January 08, 2013

About the Depth of Despair and the Joyful Morning

Have you ever been in the depth of despair? Kindred spirits probably know what I'm talking about. As Anne explains to Marilla, upon learning that Marilla doesn't want her to stay at Green Gables, because Anne isn't a boy, the depth of despair is a state of mind when you can't do anything that you usually would.

"You're not eating anything," said Marilla sharply, eying her as if it were a serious shortcoming. Anne sighed.
"I can't. I'm in the depths of despair. Can you eat when you are in the depths of despair?"
"I've never been in the depths of despair, so I can't say," responded Marilla.
"Weren't you? Well, did you ever try to IMAGINE you were in the depths of despair?"
"No, I didn't."
"Then I don't think you can understand what it's like. It's very uncomfortable feeling indeed. When you try to eat a lump comes right up in your throat and you can't swallow anything, not even if it was a chocolate caramel.
(L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, Ch. 3)

I'm a kind of person who completely understands what Anne is meaning. I don't need to try to imagine that because I've often been there... Maybe I'm hypersensitive or too passionate or both, anyways, in the past 3-4 weeks, I've constantly been in the depth of despair, because we learned that our family dog, Sunny, is suffering from spinal disc herniation and must undergo surgery.

(By the way, the whole story had began earlier, back in April 2012, when Sunny and I were taking our regular afternoon walk and a Rottweiler attacked us. It's a breed famous for its aggression, but, regrettably, it's not yet banned from Hungary. Sunny almost died, but, thank God and one of His Angels, in the form of a bodyguard, we were rescued. However, my right hand was seriously injured; I thought I would never be able to play the piano or knit again. And, as we recognised some months later, our Vizsla had been injured more seriously than we first thought.)

Thus, due to the worries about the Sunshine of our life, I wasn't able to eat normal and couldn't even read as usual. I was just browsing my bookcases, searching for some kind of comfort reading, and tried several books to read, but couldn't focus on the text, until I began George Sand's Fadette. That novel turned out to be a real comfort reading. (Review is coming soon...) Nevertheless, our family's Christmas and New Year's Eve weren't too merry, because we knew that Sunny's surgery would take place soon.

Yesterday was the day. And, I was sick worried. We took him to the hospital at 10:00 a.m. and we didn't know anything about him until 3:00 p.m. I just kept praying and praying and hoped that everything will be fine. Later we also learned that our Sunny is feeling better and was also able to walk a bit. But he had to stay at the hospital for the night and we weren't allowed to visit him so that he doesn't become agitated. It's been a hard day's night, believe me.

But, we are thanking God that today at 8:45 a.m., we got back our Sunny safe and sound. Of course, he's having pains, ought to take prescription drugs, and it will take several weeks till he's completely healed. In sum, we are praying together with Anne this beautiful sentence from Psalm 30:

"Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning."
(L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, Ch. 40)

And what about you? Have you ever felt the depth of despair? Were you able to read? And, what kind of books did/do you read in hard times? What are your favourite comfort readings?


  1. How is Sunny doing now? Is he fully recovered?

    To answer your question, I can not sit still enough to read when I am anxious. I have to be active--clean something maybe--to keep my thoughts at bay. I would be the typical pacer in the waiting room if my Gabriel (a Westie) ws in surgery. But, I too, quote scripture to myself (Psalm 23) when I'm calm enough to grab hold of my thoughts and think to do so.

  2. I'm so glad you shared your blog post with me and that Sunny is feeling better. When Nell was having her surgery I also found myself unable to read my current novels, but poems and certain novels I was familiar with did help somewhat. I also found myself wanting to keep busy, cleaning and sorting things often.

    The quote by Anne certainly makes me feel a lot better about my own feelings of despair. I should keep a note of that passage for any future moments of difficulty. Also, while I'm not religious, that lovely sentence from Psalm 30 is one I'd really love to remember. It holds a lot of wisdom.

    Best wishes, and I hope you and Sunny are doing well. I look forward to reading more of your posts :)



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