5 things to do when you are in darkness

adult alone anxious black and white

When you’re in a dark place, it is easy to feel like there is no way out. Whatever you are feeling, depressed, anxious, hopeless, scared, hurt, you may feel like you have been buried. Those feelings are so all-consuming that it is near impossible to carry on with life.

I’ve had times in my life when I have been so despondent, so full of pain and fear that I truly believed this was it. I’d either die or feel this way forever. What I wanted was for someone to come along and magically make it all better. I searched and searched for that one person who would ‘heal’ me. This lead me to toxic friendships and abusive relationships. Forever seeking someone to make me whole.

Finally, finally, I learned that no one has that power. That no one can complete me, heal me, make me happy. Only I have the power to do that. I have to heal myself, do the work and be happy in myself.

Putting your hopes for healing on another person gives away your power, it makes you dependent on external validation which is not healthy. in the long run, you will end up even more unhappy than you began.

The hardest part is those first steps. When you are in the depths of darkness it feels inmpossible to even get out of bed, let alone do the work that will heal you. Yet if we dig deep, and have want enough, we can find within us everything we need to heal ourselves.

Here are five simple steps you can take when you are buried;


If you don’t already, start a daily journal. Write at the end of each day a true record of your day. Write how you’ve felt, things that have gone wrong, thoughts you have had, anything and everything. Sometimes it is easier to write it out than speak it – even to yourself. I found that writing everything out really helped me to see how I was feeling, to see any patterns and to admit things that I’d tried to deny. It can also be a great starting point if you need to speak to someone else about what is going on for you.


When my depression and anxiety were at their worst, I hated leaving the house. I would do everything I could to avoid it. I’d stay home, in the same PJ’s day after day after day, wallowing. One thing that I committed to was leaving the house, every day. At first, I just went into the garden. Breathed in the fresh air, listened to the birds singing, felt the sun on my skin. Then I did a loop around the block, throwing a coat on over my PJs. I began to enjoy my walks, pushing myself to go a little further every time. I chose routes away from other people so I could still be alone. The fresh air, sunshine, and exercise began to make me feel more alive.


Every day, look for one good thing. It can be something you’ve seen, something you’ve read. Something someone has done for you, or for someone else. Big or small. Seek out that one good thing. Making a point to find a little ray of sunshine will remind you that it isn’t all bad. It will give you a little hope to cling onto.


I avoided this as long as possible. I’m the kinda person who tries so hard to keep up appearances {or at least I used to be}. I hated admitting to anyone that I was anything less than perfect, even when I was in the depths of despair. Yet talking helps, more than anything. Find someone who will listen. And by listen I mean just that listen and hold space for you. It can be a friend or a professional. What you don’t want {and I have made this mistake} is a friend who wants to give advice, and tell you what you need to do. Having someone who will listen to what you need to say, with no judgment is invaluable.


I have a big love for self-help type books {think Present over Perfect, Carry On, Warrior, May Cause Miracles}. I read them in my darkest hour, some built-in desperation to find some hope that this was not it. Even when I couldn’t see how I could ever break free of the bonds of depression and anxiety, I read these positive, uplifting books, hoping, praying, that just a little bit of their wisdom would sink into me and ignite something within myself. If you don’t have the concentration to read, try an audiobook. Let others who have walked the road you walk be your guide. Listen and take whatever wisdom speaks to you and remember there is ALWAYS a way out.

No matter what life throws your way, you have the power within you to over come it if you believe in yourself.

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