Weathering a Storm is No Guarantee of Calm Seas


Stormy Seas

Why Does It Always Rain on Those Who Are Already Wet With Tears?

“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.” ~ Henry David Thoreau


This afternoon a song from my past came to me from nowhere. I wasn’t listening to the radio or any of my playlists, or even a CD. It just came, but I’m pretty sure that I know why this particular song rose from my subconsious: The title and words are so close to what I am feeling right now.

“Helplessly Hoping” has been interpreted in so many ways, but I have always seen it as a love song about two people who are floundering. There love isn’t floundering, which is made apparent by the refrain, but individually, they are both losing themselves to confusion and circumstances. The words of the refrain symbolize how these two people are better together. As one, they are individuals. As two, they are separate but alone. But when they merge their separate selves, they become another person altogether: three. And always, they are “for each other.”

I find myself in a very perculiar position. A someone who has long suffered from severe depression, bordering on bipolar disorder, I have always been the one that has needed support and understanding from my partners. I have never had a more supportive or understanding partner when it comes to my mental health than Corey.

But now, I am watching someone I love more than life itself being consumed by self-doubt, depression, and guilt. And I finally realize just how helpless it feels to be in this position, how much you want to fix things but cannot. How much you want to take on the pain of your loved one, but how impossible that task truly is.

I can listen when he wants to talk. I can try to remind him of how talented he is, how much training and education he has acquired on his own to become better in his field. I can tell him that being unemployed is not something that he should feel guilty about, that taking a dead-end job for slightly over minimum wage wouldn’t give him benefits, nor would it pay as much as the unemployment for which he qualifies.

That’s a point that many people don’t understand. They say things like, “why don’t you just take any job for the time being?” never stopping to think about the realities of doing something like that. I’ve been in a dead-end job just to get by, and believe me, it does nothing for your self-esteem or your mental health. If anything, it only makes the problem worse.

Corey has always had his spells, his times in which he turns inward for a little while, and I have learned, or attempted to remember, that pushing him does nothing to help. Instead, it is better to let him work through these times, and he always has. But this time is different.

With each passing day, I am watching him feel as if he is less of a person, and this infuriates me. Mostly because my husband is one of the most caring, honorable, and hard-working individuals I have ever known. When he joined our family, he gave all of us a renewed sense of hope. He gave so much of himself to me and to my children, never doubting that we were working to come together as a family. He has been there countless times for Alexis when her father dropped out of her life. He has taught my sons about honor and respect and love just by being the man that he is.

How could you possibly want more of someone?

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

We never ever dreamed that his unemployment would drag on so long. He has written, sent resumes and applications, and made so many telephone calls that we have lost count. We thought that the course that he took last year would be enough to make the difference, but it wasn’t. We thought that this AB course would help to make the difference, but now our plans have been derailed once again.

I no longer feel as if I am surfing on quicksand. I now feel as if I am treading in quicksand. The safety of the board on the surface has disappeared. I try not to sound as if I am feeling sorry for myself, and the reality is that self-pity isn’t what I am really feeling. The emotions are more a combination of hopelessness, anger, and guilt in my abilities to make things better for this family.

I cannot help but think that if I had never been put out on disability, things would be different. I still wonder if I shouldn’t try to go back to work, although considering my health background, I don’t know who would take a chance on me.

There are too many unanswered questions. Life has become like a maze with nothing but dead ends and no clear paths.  And so for today, I find solace in an old song. Tomorrow? Who knows?

If suffering and adversity make a person stronger, then by the time all of this is over, we should be like superheroes. That, or we will be like flowers deprived too long of the sun: withering and unable to withstand much more.



“Helplessly Hoping”
by Stephen Stills

Helplessly hoping her harlequin hovers nearby
Awaiting a word
Gasping at glimpses of gentle true spirit
He runs, wishing he could fly
Only to trip at the sound of goodbye

Wordlessly watching, he waits by the window
And wonders at the empty place inside
Heartlessly helping himself to her bad dreams
He worries, did he hear a goodbye
Or even hello

They are one person
They are two alone
They are three together
They are for each other

Stanby the stairway, you’ll see something
Certain to tell you confusion has its cost
Love isn’t lying, it’s loose in a lady
Who lingers, saying she is lost
And choking on hello

They are one person
They are two alone
They are three together
They are for each other


8 thoughts on “Weathering a Storm is No Guarantee of Calm Seas

  1. lita,
    i like to think that we are on a path the we predetermine before we come to this earth. we are here to learn. your gift for writing is surely a blessing.
    ‘helplessly hoping’ was put into your head for a reason. you are so lucky to have found corey and he is so lucky to have found you.
    i love the thoreau quote you opened with! excellent photo too!


    1. Julayne,
      I had to go back and reread the post that you were commenting on as it didn’t spring to mind immediately. Once I reread it, I immediately remembered writing it, the feelings that were going through my mind at the time.

      Thanks so much for commenting. I really appreciate the kind words.

  2. Lita – Hang in there kiddo – things will improve. I know we haven’t kept in touch in the last few years but here’s a glimpse of 03-05 for The Skoglands. 03- Joe drops over, nearly dies, spends 40 days in coma-
    Sept 03 -house damaged by hurricane- lost everything, spent 6 months in hotel/ 04-joe can’t work, social sec giving him hell about being disabled, June 04 daughter discovers husband is crack head, nove 04- I am in hospital 4 times,dec 04 crackhead son in law gives daughter’s car away for drugs, feb 05 my car burns up, april 05 my beloved Daddy dies, Aug 05 my favorite uncle dies.

    You’ll get thru this, I promise. Don’t think me “holy roller” but I pray for you every night. If you need anything just holler.

    1. Sarah,

      I had no idea things were that bad. You had mentioned some of them, but all of those things together, that’s beyond horrible. Thank you for trying to help me keep things in perspective. I think of you often as well.

  3. I agree with you Poietes. In life,sometimes you may need to take a step or two backwards in order to move forward later. Be patient. Great post – “Selama!”

    1. Michael,

      Thank you for your kind comment. I hope that you stop back again. Not all of my posts are downers.

  4. Hi Lita,
    You are not feeling sorry for yourself at all, nor is Corey. Just know that you and your family are in my thoughts. There will be light at the end of the tunnel, even though right now the only thing you think it could be is a bloody great 16 wheeler ready to mow you down!
    Big hugs

    1. Thank you Maureen. I know that eventually we will have to turn a corner. It’s just so hard to remember that


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