Overcoming despair with creative self-questioning

Catherine Andrews
4 min readNov 15, 2020

Creative alternatives to despair using your imagination

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Creative alternatives to despair with imagination

You can listen to this essay as audio here on my Sunday Soother podcast

Happy Sunday, Soothers. If you found yourself exhausted in the past week, alternately joyful and numb, elated and down, in the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election, know that I’m right there with you. From Sunday to Wednesday, I was basically a husk of a human, staring at walls, wondering how this corporeal form can possibly contain and process so many emotions at once. It can and it did, of course, but it was a very physical experience and just know if you’re still tired or feeling any sort of way, it’s completely normal after a massively emotional event like the one the U.S. just collectively went through. Simply continue to rest.

Anyways, as I was reflecting on the past week and what I could even possibly write today that would be meaningful or resonant after such a moment in time, I kept coming back to the question that had looped in my mind for months: “What if Trump wins again?”

And how completely, utterly, totally useless and in fact self-harmful that line of questioning had been.

That framing of that question was simply a portal to very dark timelines of frantic, imaginative thoughts about all the continued catastrophes that could potentially unfold.

So why did I keep allowing myself to go there?

It was a good reminder that this is the line of questioning I so often see in my coaching clients and in potential clients, too. I’m opening up some coaching spots in January and a lot of the folks who are considering working with me are often feeling stuck because they are operating from a place of fear. So naturally, the most frequent question I get from potential coaching clients who feel very stuck and in fear and despair, is along the lines of, “What if this doesn’t work?”

I used to try to answer this question with proof; send dozens of testimonials, detailed explanations of how my coaching works, examples of assignments I give clients, etc etc.

Catherine Andrews

Teaching awakening + healing through vulnerability + self-compassion. Finding hope in a messy world. Author of the Sunday Soother. http://catherinedandrews.com