Plumbing the darkest depths of my soul and living to tell the tale


Has this ever happened to you? Periods when you felt like you are drifting along, rudderless, without any ambitions or passions?

It happened to me. It lasted roughly 4-5 long years. Looking back, it was the worst period of my life.

I felt adrift, lost and confused; I had no ambitions and no passions. I can’t remember how many articles I read during that period – articles telling you how to find your passion, how to get up in the morning with boundless energy and raring to face the day. None of them helped. I felt like I was trapped in the darkest depths of my soul and there was no way out. 

For a while I became almost a recluse. I would only go to work and for the occasional movie or outing with the husband. Meeting friends seemed like a chore that I had to force myself to do, and my weekly outings with friends became something I did once in a couple of months.

Nothing excited me during those years. And even if something did, it was barely a flicker that died down almost as soon as it arose. I wanted to break out of those heavy chains so bad, but I didn’t really want to do anything – I felt paralyzed.

And so, I escaped into reading.

Stack of books - Escape into readingI had always been a voracious reader, but during that period, I became an obsessive reader. I read about 60-70 books per year on average back then – everything I could get my hands on: fiction, thrillers, memoirs, non-fiction, self-development – everything. All in a bid to escape facing the reality that I was stuck and I didn’t know how to get unstuck.

Looking back, I’m still not sure what caused this “stuckness”.

I don’t think I was depressed. I actually loved my life – I loved the flexibility of my job and my co-workers; and things on the home front were pretty good on the whole.

It wasn’t burnout either – around the time that I was sleepwalking through life, 16 hour work days were a thing of the distant past.

Could it have been a fault in the stars, perhaps? Who knows?

It’s not important to know why we’re feeling stuck, but it is essential to learn from it, so we have a map to navigate through difficult times.

Remember I said I was reading articles on finding your passion and nothing helped? Well, that’s not entirely true.

During those years I read a lot of articles by popular life coaches and inspirational speakers. I also read a lot of self-help and self-development books in an effort to get unstuck. I worked through some of the exercises, but I didn’t have the drive to do them all. I wanted to get unstuck, but I was unable to do anything to pull myself out of the morasses.

Basically, none of what I was reading helped immediately. But it was all information that I absorbed, that percolated within me, that was waiting for the right moment to bloom.

I used to journal a lot, but I had become afraid of facing myself on the page. I made the mistake of letting my fear trap me, and that kept me stuck for years.

And that is one of the biggest lessons I learnt from that period

If you become a slave to your fear, you will never escape its clutches. Click To Tweet

The only way forward is to move into your fear.

So all of that information that I was reading and absorbing, that was percolating in my mind, it was waiting for a spark to ignite it. That spark came in the form of a blog post I read – I can’t remember who it was by or where or when I read it, but those words saved my life, literally.

When you choose to not choose, you're giving away your personal power. Click To Tweet

After all, not making a choice is also a choice. And when we do that, when we give away our personal power, it feels yucky.

That became my mantra.

Every time I didn’t want to face myself, didn’t want to do anything, or tried to convince myself that sleepwalking through life was perfectly fine, I repeated those words to myself. Over and over again.

And there began my journey to waking up. I spilled myself on the journal page. I developed rituals and mantras to keep myself on the path. I connected with the Tarot on a much deeper, more personal level. Slowly, patiently, I pieced together a patchwork quilt of tools and strategies and resources to help me connect more deeply with myself, to mine my inner wisdom, and to finally get unstuck. Through this journey I finally, after decades, said hello to my inner artist and gave her wings. {That’s a story that’s waiting to be told. Soon, I promise.}

It’s important to learn from our darker experiences so we have a map to navigate difficult times. Click To Tweet

These tools and resources have helped and supported me every single time that I’ve felt even the slightest bit confused or unsure. And now, I can sense that these tools are yearning to be shared. I can hear the call coming from deep within my soul, bubbling up to the surface, leaving me a trail of signs.

As I heed this call and figure this whole thing out, I wonder: have you ever felt stuck, unsure, adrift? What tools have you used to pull yourself out of those feelings?

If you think you may be interested in a journaling course to help you navigate through difficult times, pop in your email address here and I’ll let you know when it is ready.
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I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. Books help me too. There have been phases in my life where I have been depressed and it has been overwhelming. Writing and reading has helped me navigate those times. I cannot explain how these two things have helped me and continue to even today

    • Yes, writing and reading are very powerful! Often, we don’t know just how to harness them, which is when problems arise.

  2. Opps sorry, I had posted this in the contact form above.

    I can so relate to this because I’ve been going through this phase since the last 2 years. It’s hard, so hard sometimes to push myself and go on with life. That inner spark is a bit dim at the moment, flickering within somewhere. I am trying my hands at anything that can get me out of this phase. I suppose it will go in it’s own time but I don’t want to waste my time moping around just cause I don’t ‘feel’ like doing anything.

    Reading your post gives me hope. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • It is a tough place to be….and that don’t “feel” like doing can really trap you badly. There are so many tools and journaling techniques I used and learnt during that time that really helped me then, and still help me today!

  3. There have been atleast two scenarios (each lasting a few years) where I was totally lost with all that life had thrown at me. Didn’t think I would make it… I lost a lot but making an active choice not to let the pain overwhelm me helped a lot.

    • Yes, you need to own your choices and see just where you are giving your power and reclaim it. It’s a hard road to travel for sure!

