In the darkest periods following my MH meltdown I had no hope. I remember my therapist near the end of 2020 asking me if I had any hope and I told her I had none. The anxiety, depression and horrible physical symptoms held me in their grip and I saw no prospect of any escape.
Fast forward 18 months and I have found some. What has happened? There are three main elements behind this transformation.
Firstly I have continued with my therapy sessions. I have been very fortunate in finding a therapist with whom I can easily relate. She knows me very well now and we have a friendly relationship. She has kept faith with me from the start.
Secondly in May 2021 I decided to become more involved in the Moodscope blog. I had been a member since 2011 but I never communicated with other members. I started writing Posts and this is number 33! I also enjoy reading the daily Posts and posting comments.
Lastly in June 2021 I joined the local bowling club. During the last 12 months I have met around 40 people for the first time. The friendliness had almost been overwhelming.
There is little doubt amongst the MH professionals that having hope is a very positive attribute and leads to a happier and healthier life.
A study in 2020 by Matthew Gallagher an associate professor at University of Houston concluded Hope was strong predictor of Anxiety and Trauma recovery.
So what are some general ideas for cultivating hope? Here are a few taken from the “Kids Help Phone” site:
* Think positive. Look for good in a situation.
* Look at the big picture. Putting things in perspective.
* Focus on the future. Think of things you can do to shape you future.
* Be inspired. Listen to favourite music or watch an uplifting film.
* Be patient. Accept the good and bad days.
* Get involved. eg. volunteering.
We need hope in many everyday situations. For example Gardeners live in hope. A recent personal example illustrates.
In late March I was given a box containing a small plant pot, some compost to fill it, a packet of 8 sunflower seeds and cultivation notes. The latter claimed the plants would grow to 6 feet in height! I followed the sowing instructions and hope took over. My hope has been fully rewarded. I now have 7 almost fully grown plants and each one has a large flower bud at its apex.I am now full of hope that I will shortly have a large display of yellow sunflowers.
As Desmond Tutu said “Hope is being able to see that light despite all the darkness.”
So why have I written this Post? To give you hope!
A Moodscope member.