Hope

I have three favorite words in the English language:

  1. antimacassar, because it’s an unnecessarily big and obscure word that you find in historical fiction
  2. empurple, because for me purple is more than just a color, it’s a way of life
  3. hope, which I will spend the next several paragraphs discussing

Hope doesn’t mean that you know things will get better. It doesn’t mean you have any clear-cut vision of exactly how things will get better. It means you acknowledge that there’s a chance that things might get better.

Unfortunately, hope is one of the first victims that depression claims. When you’re at the lowest of the low, you lose sight of that possibility of things ever getting better.

Loss of hope is tragic. Without hope, you have nothing.

And yet, hope is so easy to lose. It doesn’t matter if you’re hurting from a personal tragedy, a world situation, or the irrational chemicals that exist in your head. You can lose hope in an instant.

Sometimes I rely on silly little tricks to help me find hope.

For example, I buy myself bracelets that say “HOPE” on them:

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I even scrawl the word Hope on a piece of paper:

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I look to the wise words of one of my favorite mental health charities, To Write Love on Her Arms:

 

hopeshirt\

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can get the shirt here.

You can have your friends remind you that hope still exists. Maybe nature or your pets inspire hope in you. You can find hope by watching heartwarming holiday movies on the Hallmark Channel where a family gets snowed in at the airport and meets a whimsical old man who turns out to be Santa—but if those movies are your source of hope, you and I are different.

I think you see my point. Hope is important. Hope is essential, even.

But I want to emphasize that hope isn’t only reserved for that moment when everything is better. Hope is not just for perfect sitcom endings. You can be at your lowest and still have hope. You can have hope as you recover and climb out of the pit. You can have hope when you’re sort of okay, but sort of not. Hope can save you in the moments where you’re okay, but you worry that any minute you won’t be.

Wishing you hope this day and always,

Shannon

 

 

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