Thoughts on hope
Emmett shares his thoughts on the importance of hope
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope. It’s that very important thing you need to cling to when you have a mental health problem – or indeed several mental health problems. Hope is something that needs to be fostered. You really need to never let go of it, even if you are clinging to it by your fingertips.
I know it can seem very hard to hold onto hope, but it’s very much worth it. You’ll thank yourself enormously when your hope has proven to be well founded. Without hope, your life has infinitely less meaning. You can see it as even a sign of your character that you kept hope inside you when it would have been so easy to let it slip away (however, I would like to make it clear that people who have given up hope and either attempted suicide or died by suicide are still very strong people. In their case, they may just have not been inspired to keep hope alive). Keeping hope alive can be a defiant gesture in the face of a bleak situation.
It really can be very heroic. Barack Obama has written about hope in his book The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. I haven’t read that book, but I have read his excellent memoir Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Hope ultimately came to define Obama. As his eight years in the White House come to a close, I’d like to thank him for helping to instil this understanding of hope in me. When I felt very hopeless and the future for me seemed to hold nothing but pain, I am sure that in my subconscious hope was still alive, partly thanks to him. It really kept me from dying by suicide. Anytime I felt like attempting suicide, hope had the audacity to make me hesitate, to make me be reluctant to throw it all away. I would like to share a micro-poem I wrote now:
Clinging on to Hope with my Fingertips
The glory in hesitation,
The victory in clinging on to hope with my fingertips,
The time of salvation,
The continuation of sucking sweet air through my dry lips.
Hope. It can seem like quite a small thing, but it’s very vital. If you have a mental health problem or several, clinging on to hope is one of your best defences. It can free your soul from being bound by your worldly problems, and allow it to roam over the obstacles in its way. And I hope that this opinion piece helps other souls to keep that spark of hope alive.