Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?
I thought that this was an ironic topic to get, given the things that I’ve been thinking about and mulling over lately. But, like I said before, I’m getting these prompts from this link, and I’m trying to write about as many of them as possible… So here goes.
Helplessness is an interesting concept. When I read this prompt, I immediately thought about the times that I’ve felt incredibly and inexplicably helpless over the course of the last year (or, you know, the last 22 years). There have been times that you couldn’t pay me to relive or to even talk about. There have been moments that have been so messy and during which I’ve felt so helpless that I was sure I’d never recover from. But those moments have passed and, because of them, I’ve grown and changed and learned.
To be completely honest, I’m not sure when I last felt helpless and, even more than that, I couldn’t tell you what I did about it. I mean, the very idea of feeling helpless means that you are completely unaware of what to do to improve the situation, right? When you feel like nothing you can do could possibly affect a situation’s outcome, no decision is going to feel adequate.
I wish I could turn this into some sort of how-to guide, some magical post full of wisdom. Unfortunately, every single one of you — of us — is going to experience an overwhelming sense of helplessness at some point. Whether it comes in the form of something as complex as watching our loved ones die or as simple as watching our dream job flash before our eyes, we will all feel like life is completely out of our realm of control.
Is there a way to avoid this sense of helplessness? Probably not. There will always be circumstances that we can’t control. We can’t avoid that. We can just try desperately to understand what’s going on around us and adjust accordingly. In the words of some character on Grey’s Anatomy, “No one likes to lose control… It’s a sign of weakness, of not being up to the task. And still, there are times when it just gets away from you… No matter how hard you fight it, you fall.”
Time to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and carry on.
(And maybe drink a glass or six of wine while we’re at it…)