critical father who did not know how to love his own children.

I feel that the dark pit has always existed, perhaps a genetic defect that pushed other members of my family to drugs, alcohol, and murder. The darkness has grown over the years, becoming more prominent within my mind, waiting to consume me. I fight the rage within, keeping it held back over the years until it turned to fear. I avoided addictions, seeing what happened to others and not wanting to become like them.

It seems this dark pit has become much worse since surgical menopause, converting my fight response to sheer flight and fright. Too often I am paralyzed by fear: fear of the unknown, of the many phobias that have plagued me throughout my entire life, or of yet again feeling the betrayals that have become far too common in my life. I relive trauma in my dreams and my mind is forever racing as if a dozen freight trains were rushing past on only two tracks, avoiding collision until one day it happens and I fall.

Most people don’t understand this struggle. They say “you just need to think differently,” as if I purposefully choose to live with a dark hole inside my head. With thoughts of rage and fear combined into a swirl of dark clouds that seep into every part of my head. I don’t know how to close the wound, and I don’t know why it grows. But it does grow bigger…

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Jen Sullivan

I am a gamer, a geek, and a gardener, among many things. I enjoy writing as a way to share with others. You'll find no AI content here--I am a real writer.