The forced work of despair

by r.e. bertlow


It lays you out and stops you cold.


You make excuses for it, plausible ones so no one knows and no one suspects its depth


The work you are forced to do to hide it.


It is exhausting work either way you slice it. You either bare the burden of silence or bare the burden of openness.


One sends you on a healing path and ones sends you to ruin. I have been to both place.


I always thought I would be stronger after my trip to ruin and I felt I was for a while.


Fragile is the mind that thinks it is cured. Fragile is the mind that thinks it has it all worked out.


It never is truly worked out. We see that. We know that from experiences of us and others.


We are a motley crew of posers, attempters and succeeders.


The work it takes to cry out the harden labor inside that it takes to make your message audible in time.


Few see it fewer recognize it. More are condition to say snap out of it than will say lets do something and no isn't an option.



It is easy to pull the cloak down but it is a lot of work to keep it down. Most of us will work to keep it down even giving our last breath to do so.


I do the forced work every day now. When you are perceive as light it is harder for people to see the dimness you sit in especially with the dimness come through a slow fade.


It redirects you and forces you to do the work you don't want to do and forsake the work you want to do.


It jumbles your mind and makes it wander. This is the forced labor you do. You pace, you space, you lose track, you stare at blankness and then you are snapped back to what you wanted to do and wait for the next wave to take you away.


Some days you can get enough of the things you want to get done that you feel victorious and accomplished those are the days you want to continue.


You lapse. You cry, you try, you fail, despair, despair, despair, it's there with each new step now you're forced to work and labor for despair.


When you landed in your prison it had no walls. You did the forced labor to build a room with bars for walls and no door to exit.


Some days you can shimmy through the bars and live life outside of it. Other days you might as well be the camel trying to go through the eye of the needle. If you don't believe you can you never will.


It isn't easy like the posters make it out to be. There is no just hanging in there however, there is hanging in there with a side of hopelessness.


You find yourself stuck forced to do the work of 1 step forward and 2 steps back. Trapped in your little square rocking back and forth like a little webble wobbling unable to do anything but wobble.


The dark hours come and take you and make you, force you to do the work of despair and hopelessness. You can't see the path out because it bares no lights, upon orders of the dark hours.



In our attempt some of us learn we never want to do that again while others still look for the next attempt.


God comes but you can't see him, Jesus' walks with you but you don't feel his presence. Despair and the dark hour have sewn your heart and soul shut. Where is a seam ripper when you need one.


I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I don't want to be consumed I don't want this forced work, I don't want diminished light.


I search for my saviors and they seem to be nowhere. I feel for the foot prints and the winds have blown sand anew over them leaving the steps un-followable .


I'm lost. I want to climb but only manage to dig. I try to lay down my shovel and grasp the latter but the shovel is strapped to my hands with straps of my own making.



Sad, overwhelmed, stressed, angry, paralyzed, struggling forced again to do this work trapped in it


Even when you do things to refocus on positive work it leads you right back to the forced labor camp when you are done.


It all makes you think about sitting in closed garages with windows up and engine running maybe you can out race it, emptying bottles to empty the pain, slashing wrist in hopes it will it will drain. You'll feel whole again and undimished light will surround you.



If you can still reach yourself you know these are not solutions but if you can't you have to be baptized in the attempt. And in the Baptism success you will find your on going struggle but this time maybe it is tinged with a enough hope to make you stop and pause long enough to realize that these are just moments and not the life.


There are other moments that are good ones and if we keep repeating those good experiences and really force ourselves do to that work instead there is hope and that can erase the hopelessness.


It is all forced work even doing the good work towards healing. Once you have been forced to labor for despair learning to labor for joy feels uncomfortable. And it is easy to stay busy doing what you already know then to try and remember how to do something you've forgotten.


This is not riding a bike after 3 years.


This what it is like living in the deep forest of depression with a broken compass and a bound mind.

All rights resereved (c) the ImperfectArtist 206- r.e. bertlow