The Dark Night of the Soul

I’ve been having trouble getting anything done–work, writing, reading, anything–since Wednesday morning.

I don’t really have the words for how sickened I feel with the direction our country has taken. I’m terrified for the environment, terrified at the resurgence in hate crimes, terrified for the possibility that so much of what Obama has worked for could be undone. I’m really, really scared.

If we were living inside a story, a day like yesterday has a definition: the dark night of the soul.

The dark night of the soul is “the moment in the last third of the story when everything has fallen apart and the character is at an emotional low. It is the darkness before the dawn, the moment when the character knows without a doubt that they have failed in their quest and will never achieve their goal.” (source)

That is how I feel. I feel like I didn’t do enough. I didn’t donate enough money to the Hillary campaign, I didn’t spend enough time volunteering, I didn’t post about the election enough, etc. etc. etc. I know this outcome isn’t *my* fault, but I have a tendency to take things personally.

But the thing about the dark night of the soul is: it’s the moment right  before the protagonist digs in her heels and decides to fight.

Real life is not as formulaic as fiction. But I take comfort in this all the same. I can’t do anything to change the outcome of this election; but that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything. I can volunteer with and continue to donate to organizations that support at-risk youth and equality and women’s rights. I can continue to voice my support of people who are not of the same race, religion, or sexual orientation as me. I can continue to be kind.

And I can continue writing, because fiction has saved me in more ways than I can count.

It may take me a little while to get my mojo back. But a halt in progress–or even a step backwards, the step our country is currently taking–doesn’t mean the fight is lost. It just means we fight harder.

To again quote The Boss:

No defeat, baby, no surrender.