Hope and Despair

Hope and Despair Audioblog

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.

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