Posted by: Marie | May 11, 2012

(631) A big pile of shit

Post #631
[Private journal entry written on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 4:30am]

I have this huge pile of shit sitting in the middle of my life. It is the pain of not having hope.

I would like to have hope, but I don’t.

I would like to have hope around my dream home.

I would like to have hope around having a healthy body.

I would like to have hope around a successful business – as in, a business that is successful enough to facilitate a lifestyle a step better than living hand to mouth. Actually, I do have hope around this because it is how I plan to finance these last 20 years of my life and of my mom’s life. I will make that happen. So, never mind.

Photo by Martin Chen

I would like to have hope around a romantic partnership. This is the part that is the hardest to write because I really have no hope for this one part of my life. I don’t even want to talk about the fact I don’t have hope for this because the fact that I don’t have hope is extremely painful.

I find myself only doing what I think I need to do in order to survive these next 20 years. I would like for my body to just die – to fade out on its own – in 20 years from now. If I have a healthy body, that might not happen. So, maybe I don’t really want a healthy body.

I think I’d be willing to talk to Edward about having a healthy body. I think surviving the next 20 years will be easier if my body doesn’t feel so old. Maybe I can trick myself into taking care of my body if I think about it that way.

I hope the other stuff doesn’t come up as we discuss the little bit of hope I have around the health of my body – I don’t want to talk about the other stuff because I can’t afford to have hope around the other stuff.

I understand that this big pile of shit will always be in the middle of the floor. But, maybe, if I can remove the corner of the pile that is about the health of my body, the pile would be a little easier to live with. The pile of shit might stink less.

Besides, if I think too much about the future, then I miss living in the moment. Isn’t it healthier to live in the moment, even if the moment if somewhat pain-filled, than it is to live in a future dream that isn’t going to happen?


  1. Hi Marie, lack of hope is really difficult.

    And thinking about the future can be very depressing and painful. However, apologies if this sounds insensitive, our thinking about the future is something we do in the present. So we can become attentive to how we do this and what it does to us.

    And switching our focus from the future to present sensations or other thoughts (like remembering past happy times) can be very helpful to get through tough stuff I find.

    Hoping you find ways of dealing with that pile of shit!

    • Hey, Evan –

      I find that balance between making plans to “go good places” in the future and living in the moment can be very challenging. In the times I am excited about something coming in the future, I hang onto “what’s coming” because it gives me hope that things might be better soon. It also brings fear that it might not be everything I hoped it would be.

      It’s also a challenge when the present sucks and I don’t see anything that promises it will be better later. It makes it tough to put in the effort to keep moving forward.

      So, I hear what you are saying . . . but sometimes looking forward and ignoring the present is a blissful numbing tactic . . .

      – Marie

  2. So glad to see a post from you!

    I really like what Evan says regarding thinking about the future being something we do in the present … and it’s also something we tend to do by anchoring it to the past, because of course, that’s what we know, and we tend to expect what we know. For me, and for most trauma survivors, this was the worst and hardest part of healing … the process of letting go of expecting the future to be like the past. Because, of course, it’s that expectation that kills hope.

    Your journal entry was written a year ago, and your thinking may be quite different now, but — another thing that occurred to me was that it may be useful to reframe what the pile of shit is. Shit is a powerful image, and obviously it’s the one that resonates with you. But the implication is also that it comes from you … whereas actually, this is all other people’s stuff that was put on you. Again, speaking from personal experience here … it helped, for me, to visualize the stuff as toxic waste. Big difference — toxic waste is left over from other people’s irresponsible work and experiments. Thinking of it this way put enough distance between me and it that I was able to consider differently the possibility of its being removed.

    • Hi, David –

      Thank you for welcoming me back! I’ve continued capturing what is happening in my healing journey, but other priorities (all good stuff) caused me to take a break from publishing my journal entries. It is sure nice to be back because I really missed the blogging and the community!

      I think you hit upon a “big one” with the idea that my shit is really generated by other people . . . in the year since this was written, I have actually discovered this is the case and have been able to let go of much of that. I’ve discovered my load is so much lighter when I can operate from that “shitless” space . . .

      Anyway . . . it is good to have contact with you again!

      – Marie

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