  4. It’s great that you came out of that phase stronger… with a passion for tarots. I.sometimes go through similar emotions on and off… never for a long time… and during that time reading helps a lot. It’s amazing isn’t it how a book can heal you. I would love to see more of your journaling too 🙂

    • I came out of that with a passion for art and for Tarot. 🙂 Books can be powerful healers, but when you misuse them (like I did), they’re escapism. 🙂

      The journals from that time…I don’t like to go back to them…they’ve served their purpose, I think. I may share some parts of them in the ecourse – I haven’t thought about that yet!

  5. I was this aimless, ambitionless creature just playing along the time when i had just joined college! I was pretty much like any other teenager trying to figure out why i am doing what i’m doing! then I took up several activities to keep myself interested. One of them became my profession! Still I have many hobbies that I am exploring!

  6. Hi Jini,
    As I was reading this post of yours. I can feel every word and emotion behind it, my phase is exactly like that 2 years back and am still not sure am out of it but one thing is sure am trying and trying, reading all the super life coaches to regain that enthusiasm and spark of my life so that everyday I don’t need to force myself out of bed. Thanks for sharing your quotes and ideas ?

  7. Jini, I actually felt every single word, I know what it is like to feel rudderless. It has happened to me twice…and in those deepest pits I found myself. Writing was my savior, if I can call it that. We need to know how to use the power of words. I am just learning.

    • Yes, writing is medicine. And some journaling techniques can help you so so very much!! I also think you need to figure out some specific journal techniques, otherwise you keep wandering around in your confusion and it takes ages to find your way out.

  8. I could feel every word of what you are speaking about Jini. I am still in that phase and what to get unstuck. Well, you know most of it. I know I will break free, but the when and how troubles me.
    I am so glad you could do that. More power to you,Jini. 🙂

    • It takes time and patience and lots of writing and figuring things out. I know you’ll break out of it…you’re a wise soul. xx

  9. Life is cyclical buddy and each one of us hits the bottom at different points of time, I am glad to weaved yourself together and here we have our wonderful Modern Gypsy <3

    I myself has hit the bottom many a times, but somehow I have always risen from the ashes.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Roma <3

      We keep on rising and soaring, because that's just who we are. Flawed humans who rise and fall and rise again. xx

  10. Overcoming fears is the most important and often the hardest thing to do. I’m sure everyone experiences this phase once in their lifetime and to get up and move ahead is an achievement. Inspirational Read 🙂

  11. For me its sports and working out . Whenever I have stopped playing my life has become aimless and I have even stored less marks in Exams. Contradictory to lots of theories Sports helps me to remain focussed. No words on your writing. Everytime you scale new heights. Keep going . Hugs

    • A lot of people mistakenly believe that playing a sport is distracting from studies. You’ve seen the positive effect sports can have! 🙂 And thank you for your appreciation and support. 🙂

    • It’s awesome that you’ve made your pahssion your profession and are loving it! Following your passion and hobbies are truly liberating!

  12. There is not one person who will avoid some sort of struggle or hardship in life. In fact, there are things that happen in life that often shake us to our very core. The essential nature of being alive and being human is to experience life in its purest form — the wins and losses, celebrations and challenges, and the good with the bad. Some of these experiences are not favorable. We might be in pain, physically or emotionally — we hurt. Often we feel betrayed by life itself, we feel it is unfair and question why we have to go through these struggles. What we don’t realize is that these struggles are a gift from life itself. When we come face to face with a struggle, a low point in life, be it an illness, a relationship breakdown or financial ruin, at the time we are lost in darkness. Your struggles and hardships are your gifts so that you can reach deep down inside of yourself and discover your inner power and the glory of who you are. Use them to share your message of hope and love with the world.

  13. Reading and writing is something which always keeps us going! In tough times whenever I feel sad or low, I often read and write to distract myself. A tonic to all my worries! 🙂 Glad you’re following your passion and doing so great! Kudos! 🙂

  14. Can relate to this.. a couple of years back after my second one was born, i used to feel lost at most times. Despite the happiness of the birth of a baby, I would be left feeling empty and directionless. I had just quit my job too and felt totally void all of a sudden. But reading and writing helped me get out of it. Writing infact did help me. It was like as the the flood gates of voidness had been opened. I started writing and pouring out my heart on my blog, and in a short span of time, it did wonders to me. My personality took a more confident turn.

  15. Till now I haven’t faced such type of situation for this long period, but I do have days when I don’t want to do anything, so on those days I just want to read newspapers extensively putting 2-3 hours, I felt so relieved by doing that.
    But you have explained your situation very well.

    • You are very lucky to not have experienced anything like this Dr Saab. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy! It’s soul-crushing (not than you can crush the soul…but you get what I mean!)

  16. I feel sad when I hear such stories. But I truly believe that every night has a lovely morning so you too do have. You are a blessed soul. Whenever I feel low or going through such phase, I just talk to myself, do bhajans and try to be positive all the time.

  17. I thought I was reading about myself. Been in those dark alleys. And dont wish it even for the person I dislike the most. It scary down there. But like you, I also realized that I had to pull myself out before it was too late. I started reading again…..and went crazy once again! And realized that this stimulated mind of mine needs an outlet. Hence, began the writing part…and it was serious this time. As you said, it about finding your passion. It can become a reliable sail for your life-boat. Kudos for a great article.

    • Yes, passion is the key to a lot of ailments, I believe! I’m so glad you found yours and were able to pull yourself out of the pit!!

  18. Pingback: #MicroblogMondays: I'm becoming a hermit! | Modern Gypsy

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