It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn

Except that it isn’t.

It is darkest in the middle of the night, when you wake suddenly from a half remembered dream and for a few seconds you can’t see or even think coherently because you are so afraid. Then you realise that it was just a dream and you remember how to turn on the light and the fear vanishes with the click of the light switch until all that remains is a vague sense of unease.

Only I can’t wake up.

The shadows lurking behind the door and the monsters under the bed are only too real and try as I might I can’t find the light switch nor even remember where it was in the first place. I fumble around in the darkness, terrified of things that I can’t see and imagining horrors in every corner until I am paralysed with fear and all I can do is hide under the duvet and pray that morning will come soon.

It is so very dark in this nightmare world that I can’t remember the last time I truly stood in the daylight or even really recall what the sun looks like. There are times when I think I’ve glimpsed it; that maybe this time I can finally see the first fingers of light chasing the shadows away. Then I realise that it’s still the middle of the night and there are still endless hours filled with dark shapes that shift and change until my imagination runs wild and I can’t tell what is real and what fear has conjured.

Over the last few months I have come to realise that the dawn might not be coming.


I have spent so many hours and days and years in the darkness that I can no longer escape from the idea that I might never walk in the sun again.

I don’t want to live the rest of my life in darkness yet the twin shadows of guilt and shame have grown so tall that I don’t seem to be able to escape from them no matter how far or fast I run.

Guilt at being a awful mother, a useless wife, a disappointing daughter, an unreliable friend.

Shame at who I am, who I’ve become and the damage I am doing to those I love.

So much guilt.

So much shame.

Last night I broke down into huge, hyperventilating sobs, unable to work out how I was going to make it through the next few minutes with the huge weight of depression bearing down and threatening to crush me completely. I clung to the door frame in Squidge’s room, feeling my head spin with panic and my knees buckle and in that moment I just wanted it all to end.

To just stop.

For someone to just let me leave this life with all its pain and darkness.

To stop hurting.

Yet I am still here.

I am still mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend and as much as it hurts to keep living, how exhausting it is to keep fighting and how much damage I think I do to others it is nothing compared to the pain I would cause if I gave up.

By living I can at least try and reverse some of that damage.

Small steps towards redemption.

Towards the sun.

I may well have to accept that dawn isn’t coming; that maybe the best I can hope is that the darkness will fade a little and that the shadows will become a little less tall. It might not sound like much but even a little bit of light helps us to see things more clearly and maybe, just maybe, I will start to find my way towards the light.

2 thoughts on “It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn

  1. Siena Says says:

    Night time is always the worst for dark thoughts. Something about the loneliness and stillness I think. Nothing to stop you’re inner voice from chattering away incessantly.

    Keep getting up each day. One day it will seem brighter. Every time you start to feel negative about yourself say ‘stop!’ You will get there x


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