Not on the Priority List part 3: Powerless

Feeling powerless is something everybody can relate to at some point in their lives. Whether it’s powerless to a lover, to a situation, an addiction, a fractured relationship; I think we’ve all felt helpless to that darkness.

As anyone who has ever felt this way will know all too well, the fight is not easy. It’s every day. All consuming. There are times when you’ll feel helpless, like a puppet being jerked around by circumstances out with your control. Times when other people’s actions jeopardise your wellbeing; periods where financial strain costs you hours of frantic worrying.

Whatever your situation, trying to convey the feeling of powerlessness in life in an uncomplicated way is as challenging as overcoming it. Bringing your truth to the table is never easy.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and how powerless so many people I see online, and even know, must feel.

I’ve thought about the struggles transgender members if our community must face, and go through everyday. Fighting to make not only a society, but also medical professionals, friends, family, accept who they really are. How powerless that can make them feel. Yet I am inspired by their relentless bravery; the dedication to being their authentic selfs.

I’ve tried to appreciate the effort and constant-mountain climb those who battle with addiction must face. Feeling powerless to a substance that doesn’t offer anything more than a temporary reprieve. A quick fix. I’ve seen addiction up close, and it’s an insatiable demon.

Then there are those who are powerless to love, or consumed by lust. Those whose hearts are bound to another; who can’t get over that one person. No matter how badly they treat them, they go back. Fearful of a life without them, or a life absent of love, compassion and companionship.

There’s a different breed of heartbreak that comes from being powerless. In a way, it’s almost like a sickness. Your life narrows and your symptoms become an obsession; everyday your dialogue to yourself frantically searches for ways to overcome these situations, to win back a freedom you didn’t even know was taken from you.

I get a knot in my stomach and feel panic in my veins whenever I think about my current situation. Off work sick with mental health issues (and now a fractured shoulder lol), all while working for a company that doesn’t give sick pay. I’m constantly teetering on the edge of a meltdown, rapidly trying to force myself to get better so I can get back to work and not lose my independence – which incidentally only makes me worse (physically and mentally.)

It’s 4am and I’m frighteningly awake thinking about this, all of this; powerless to a parade of aggressive thought loops that dictate how I act, think and feel. What about bills? What about rent? Life costs? Hair cuts and gym membership? Shallower worries to be sure, but they play a large part on keeping my mental health in check. Will I be able to attend any social events for the next while?

Why am I constantly giving the people more of my time than they rightly deserve? Why I do allow the selfishness of others to take a sledgehammer to my brittle self esteem? Should I be more like them? Focus on me, and let others help themselves? Do I love a little too hard? Am I a shit person, is that why this keeps happening to me?

For me being powerless feels as though you’re going up in an elevator, and just as you near the floor you want to be at, your destination, a cable snaps. Suddenly the elevator shrinks in size, the walls begin to buckle and bend in. Then it starts edging slowly back down, and before you know it you’re plummeting.

Now you can either scream and panic, batter at the doors, try to pry them open but ultimately you know you can’t. You’re powerless. You’re stuck in this free fall. Or you can accept that things are going down, they are out of your control for the time being. All you can do is pray that you survive, and that when you hit the bottom someone’s there to help you out. That you can conjure the strength to crawl your way to the stairwell, and start working you way back up. One flight at a time.

The truth is sometimes it just goes like this; sometimes you’re powerless to do anything other than just survive.

And yet, somehow, you do.

2 thoughts on “Not on the Priority List part 3: Powerless

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