What to say

Sometimes I can take my own challenges – the fact that I haven’t worked in many months, that I’m terrified about the future of my industry, that I’m constantly anxious about my livelihood – and find some universal message of resilience to write about. Sometimes I can’t even begin to deal with my own feelings, much less share them in a way that’s understandable to anyone but myself.

Today is one of those days where I just can’t find the point to doing anything, where I descend into a level of both existential doubt and hopelessness that defies even the best of my mitigation efforts. And I don’t want to talk about it, because it’s exhausting, because it brings tremendous grief to the surface, because examining emotions is hard work, because I’m afraid if a explain myself I’ll be rejected.

Today is one of those days when I don’t know what to say.

Rough seas

I know that many of you know exactly what I’m talking about, because you’ve dealt with your own depression. And it is you who I think about on days like today. Because there is a commonality of experience that so many of us share, a travail that we understand. Because there are others who struggle. Because there are others who hurt.

When I am too exhausted, too defeated, too depressed to want to do or say anything, the best I can do is to turn those feelings outward instead of inward, to feel empathy for the sorrow of others.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to give myself a space to examine my own mind and my own emotions as the pandemic irrevocably changed life as we knew it. The other part was to be able to create a space where others could reflect on their own feelings, a platform to share words that gave expression to the emotional states of others, a way to let others know that they are understood. And the thought that I may have provided even a moment of comfort or companionship for someone else – I’ll take that as the most important thing I can do

So that’s all I have for you today. The seas feel dark and rough for me today, but it comforts me that there are so many of us in this boat, together. It gives me a small strength, and I hope it does so for you too.

10 thoughts on “What to say

  1. Wayne Zelenak says:

    Sarah, I am so glad that you have started this blog to share your most intimate feelings with virtual strangers like myself and others. The topic of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty are constant in me and others but I manage to keep busy with my family and projects around the house. Both of my neighbors have lost their husbands recently, not from COVID 19 but natural causes. They live in large houses and share visits and now started bike riding again, to ride on a bike path along the Delaware River. They don’t have pets to share and the house can be a lonely place, especially at night when alone.

    By your words over the last few months, I have determined that you are a very compassionate individual who harbors a bevy of emotions exacerbated by this global pandemic that has touched every household and family causing bizarre behavior that defies prudence, care, and logic. I’ve learned to take a day at a time and only address only the issues of that day. It doesn’t mitigate the existing problem but allows a relief valve to cope.

    You mentioned that when you descend to a level to explain yourself, you’ll be rejected. That notion is simply not true. In the past, when I sought counsel for emotional problems borne by a life-altering event, every problem was exaggerated tenfold and words couldn’t mitigate my feelings but my understanding helped. Thinking back, my problems were small compared to the world of events facing us now.

    We are all caught in the storm of dark skies and rough seas and need to share our compassion, understanding, and support for each other. Before you started your blog, we were total strangers and now with our shared stories, we have formed a virtual friendship of hope, until the weather clears. Some of the best friendships were formed in the worst of times. I hope one day we can finally meet in person and I hope you feel the same way.



  2. Rev. Ann Fenlason says:

    Thank you for sharing with us this part of yourself, Sarah–my heart aches for you and can relate to what you have written. I am holding you in prayer for strength, comfort and peace.


  3. Graeme says:

    All I can offer, as I have before here I believe, is what I say to myself when the black dog bites……
    This too will pass.🙏


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