Hope is an elusive thing. For a long time, it was lost to me. The Black was, to my sorrow, the totality of my world, a world without hope. In my despair, I sought my end. Instead, I found hope.
Hope came in the form of a word, mindfulness, a tool I use to calm my mind. It came in the name of an agency, the CMHA, which continues to help me navigate the mental health system. And it came in the form of a CBT template that showed me that normality could be applied to my thoughts.
It came in the form of a Bell Let’s Talk ad. I hadn’t watched television for years and didn’t know that this campaign existed. The ad showed me I wasn’t alone and offered me the possibility of recovery.
Hope came in the rediscovery of my voice in writing in my journals, in my blogs, and in my tweets. I wrote a lot when I was younger: poetry, short stories, and song lyrics. I surrendered this creativity in order to make a living. Upon learning this my counsellor encouraged me to write as a tool to release my thoughts. I found ways to describe the horror that was my mind and found ways to describe my escape from that horror.
In time, writing became a barometer of my mood. When depressed, writing is a struggle; when hypomanic, writing is abundant. This understanding is recent. I still seek a balance between the two.
Hope came in the form of ripples where my words touched other lives. Initially, those lives were those of my son and my counsellor. My words revealed the Black that was my mind and my movement out of it. On the advice of my son, I shared my story on Twitter, my struggle, my fears, and my hope. My words were read, other lives were affected. The ripples had spread farther than I had imagined.
It came in the form of baby steps. There’s so much in the world that’s overwhelming. However, if I break things down into smaller and smaller components, what was once overwhelming becomes manageable.
Hope, to me, is the immediate. There’s much that I can’t influence immediately, but I can create ripples. And with these ripples, I can bring Hope to someone like me, someone who has thought it lost. Perhaps someone like you.
Image by ShonEjai from Pixabay