Despair. The complete absence or loss of hope.
What makes despair so cancerous? It is the one thing that represents the absence of man’s most formidable coping mechanism against the chaos that encroaches upon us by the day – HOPE. In addition, it is a magnet of sorts, for many negative emotions – fear, anger, frustration, and the like.
Despair is not a one-sided phenomenon. It is a behemoth with many ugly faces. There is that which arises from the obscurity of the turnout of future events, especially after eventful preceding ones- ignorance of what lies ahead. There is also that which is birthed from continual futile efforts- effort-derived despair, so to say.
However, of despair’s many sinister faces, which is the most despicable? That which especially stands out, and is probably the worst of the lot in my opinion, is that which stems from a stark clarity of what lies ahead. The “I know what awaits at the end of the tunnel and there is nothing I can do about it” kind of despair. Clarity in this sense is not a premonition or some gut feeling. It is palpable, concrete truth, clear as day. It is in moments like this that one acknowledges and appreciates the blissfulness of ignorance. Despair from blatant ignorance is one thing, but that from an impending future set in stone is just… Something else.
Clarity bugs you so bad it becomes an itch on your scalp that you cannot just shake off. You dig in your nails and scratch and scratch… And scratch. Whatever form of relief ensues, is next to nothing – especially compared with the effort you put in. The result is a sore that festers. Unlike the other forms of despair, spontaneity is not an option- and neither is evasion, nor exploration of other options. Apparently, there is not much creativity you can muster when an un-escapable turnout of events is etched into your subconscious. The impending loss of a loved one to a terminal illness. Looming “breakfast”. An unpleasant court sentence in sight. A lifelong pursuit built with sweat and blood about to go up in flames.
Perhaps there is not much such a person can do with life itself. One becomes a walking zombie, waiting for his demons to engulf and consume him, freeing him from the shackles of torture. It is maddening. It is the worst.
Others might argue differently, but hey, it’s just my opinion.