Note: I am not a psychiatrist or medical professional. My experiences and opinions are due to having mental illness and living with somebody who has schizophrenia.
One of the most recurrent ideas that I’ve noticed on the journey of caregiving and mental illness, is hope. To never lose hope, to always hang onto it. But if we’re being honest, that’s easier said than done. So just what does it mean to have hope?
Having hope doesn’t mean that you never get frustrated or never fail. Having hope means that even when you fall from the sky and crash and burn, that you get up, dust off your wings, and take off again. Why do you rise again? Because you have hope. To me having hope means that you have a vision and a goal of where you want to be in the future, and that you strive for it. That goal is different for everybody and may change quite regularly, but the vision is usually similar. I think its safe to say that we all envision a better spot on the road than what we are on now. Maybe you see a better world for everybody, or maybe you just see another milestone to beat. Its not the surface content of the vision that matters, it’s the underlying drive, which for me, and hopefully for you too, is hope.
There’s always hope. Even if you can’t see any sign of hope, its there. Because even when you’re at your lowest point, there’s still hope. Hope that pain will disappear, hope that things will get better, hope that somebody will hear your SOS. I’m not saying that its all unicorns and rainbows and lollipops (I wish lol), but hope is the first building block of any great wonder. The Wright brothers for example, guess what made their dream possible? That’s right. Hope.
So just remember, if you’ve recently been diagnosed, that doesn’t mean your life is over. Is it a punch to the gut? It sure as hell can be, but its not necessarily the end. Maybe you’re having a hard time in recovery, maybe you’ve had break-through symptoms or another episode. You’ve been through it before, this isn’t your first spin on the merry-go-round. Just keep your eye on your current goal and never lose sight of your vision. Maybe you’re contemplating that lonely road that is suicide. If you are, I want you to know, and I mean this, you aren’t alone. And you know what? Every storm breaks. No matter how dark the sky may seem, it’ll pass. The sun always rises. All I ask, is that you have hope. Hope that maybe, just maybe, there’s more to life than this.
Stay strong friends, talk to you soon.
P.S. DON’T LOSE HOPE!