Every morning, I've been waking up feeling hopeless and depressed.
This has happened on and off for years. I am not entirely sure why it happens, but I know I am not powerless to shift it. When I get into bed at night, I am usually in a state of contentment and gratitude for the beautiful day I just lived. I think about my favorite part of the day and think of something wonderful I will do tomorrow, then I fall asleep sending rainbows of love to my family, friends and the world.
It baffles me how I can fall asleep surrounded by such peaceful feelings of love and light and wake up 8 hours later in darkness and dread.
In the first moments of consciousness, when I recognize the emotions coursing through me, I am unable to move, to open my eyes or put my feet on the floor. A minute passes… two, three, four… I am tempted to fall back asleep and see if I can have a do-over. Maybe if I force myself to dream about something happy, I will wake up feeling happy, feel the light and hope and joy that I know is really inside of me.
Some mornings I do fall back asleep, but nothing changes. Other times, my first thought is to blame myself ‘What’s wrong with you, Jeannette? Stop doing this to yourself!’ Or I blame my husband ‘I must be absorbing his dark energy while I sleep.’
Then there are mornings I simply lay there examining the darkness, noticing the quality of it — its weight in my body, its tenancy in my heart. I know if I stay too long in those thoughts, I will become lost in them, as I was for a long time several years ago. It is usually in that moment — the moment when the darkness starts feeling familiar — that the truth jolts me upright.
I have a choice.
No matter the reason why this horrible Ground Hog Day-like scenario keeps happening, I still get to choose what happens next. I get to decide whether I hide under the covers or open the window. And the most extraordinary thing is that the moment the window is opened and I take a breath of fresh air, or hear the birds or feel the wind on my face, the spell is broken. Like someone flicking a switch, I am suddenly back in the light, feeling the joy, hope and gratitude that is my true nature — and the true nature of us all.
Maybe that is its purpose. Perhaps the darkness presents itself so that I might have the chance every day to consciously choose the light.
With great love,
If you are lost in the dark and can't find the light switch, reach for your phone. I am an instant message away: facebook.com/jeannette.folan
Jeannette is the author of the novel "Diary of a Teenage Empath" and two HSP/Empath workbooks for children & teens. She is an Integrative Health Coach who, with her mentor Dr. Wendy Nickerson, launched the first-ever accredited HSP training program for mental health professionals. She leads an HSP community group in Halifax and advocates for HSPs in the mental health community.
The information on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for seeing a doctor or mental health care professional. None of the information on this site is intended to treat or diagnose any physical or mental health conditions.