Drowning Without Water

The lungs are filling up—not with water, but with a sense of hopelessness. It feels like drowning without water, leaving many of us gasping for hope.

But it also seems like we are suffering from a drought because hope isn’t pouring down like before. The messages, the images, and the killings of Black and Brown people have me wondering what kind of future we are heading into. I consider myself a relatively positive person, someone who truly believes in the good in most of the people I meet. Yet, my lungs feel like they are on the brink of collapse.

Depression doesn’t help either. This imbalance has me tipping on the edge, looking down, and seeing nothing but cracks as wide as the smile I haven’t properly worn for a while. Some days it’s hard to get up and start my day. Other days I manage to tap into the little reserve of hope I have left. But when that reserve tank empties, who will save me from drowning?

Everyone wants to share an opinion, everyone wants to seem like they have intellectual depth. If we are being honest with ourselves and others, I think we would be more inclined to admit that we’re reaching for the lifesaver and finding ourselves unable to fully reach it. Hope is fleeing the scene, afraid of being captured. I am not trying to marry hope; I just want it to stick around long enough so I can feel like I am no longer drowning. So I can breathe a bit easier. So I can find the energy to push through.

I know I am not the only one drowning, I can’t be. The statistics tell me I am not. But the thing about drowning is that it is a process we must endure by ourselves. So for those who, like me, are gasping for hope, know that you are not alone. You are never alone. Keep breathing.