Dark feelings are like clouds crossing the sky

Do you ever feel down because you’re not where you want to be? Or you think you’re not enough? Yeah? Me too. We all feel that we’re not at times, no matter who we are, what job we do, and who we might have supporting us. Even coaches, counsellors, and psychologists too –it’s part of the human condition.

That’s where I am right now actually -a world of disappointment, self-doubt and hopelessness. You might not see it unless you lived with me. Hell, I haven’t felt like leaving the house for most of this week so that’s likely the only way you’d see me! I feel grateful for my partner’s efforts to get me out the house. He understands that water is medicine, so he makes a beeline for the sea with me in an effort to improve my mood. Even my cat can tell something’s up.

I know this because Bug has his routine: daddy goes out and he’ll wander around the house yowling with his favourite toy, ‘dead bird’, before presenting dead bird to the front door as if that’s the magic act that’ll make his daddy come home. Tonight was different, his daddy went off to work and he’s jumped on my lap, just sat there looking at me. I’m thinking about how amazing it is that he can pick up on my emotions and he can seem to sense before anyone else that ‘mummy’s not right’. I’m touched that a cat would have this capacity for love and compassion to attempt to comfort me. I’m watching him watching me in total awe through teary eyes.

This has been coming on for a while. I’ve seen it there in the distance and I’ve looked the other way. Suddenly, it’s hit me like a speeding car, knocking me off course. Everything’s darker and my breath is shorter. I’m feeling like an absolute failure. The wheels have been spinning and I’ve not moved forward. And I so desperately want to be moving forward. I’ve been here too long; going around in circles without checking the map and now I’m in ‘I’m not good enough’ land. I’m not feeling worthy of my cat’s love and care right now, let alone anyone else’s time and compassion.

I replay the support and encouragement that I’ve had from people who mean the most to me and the tears keep falling. I wish I could give something back, but I’m feeling empty and small. I wish I could show them that their belief and support hasn’t been wasted on me; that it’s contributed to something bigger, but it looks like I am stuck where I am. What if this is as far as I get? What a let-down!

I have little interest in self-care this week. I remind myself that I have some control over my feelings and I can choose to take the lead or I can choose to sit in depression. There’s a sick part of me that enjoys feeling this way; it feels familiar like home. This self-sabotaging part of me rears it’s ugly head every so often. I acknowledge it’s there and dig deep for something more helpful.

It’s taken 15 minutes attempting balanced breathing for my tight chest to relax, allowing me to breathe fully. Listening to the sound of the sea, I balance my breath for another 30 minutes, exploring the conflicting priorities within me. My body’s giving me a clear message that I’m not taking care of my wellness. This time I’m listening to my gut, and I’m committing to making a change.

And I feel good, for a short while. And then I’m back there again. Balanced breathing… Yoga… Calm. Then down again. Walking by the sea… Reading a book… The cycle continues, over and over each day, like dark clouds passing across a blue sky.

I’m on the cusp of giving up. Or giving something up. It could be hope. It could be a dream. It could be the things that are getting in the way of dreaming and hoping and doing. Those things without meaning that are draining me. It’s a head-heart battle. The sensible me vs. the trusting ‘go with the flow and do what feels right’ me.

My emotional squirliness tells me change is needed to move forwards.

I am enough. Just like you are enough.

Now, is it that you need to give up to grow?


  • Hayley Stanton

    Hi, I’m Hayley - the original quieteer. I, too, identify as a quiet person. I’m naturally a highly sensitive introvert and I love and appreciate my quiet strengths now, but I spent much of my life not feeling good enough and experiencing social anxiety. I missed so many opportunities because I was afraid of being judged harshly, criticised and rejected – and because I doubted that I had the ‘right’ personality to succeed. Quiet Connections exists in part because I had a fantastic coach who helped me to work through old patterns of keeping myself small and hidden so that I could show up and be seen to play my part in creating the more connected, curious and compassionate world that I dream of. Now, I’m passionate about helping quiet people discover their unique qualities, gifts, passions and experiences and explore how best to use these to express themselves more authentically and contribute to the world in a way that works with their quieter or more sensitive nature. Get to know me here.

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