Hope: Seeing Light in the Darkness

When we are faced with what seem like overwhelming conditions in our lives, it causes hope to falter. Depending on the issues you are facing and your state of mind, hope for a bright future may waver or it may disappear. Speaking from personal experience, the absence of hope can be akin to a death sentence; the death of the belief that you can be happy. I bring your attention to the importance of hope because I have felt my hope waver in recent days while dealing with IBS and my mental health. Recognizing that my feelings of hope have diminished is important in that I can take action to rekindle the desire for better days myself. I have this power and so do you. Hope can be cultivated as long as there is the seed. It is better to water the seed than to sink into despair and HOPELESSNESS. Coming back from complete hopelessness is very difficult, so better to address these feelings while you can still see a bit of light in the perceived darkness.

The ebb and flow

IBS is overwhelming and extraordinarily frustrating. When I received my diagnosis, I was confident in my ability to manage and live comfortably with IBS. I believed in myself because I have survived and thrived through mental illness and addiction. While my belief in my own resilience was well founded, I did not respect IBS and the unique challenges it presents. I believed that if I did A, B, C and D, that everything would be groovy. Well, I have, and it’s not. This is where hope starts to wander. This is where you get to that place where you feel as though you have done everything you can and you are still having problems.  Problems in your relationships, problems with money, work, diet, and on and on and on. When you have come to this kind of wall in your life, self-awareness becomes a very important trait to develop. Awareness of your strengths or weaknesses in a given moment can help you decide what your next step should be. And there should always be a next step, even if that step means doing nothing. Doing nothing? When you are taking your life one moment at a time, sometimes doing nothing is the best course of action. Allow yourself that moment to breathe, recharge and let hope to grow. Continually pushing against the wall will cause nothing but frustration and the dimming of hope. When you slow down and release the burden for just a little while, you will find yourself with the will to continue the journey…and this is exactly what hope is. The belief that there is purpose to the journey.

Stay active and keep hope

The fact of the matter is that we may believe that we are doing everything correctly. But what is correct one day may cause a flare up on the second day. Pay attention to yourself. Perhaps on Monday, going to the gym and going out with your significant other is the best course. Tuesday… meditation and TV. Wednesday... uh…well, we don’t know what Wednesday will bring. And that, my brothers and sister, is ok. We don’t need to know, we just need to know we are alright, right now. So do what you can, stay active in your own recovery and accept that you cannot control everything. And most importantly; keep hope alive. I am hopeful and I HOPE that you are, too.

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