Does Hope have its limitations?
It might seem like it to anyone who has had a loved one take their life. Death is difficult enough on its own. When it is self-inflicted, it goes to a new level of pain.
I’ve had a few friends who have taken that path. All of them young. I can still feel the churning in my gut upon hearing the news of death. One particular night, I went out to the dumpster in the alley behind the kitchen and sat down on the curb and sobbed. I distinctly remember going through thoughts of feeling like we had lost, not just a life, but a battle for a life. What could I have done to prevent this from happening?
I know intellectually their death was not my fault, but sometimes I can’t help feeling like it was. In my reflex to help try to make sense of the ache, I can miss the greater question. What will I do now in light of this tragedy?
For me, one step in a new direction is to never be silent on the subject. To do that, I choose to write and tell my story, how Hope stepped in and gave me new life. I can’t make choices for someone else, but I can give it my best effort to influence them in a positive direction. I can’t just assume that depression and mental illness isn’t treatable or curable. Hope is an incredibly contagious ideal. Why assume the dark side has all the power? Even a tiny match can illuminate a very dark room.
I’ve had suicidal ideation in the past, when my whole world was falling apart. What I remember about that season was how much it made sense in my broken mind. I remember believing I was a burden, a failure and an embarrassment. I felt totally worthless. Despair was closing in on me and I was losing my will to keep going.
I’m glad those days are behind me, but I won’t forget them. Because of that experience, I now have insight into depression that I never had before The depressed mind doesn’t think correctly and it is hard to change, But Hope keeps guiding my steps forward. I will wave my banner of Hope to all who can see it and maybe in doing, impart some strength to those who need it.