Dealing With the Doldrums

On the day before yesterday, I had a horrible, horrible day. Actually that isn’t quite true. The day itself was fine. The weather was nice, nothing major had gone wrong with my life, no unforeseen problems forced me to change course from what I had planned. And yet, in spite it all, I was in the doldrums.

You’ve experienced it too: that funk that just won’t let you go no matter what you do, that swamp of  depression that  just keeps pulling you down into its muck and mire no matter how you try to fight it, that shadow that lingers in the back of your mind, darkening a perfectly sunny day.

I can’t tell you how to stop it. Believe me, I would if I could. But I can give this little piece of encouragement. Yesterday, after fighting off the blackness inside for the entire day. All day long I struggled to get through the most basic tasks, and when I went to work I forced myself to smile at the customers while the minutes crawled by. Finally, just as the day was done and I was getting ready to go home from work, an idea came to me.  It was a story, perfect, simple and fully formed.

I looked up at the heavens and said, “Hey, couldn’t you have given me that little nugget a few hours sooner?  I really could have used it back there.”

I’m not going to tell you that every black day is going to bring you a great story idea, but I will tell you that you can push through it believing that there’s something better on the other side. It may not make you feel any better now, but there is hope around the corner. Don’t give up.


For further advice on dealing with the hard times I highly recommend Mike Duran’s latest blog post about the importance of the wilderness times in our lives.

Also, if you’re interested, I’ll be posting the story I was inspired to write in tomorrow’s blog. It’s a short tale of cruel fate called “A Many-Fingered Demon.”

4 responses to “Dealing With the Doldrums

  1. Oooooh, nice title. Can’t wait to read it! I hope today goes better for you. It might be a stupid suggestion, but if you look back at my gratitude journal (I write down 5 things I’m grateful for each day), you’ll see “ice water” a lot. You know I had a bad day, if ice water was one of its highlights. Still, it’s pretty tasty, give it a try. 🙂

  2. I’m looking forward to your reading your story.
    I’ve been doing my version of powering-through a few dark days and became suddenly lighter when the first thing I saw on my computer screen this morning was a lovely little picture by Cezanne. (It’s the 172 anniversary of his birth.)

  3. I’m looking forward to your story. No use fighting the darkness inside of you. Just accept it and do something useful about it. 😉 We as writers have one outlet. Helping others is another.

  4. Hi Albert. I love your blog. It’s nice to hear the voice of a classy guy. For what it’s worth, you’re not alone. A friend of mine posted on FB that someone did a study and found that January 17 is the day of the year the most people are depressed. I’m glad you got some inspiration out of it, and I’ll be checking back for your story. All the best.

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