Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Can I Write Myself Out of Crushing Despair?

If I were to follow the trends in the blogosphere, I would have titled this post, “Can You Write Yourself Out of Crushing Despair?”.

And, before you criticize me for the punctuation at the end of that last sentence {?”.}, I feel it’s perfectly rational—I’m writing a sentence which demands a period at its end and it has a quoted question tucked inside it

Back to one of the real points of this post:

Why use “Myself” rather than “Yourself” when “Yourself” might help the reader relate better?

I’m afraid I really am in a state of crushing despair and am only able to write today because I’m well-trained ( I long ago learned how to walk on bloody knees… ); and, I’m only able to write a blog post because I’m dedicated to keeping this conversation-with-the-world going (whether the world answers me or not); and, I’m certainly not in a state that would let me think I could offer anyone advice


The title is me talking to me; and, I’m doing this post because I want to see if I can write myself out of this crushing despair (and, because it’s time to do a post…)

That picture up there is a visual précis of where I’m at—lost in the desert of my inability to see value in my existence

Oh, please don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things in my existence that I Value—the thing I’m questioning the value of is me

I’m not looking for anyone’s sympathy—“Awww, come on Alex, cheer up; everybody feels that way sometimes. You’re a great guy!”

Sure, everybody may feel crushing despair sometimes; but, it does leave scars on the soul; and, what I’m feeling is something that’s been rolling in and out like a deathly tide, for many, many years—I seem to touch reality in a way that makes me periodically mistreat it, bringing on despair at yet another occurrence of treating someone with less than appropriate behavior—let me be Clear, treating someone like shit because I feel like shit

You see, it’s not so much that I treated someone badly, it’s not even so much that I’ve treated them badly before (though that, in itself, is enough to bring on crushing despair); it’s that I’ve been polluting my psychological environment for years

And, to add to the personal torture, I seem to have been doing it in a cycle that permits just enough time between pollutions to “recover” and seem to be doing “well”

But, that just makes each occurrence worse—here I go again (and, again, and again, and again…)

Lest you think I exaggerate, I’ll share a poem I wrote over eleven years ago:


Creeping up a
Hill of life from a
Valley too well-known;
This time, this
Time reach some
Height not leading
Back to have-to;
This time, this
Time free enough to
See beyond these
Patterns locked in
Self so locked in

And, for those who never knew, I turned 70 not long ago; and, assuming that this string of cyclic despairs began in my mid-adolescence (in fact, from other poetic evidence, perhaps at 13), I’ve been in and out of my personal emotional desert, repeatedly, for 57 years

Yes, I’ve tried suicide—didn’t work, yet helped me gain more courage to face my dilemmas (repeatedly face them with no hope of resolution…)

Getting close to the end of one’s life does sharpen the awareness of certain things

You may have noticed I’m ending most sentences with an ellipsis { } — fact is, I use them a lot, have for years—could be because of the root meanings of the word “ellipsis”:

leave out , fall short , fail

This nearly life-long “affliction” made me coin a phrase for myself (many, many years ago…)

Hopeless Optimist…

I keep trying to stay above the valley of despair, optimistically praying I won’t slide down the hill; yet, because of my repeated (oh, so oft repeated…) failures, there is a hopelessness hovering around me

Yes, of course, I’ve prayed about it

About the only thing I haven’t done is to flail my back till it runs with blood (though, it appears I’ve done that to my heart…)

Perhaps, God will have mercy and give me surcease

Me, the Hopeless Optimist………

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11 responses to “Can I Write Myself Out of Crushing Despair?

  1. philipparees April 25, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    I can hardly ‘like’ this bottomless despondency. I can applaud you for writing it. I also must appreciate your long standing courage and generosity in the face of it. Just a witness.


    • Alexander M Zoltai April 25, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      Yes, Philippa, it would be nice to have a range of buttons—Like, Appreciate, Resonate with, etc.

      Thanks for being a “witness” — for “bearing testimony“…


  2. Adrian April 25, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I too read the Like button and thought “can’t click that”.
    Not much of meaning that can be said that is supportive. If life is all about enjoying the ride and writing “floats your boat” the best medicine may well be to try and focus on that.
    So,,what is your current work in progress? (I’m genuinely curious)


    • Alexander M Zoltai April 25, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      Well, Adrian, I have a number of irons in the fire…

      Very long-term is another book of poetry…

      Medium-term is to write weekly short stories on Wattpad (I’m already quite active on Wattpad and doing an incredible amount of reading geared toward deep engagement…)…

      Short- and constant-term is this blog…


  3. martinaseveckepohlen April 26, 2016 at 2:34 am

    I feel I cannot click the Like button, and I feel helpless at your despondency, myself being unable to do more than write a few words. Writing may help, can help, will help.


    • Alexander M Zoltai April 26, 2016 at 5:30 am

      Thank you, Martina :-)


  4. MarinaSofia April 26, 2016 at 2:45 am

    I have clicked on Like, although I too share the doubt about whether that does justice to your feelings and the feelings you arouse in me when I read this. I am very sorry that you have to go through this, that you have been struggling with this for so many years. As a fellow sufferer, now slowly crawling up out of the valley (at least for the time being), I know how easy it is to fall back into it… And that words may or may not be of comfort, it all depends… Incidentally, I too share your love of ellipsis. Writing helps sometimes and becomes impossible at others. But on the whole, the love of books and reading and writing has been the best medicine. And knowing I am not alone or strange in this.


    • Alexander M Zoltai April 26, 2016 at 5:34 am

      Thank you for sharing, Marina—we humans so often feel alone when we’re actually never far from kindred souls…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Alexander M Zoltai May 1, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Reblogged this on Notes from An Alien and commented:

    This re-blog is me re-blogging me…

    All I said, so far, just after midnight today, was “No regular blog post today due to . . . …seemingly irreconcilable emotional paralysis………”

    Well, I feel my readers need more info—so…

    Here’s what I was going through one year ago—nearly identical to where I’m at right now………


  6. juliecroundblog May 2, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Just know, if it wasn’t for your blogs I wouldn’t be on wordpress at all. I don’t seem able to find any Brits that want to communicate on anything other than facebook and your blogs keep me reading on here ( along with interesting literature) You are a conduit to literacy and more valuable than you seem to realise.


    • Alexander M Zoltai May 2, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Thank you for such a kind comment, Julie…


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