Hold Onto Hope

Finding The Voice Of 'Us' In You

This is a personal story I'd like to share on your site. I hope it inspires others to be strong in times of difficulty.

I was desperate to find my way out of my current stifling situation; desperate to leave, drop everything I'm doing, pack my bags and never come back again. My state of mind then was perhaps the worst it's been. I was beyond being angry with myself because I couldn't blame other people, things or whatever happened, couldn't possibly assume it was anybody's fault even except my own. I was helpless and I hate feeling helpless, not that I think anybody would enjoy being that poor little kitty stranded in the monsoon drain.

I was that poor little kitty. Fresh out of U, graduated with a degree. Within the first year of joining the work force, I broke down depressed. The job was not what I wanted to do and I took the offer out of desperation because I wasn't able to find an entry-level journalist position.

Recently I started to go on interviews again, but the situation hasn't changed. I wondered what was wrong. Maybe it's me. Then I started doubting myself, my ability to write, and I build upon this assumption that I wouldn't be able to do anything for a living besides writing. My life is devastated, my hopes of becoming an aspiring writer dashed into scattering dust.

I know I'm wholly responsible for my actions, and my decisions were entirely, solely mine. Perhaps it has to do with keeping high expectations of myself and the lines of disappointment I have to endure afterwards. It happens all the time. And I never learn. Sure, it takes a while to pick up the pieces, usually I would, and then I'll gradually move on and 2 years later catch myself laughing silly for being so overwhelmed by it.

I never learn. The pain hasn't left. Soon, there was no room to spare for my emotional baggage.

This time around, that inward anger transformed into some monstrosity I've never seen before in the mirror. I suppose it was evident in my extreme mood swings; my emotions were unstable and refused to settle down. At one point I could be scaling the top of some mountain, feeling the gush of air in my lungs, self-pride roaring in the fluff of clouds, then plunge down from the high cliff.

One step is all it takes... metaphorically-speaking of course, but it was vivid enough to make me realize what the mind does when you feel so unworthy, so shallow that you start having morbid thoughts playing in your head. It was a terrible picture. I was close, so close…

Then something snapped me back to reality.

One weekday morning I woke up half-conscious from my sleep and started folding my hands together. It was weird, as if my brain automatically processed the order out of nowhere and translated them into action. Tears flowing, I prayed to God, Angels, whoever was there to listen. I prayed for them to not let me go back there again.

Don't let me go.

Lend me your strength.

Help me.

I need to pull myself together.

I caught an estranged voice in myself. It sounded weak, but resonant.

We can get through this.

At that point, I felt like I was going through a freeze moment of self-revelation. I didn't realize it was what I needed to hear all along and miraculously, the voice calmed me down for a while.

In the quietness of the mind, I was able to bring myself to focus and reflect on my life goals, what I intend to do about life, and how I've come this far. I felt like I could breathe again.

Many times we're busy going about our daily lives, so self-absorbed over things happening around us that we inevitably shut our mind off from listening to the voice in us. We're so overly concerned with gaining acceptance from people and the external environment that we unconsciously ignore what's going on inside us.

'Us' is a part of self that exists when we're alone, in our moment of solitude. 'Us' is the voice of reassurance. It reminds us to hold on to our faith when everything seems lost and hopeless, because you're not.

Together, we can get through this.

Copyright © 2008 Ding Chui Yee
Ding Chui Yee is a Malaysian freelance writer in her mid-20s who aspires to break free from anything conventional back in her homeland.